“(My) first bakeshop opened on January 6, 1981, a day for gift-giving. I asked God to give me this, to make it work, to make it succeed. I asked God for only one but He gave me more than I ever dreamed of…”
– Tita Julie, on the occasion of the 2011 JFC NatCon
The Julie’s touch: How Julie’s became the country’s largest bakeshop chain
growing need for bread products…a strong faith in God…and a name started the first Julie’s Bakeshop on January 6, 1981, little knowing that more than personality the name would sum up everything Julie’s Bakeshop will become – the country’s largest bakeshop chain!
A canteen concessionaire in the 1970’s, Mrs. Julia Gandionco was running three canteens when she ventured into the bakeshop business. From this innovative response to the ever-increasing need for bread in Ma’am Julie’s canteen operations, the country’s largest bakeshop chain was born, Julie’s Bakeshop!
Admittedly not even a baking enthusiast, Ma’am Julie took effort to learn hands-on all she needed to know about the baking industry and laid down her business concept: Fresh, steaming hot bread baked in full view of the customers and served with courteous greetings and warm smiles became the benchmark of Julie’s Bakeshop’s phenomenal success. The second Julie’s Bakeshop opened just six months after the flagship store; and ten Julie’s Bakeshops operated all over Cebu City three years later. This rapid initial expansion prompted Julie’s Bakeshop to create a logistics arm and central warehouse – RJ Commodities.
The first Julie’s Bakeshop outside Cebu debuted in 1988 in Iloilo City, and bore the brainchild for Julie’s Bakeshop’s nationwide expansion: Franchising. The first full franchise Julie’s Bakeshop opened in 1998 in Mambajao, Camiguin. Franchising the business was key to Julie’s Bakeshop’s market leadership with its franchise model continuously recognized with awards of excellence starting just a year after. Julie’s Bakeshop organized Julie’s Franchise Corporation in 1998 to provide Franchise Management Support. With 210 branches nationwide by 1999, Julie’s Bakeshop was now the country’s largest bakeshop chain!
Logistics improvement, with the opening of warehouses in Luzon in 2001 and in Mindanao in 2002, further boosted market position of the Julie’s Bakeshop franchise model and aggressive marketing communications strategies sustained this expansion momentum. “Orchestra,” Julie’s Bakeshop’s first national television commercial, aired in 2004. “Slice of Life,” inspired by the work of Larry Alcala with the sound track “Nariyan Ka Lang sa Tabi” by Noel Cabangon followed in 2006, and “Sarap” aired in 2011. These campaigns augmented and fully established Julie’s Bakeshop’s presence now with more than 500 branches nationwide.
“I asked God for only one….,” is always Ma’am Julie’s grateful acknowledgment of the business that became her whole family’s venture at corporate success. It was the support of her husband, Mr. Diegs Gandionco, and the insistence of her eldest son, Bobby, that convinced Ma’am Julie to name her bakeshop after herself. In the daily management tasks that followed, Ma’am Julie had a personal assistant in her youngest son, Opep. Soon after, with the fast increasing number of stores and employees, all the Gandionco siblings joined Julie’s Bakeshop and helped the business grow even more.
Today, Julie’s Bakeshop has a continually growing corporate family of numerous employees along with some 140 Franchisees who operate about 99% of all Julie’s Bakeshop branches. Continuing to thrive with strategic innovations, Julie’s Bakeshop went through an image makeover to match its business success. The company logo, now without borders, allows the bold upward strokes of its fonts to suggest a swift boundless flight into a myriad of opportunities and complements a new store design sporting a fresh vibrant look. Aiming to satisfy the higher expectations of the modern customers who know what they want in the breads that they buy, product development keeps pace with improved classic favorites and new bread offerings.
A real example of success through hard work and shared commitment, Julie's Bakeshop keeps serving distinctively delicious, freshly-baked, high quality breads in the only way it knows how – with love and care! Indeed, at 30 years and onwards, Julie's Bakeshop maintains leadership in the bakeshop industry as the country’s largest bakeshop chain. Ibahin mo ang Julie’s Bakeshop!