How ex-'Hot Babe' found success in longganisa business

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at May 03 2015 11:03 AM | Updated as of May 04 2015 05:56 PM

Andrea del Rosario, co-owner of Longganisa Sorpresa chats with Shoptalk host Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo. Photo from ANC Shoptalk Facebook page

MANILA – Former Viva Hot Babe member Andrea del Rosario has been juggling roles as a mother, an actress, and now as an entrepreneur as co-owner of Filipino restaurant Longganisa Sorpresa.

Del Rosario said her business venture features the Filipino favorite “longganisa” as the star of the show.

“I observed that it was being served as ‘pulutan’ in some restaurants, so I thought, why can’t we showcase it and introduce it as an all-day breakfast meal?” she told ANC’s “Shoptalk.”

Del Rosario said she came up with the idea of opening a restaurant through the help of two of her friends, who both have backgrounds in the food business.

For her part, she enrolled in a business school to better understand how to manage a business.

Del Rosario, who started her career in show business in the late 80s as a teenager, said she learned a lot through reading business case studies, which is something she confesses not to be particularly fond of.

“I like reading scripts,” she quipped.

Being from the entertainment industry, del Rosario said she is more of the creative type who handles the marketing side of the business. Her brother, on the other hand, oversees the day-to-day operations.

Del Rosario revealed that she was inspired to enter the restaurant industry after hearing the story of Injap Sia II, the founder of Mang Inasal.

“At that time, I was at the peak of my career and I said this is the best time to do it, it’s now or never,” she said.

To follow in her “idol’s footsteps,” del Rosario said she is considering opening the business to franchisees.

“I’ve been asked so many times by a lot of people, but I value that partnership, and I don’t want to give it away just like that. I want to be able to maintain a business partnership for a long time so I am preparing the business for that,” she said.

Longganisa Sorpresa has branches in Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Quezon City.

Juggling a career in entertainment and entrepreneurship has been rewarding, del Rosario said, because it allowed her to diversify her endeavors beyond show business, which is an unstable industry. It also opened job opportunities.

However, she said putting up your own business also requires hard work, and takes up a lot of your time.

Del Rosario said what keeps her going to do both is the mantra: "If you’re doing something you like, you’ll never have to work a single day in your life."