BDC Founder/ Owner
2023 Mentee Graduate (Multi-Sectoral)

In the face of adversity, Big Daddy’s Cup, a culinary venture born in the challenging year of 2020, not only weathered the storm but emerged stronger, turning obstacles into stepping stones for success.

Early Dreams and OFW Years: Engr. Gaspay spent his childhood in Leyte and later pursued his college education in Manila, where he has been based since 2003. Raised by his mother and sister, he experienced the common Filipino middle-class struggle of borrowing money for education, a challenge that the family successfully overcame. His father, an OFW and Civil Engineer by profession, played the role of the family’s breadwinner, ensuring their needs were met. Despite the physical distance, the family maintained a comfortable life.

From his early years, the dream of having his own business captivated Engr. Gaspay. Throughout his time as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), he consistently urged his wife to save their hard-earned money with the vision that one day, he would return to the country and establish a business. His desire stemmed from the hope of being present with his children, steering away from the childhood scenario he experienced when his father worked abroad, leaving the family behind.

Pursuit of Entrepreneurial Dreams: While childhood dreams of becoming a pilot were economically unattainable, Engr. Gaspay pursued a career in electrical engineering, continuing to practice it as a freelancer. However, his primary focus shifted towards his entrepreneurial journey, notably with his venture, Big Daddy’s Cup. The pivotal moment came in 2013 when working abroad, his wife gave birth to their eldest child. Determined to create a different upbringing for his children, Engr. Gaspay formulated a plan during this period, giving himself three more years as an OFW. In 2016, after seven years as an OFW, true to his plan, he returned to the Philippines, marking the commencement of his entrepreneurial journey, and initiated ventures like a cybercafé and a magic mirror photo booth, later transitioning to the food business in 2019. His childhood in Leyte, upbringing with an OFW father, his yearning to be with his family, and the desire to provide a different life for them fueled his entrepreneurial aspirations. 

Evolution and Offerings: The genesis of Big Daddy’s Cup was a response to a customer need in a cybercafé. Observing guests seeking quick, complete rice cup meals, the brand evolved from six initial offerings to a diverse menu of 17. With an initial capital of Php40,000, the brand invested in cooking equipment, packaging, and inventory, setting the stage for its culinary journey. Big Daddy’s Cup is not just an ordinary silog establishment; it offers a unique culinary experience with its Modern Cheesy Silog Meals. Catering to the tastes of the millennial and Gen-Z population, the menu has evolved from its initial six offerings to a robust selection of 17 delectable choices. This innovation in culinary offerings has been a key factor in the brand’s widespread appeal.

Big Daddy’s Cup: A Brand with Values: Big Daddy’s Cup core values are commitment to quality, integrity, honesty, and respect. The brand, starting as a small food counter in Engr. Gaspay’s cybercafé, grew through community bazaars and pop-up stores during the pandemic. Despite challenges, including the closure of the cybercafé and pandemic restrictions, the brand not only survived but thrived. As the world grappled with the impacts of a global pandemic, rather than stumbling, Big Daddy’s Cup took a remarkable stride by extending a helping hand to the community. In 2020, amidst the sudden stoppage of economic activities due to lockdowns, the brand selflessly donated meals to frontliners, checkpoints, and those in need. This act of compassion showcased the brand’s commitment to social responsibility. The brand played a crucial role in disaster response, providing warm meals during emergencies. The commitment to community well-being emphasized the power of a warm cup in challenging times. The most memorable times in the brand’s history include serving communities affected by flash floods and landslides, leaving a lasting impact on the team.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Acknowledging 2020 as the toughest year in the business world, Big Daddy’s Cup used this period as a blessing in disguise. The forced pause prompted the team to re-think, reevaluate, and reconsider their options. This introspective phase led to a transformative decision – the inception of Big Daddy’s Cup Franchising.

In 2021, the brand ventured into the realm of franchising, a bold move that proved to be a game-changer. Fast forward to 2023, and Big Daddy’s Cup boasts an impressive growth trajectory, with 30 stores in operation, comprising 27 franchisees and 3 company-owned stores. This journey from a single idea to a thriving franchise network showcases resilience, adaptability, and a keen entrepreneurial spirit. 

Strategic Expansion: Operating in two different locations strategically during the pandemic exemplifies Big Daddy’s Cup’s calculated risk-taking. While NCR faced constant lockdowns, the stores in the provinces continued operations, capitalizing on vibrant economic activity. The brand established a foothold in Luzon, Leyte, and Samar, bringing its famous #sulitsarapmeals to the countryside. In 2021, franchising was introduced, and by 2023, the brand boasted 30 stores, with 27 franchisees and 3 company-owned stores. In 2024, with the economy opening up, plans are underway to open multiple stores in NCR, recognizing it as the biggest market.

KMME Program and Business Evolution:

As the leader of his company, Engr. Gaspay encountered a point of stagnation, prompting him to seek ways to propel his business forward, seek mentorship, and gain fresh perspectives. This led him to enroll in the KMME-MME (Kapatid Mentor Me Money Market Encounter) Online Program.

According to Engr. Gaspay, the KMME Program had a profound impact on him, imparting crucial lessons in Business Model Canvas (BMC), marketing strategies, and operations enhancement. Learning the BMC provided him with a comprehensive blueprint for Big Daddy’s Cup’s operations, elevating his understanding of the business for more efficient structuring and operation. KMME equipped him with a deeper understanding of marketing strategies, instrumental in enhancing the business’s competitiveness. Additionally, the operations aspect, vital for Big Daddy’s Cup, significantly improved post-KMME as Engr. Gaspay, armed with his Business Improvement Plan (BIP), streamlined operations, enhancing productivity, output, and efficiency while minimizing wastage.

Big Daddy’s Cup added 9 stores, with more in the pipeline for 2024. The team actively pursued additional training, secured media coverage, and explored government funding opportunities. The brand’s focus on quality, affordability, and a modern twist to traditional meals continues to cater to the millennial and gen-z population. Plans include expanding to NCR, driven by calculated risks and a keen understanding of the market. The KMME program catalyzed growth, shaping Engr. Gaspay’s perspective and guiding Big Daddy’s Cup toward continued success.

A Vision for the Future: Big Daddy’s Cup envisions itself as a household name, catering to diverse palates and expanding its reach across the Philippines. The brand’s commitment to quality, affordability, and community welfare positions it as a beacon of success in the culinary landscape.

In the heart of Big Daddy’s Cup’s success story lies the resilience to transform challenges into opportunities, a dedication to social responsibility, and an unwavering commitment to offering innovative culinary experiences. From humble beginnings to a flourishing franchise, Big Daddy’s Cup continues to leave an indelible mark on the Filipino culinary scene. Engr. Gaspay’s journey reflects resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to community welfare. 

“The Mentor Me Program, in my perspective, proved to be incredibly valuable and transformative. It felt like undergoing a mini-MBA in just 11 weeks, providing profound insights into business strategies and equipping me with the knowledge necessary for the continued growth of my business.” – Engr. Gaspay