"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." (Psalm 127:1).
This is one of my mom's favorite verses. As a family we can truly say that the Lord
built our business from a small hobby my mom has had since 1968 to the family corporation
When we were young, mom
would often make use of what people would throw away: a scrap cloth from the clothes she
sewed for us would become a Santa with a sack full of goodies, for example.
We had our first shop along
Tomas Morato. It was named KORBEN after my parent's names, Corit and Benny. We
used to joke among ourselves: why not have one named PAPEMELROTI after OUR names?
PAtsy, PEggy, MELdy, RObert and TIna!
In 1976, we opened the
first PAPEMELROTI at the galleria level of Ali Mall. It was summer and we did the
selling as well as made some of the stuff to sell. Tina was only 7 then and
customers stared at her aghast as she wrapped their purchase. One of them found this
so unusual that she wrote about our family for a weekly mag. Ever since, we've never
had to advertise - God is our PR manager!
He is definitely a working
partner in our business. He guides us in our decisions, big or small. When we
decide to open a new branch, we pray first. It was a difficult decision to open in
SM City North EDSA because of the uncertain economic and political situation at the time,
but we clearly had a go signal from Him. We've not regretted our decision to obey
Once, we were invited to
get a space at the Harrison Plaza. This was the only time the Lord indicated it was
not His will that we expand. We found out why a few months later when a fire broke
out at that shopping mall and gutted a major portion of the building!
Today we have 8 stores in
shopping malls around Manila and are planning to open 2 more in Cebu. We now have a
factory in Bulacan, and our workers there are provided with housing. Because we know
that this is the Lord's business and He is the one who prospers the work of our hands, we
really try to pay the riight amount of taxes. Through all the political and economic
ups and downs, it is the Lord's special blessing that our sales increase by about 30% each
It is also amazing to us
that we have, through no planning of our own, become one of the frontrunners in
environment retailing. We use kraft paper to make gift wrappers and stationery.
This used to be regarded only as fit for wrapping pan de sal (a kind of bread).
We now export our products to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and
In response to God's
faithfulness and to thank our customers for their encouragement through the years, we
decided to come up with a quarterly mini-journal. Each had a different theme, but
basically we wanted to share our love of God, family, and country. It is wonderful
that in our business we are only able to provide for ourselves and others, but that we
enjoy it so much because we share in a little way, God's joy in making beautiful things
for man to appreciate and treasure. We recognize that without the Lord's blessing
and guidance, our talents and skills could easily have been wasted, but once we put them
in His hands, these loaves and fishes have been multiplied a hundredfold.
Please sign our
we'd love to hear from you!
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