Mission and Vision
To bring "lumpia" and Filipino cuisine into the American consciousness and mainstream.
It all started in 2015. I just came back from my father's funeral, still very deeply emotional. A lot of memories started coming back to me in a much clearer way. Who my parents truly were to me, their influences in me, the many moments of shared knowledge about cooking with me, and the experiences of our Taste of Manila restaurant venture in 2004. The idea of redemption with a restaurant idea started popping up. It came with a name: Lumpia Mania.
I thought about opening a restaurant again. This time, I would be making the decisions. I felt like I was zero for one in restaurants. If I can make one succeed, at least I'd be batting a 0.500. So I wrote a lot of ideas one night, and I decided that "lumpia" that would bring Filipino cuisine to mainstream America. I also wrote down my ideas about the logo, which I will share in another story. Then I remember thinking about business models.
I remember how my parents used to take us to Panda Inn Restaurant in Glendale, CA back in the 80's. They also had one in Pasadena. Everyone raved about their Orange Chicken, though my favorite was their Panda Beef (If you're ever out in Pasadena, they are still there, on Foothill Blvd., and they still serve Panda Beef). But then they opened Panda Express. One after another after another, until there were hundreds. It all began with their simple menu, and their Orange Chicken. It was very awe-inspiring.
I hope to create a similar experience for America and for Filipino culture. With dishes I remember my parents making for me and my siblings, back in 1977, when I first migrated to America. We've taken the first step, with quite a few of these dishes established: Half-Dynamite Lumpias, Lumpia Burgers, Sinigang Soup, and others. Just like what Panda Express/Panda Inn did, except now in a filipino restaurant.
All these ideas, written down back in 2015. And now, to make it all happen. It's all very exciting.
If they can make sandwiches with bagels, we can make burgers with pandesal! Yes, we broke all the rules with this one and created a masterpiece. With our Original Lumpia Mania Mix as the patty, we created the Lumpia Burger. The invention of the Lumpia Burger occurred back in 2010, when Lumpia Mania founder Robert L. Calixto made Dynamite Lumpias for his kids. He ran out of lumpia wrappers and had leftover ground beef fillings. So he decided to make burger patties with them. He used toasted white bread as the buns with mayo spread, and served them to his kids. They absolutely loved them and Robert knew, he had something here. The next time he made them, he decided to try using Pandesal as the buns instead of toasted bread. Ever since, he and his kids have been calling it the Lumpia Burger. The rest, as they say, is history.
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