I waited six weeks for my first taste of Pan de Tisay’s chicken pie. It did not disappoint. I polished off two pieces in one sitting and before I could finish my box of five, I had placed another order. Since September 2020, it has been a staple on my menu.
It’s flaky on the outside but not too much so it doesn’t fall apart when you bite into it or cut through it with a fork. The minced filling is held securely by a soft, pillowy layer. It’s very tasty with a bit of creaminess. It’s not too rich in any way so no umay factor. “Gusto ko gawing parang Chicken a la King ang lasa,” explains Jaypee, one of the two Victoriano sisters behind the home business. Every bite is a delight. “Dahil durog yung laman, naka-mix na talaga yung ingredients so nase-spread out. Unlike kung chunks, parang may parts na all chicken lang or all of another ingredient lang plus nahuhulog,” she points out. I love that it’s all well-thought-out, even the packaging. “Eksaktong-eksakto ‘yun, hindi aalog pag sinakay sa motor. Inaral namin kung paano ipe-pwesto na hindi madudurog, nag-strategic eklat kami.”
Pan de Tisay was born during the pandemic. Like every other household during the lockdown, the Victorianos fought boredom by getting busy in the kitchen. “Lahat kami in the family, mahilig magluto tapos mahilig din kami mamigay, mag-patikim. Hindi kami marunong magluto ng good for two, lagi kaming bandehado,” she laughs.
One day, their mother requested for chicken pie. So Jaypee and her sister Anes shopped for ingredients and Anes immediately got to work. As always, the final product was shared within their social circle. “Dahil pandemic, lahat picture and post, so nag-post si mommy. Biglang may nag-message kung puede bang um-order.” They never really considered selling but the story about the inquiry reached one of their close family friends and this family friend generously gifted them with startup funding. “Eh nandiyan na yung puhunan, hindi mo puede isauli kasi nakakahiya,” shrugs Jaypee. “Kung walang mangyayari, mas nakakahiya,” injects Anes.
This close family friend was none other than the Queen of Philippine Movies, the late Susan Roces. She was among the stable of talents managed by Dolor Guevarra, the mother of Jaypee and Anes. Over the years, their tita Susan has always been among the recipients of creations from their kitchen. “Pag sinabi kong masarap, ibig sabihin masarap,” their tita Susan insisted, convincing them that their chicken pie is worth selling.
“Wala kaming idea sa costing, as in wala, kaya yung presyo ay super baba kasi hindi namin alam papaano. Hindi namin naisip na pati pala yung kuryente kasama sa costing, yung gasolina mo pag bibili ka, yung sa celphone. Pero dahil na-e-enjoy naman namin, sige na. Hindi naman kami talaga super negosyante and ayaw din naming gawing mahal kasi pandemic,” relates Jaypee. At P300 per box, their chicken pie is definitely a steal. “May nagturo sa amin, sabi niya ‘di bale nang maliit ang kita basta tuluy-tuloy, ang importante balik sila nang balik.”
Anes makes each and every piece of chicken pie herself. She is the Tisay in Pan de Tisay. “Kasi maputi siya,” quips Jaypee. Anes always prepares the pies fresh on the day of delivery. A night owl, she had to adjust her routine and wake up several hours earlier since they started the business. Their calendar now revolves around the production schedule. “Kung may doctor’s appointment, hindi kami tatanggap ng order or yung doctor’s appointment dapat hapon, yung pagkatapos ma-dispatch na lahat,” says Jaypee.
Dealing with customers is Jaypee’s turf and she does a heck of a job. Best service in my book! She remembers my preferences (I have a special request for the packaging) and my details. Every time I order, I just provide the quantity and date of pick up, no need for anything else. I found out that she enters all customer information in a spreadsheet. Good job!
She’s very warm when she replies and she really engages in conversation. A few of our exchanges have ended up in laughter. Nag-order lang ako ng chicken pie or nag-inquire/comment about something, natawa pa ako! These little things can make someone’s day. It can also make them want to support your business more.
“Napaka-machika ko kaya ako ang perfect na taga-sagot.” Sometimes she ends up talking to customers for 30 minutes or more. “Eh kasi minsan kine-kwento pa nila kung saan nila ipapadala yung chicken pie or minsan medyo matagal silang hindi naka-order so ike-kwento nila kung bakit,” she reveals. “Sanay kasi kami na friends yung pinapadalhan namin ng food so kung paano kami mag-interact sa friends, ganun din ako sa customers.” As someone who frequently orders food online, Jaypee knows how it feels to be on the other side. “As much as possible, iniiwasan ko kung ano yung ayoko. Ayoko ma-feel ng customer yung parang naka-abala,” she states. During Christmas season or whenever someone requests, they tie a ribbon and attach a card to the box of chicken pie at no added cost.
Jaypee is also the one in charge of making cheese pimiento spread, the other item on their menu. It’s something she’s been making and giving away to friends since 2009. Her tried and tested recipe is also much appreciated by their clientele, which continues to grow. More often than not, when somebody buys from them to give away as gifts, the gift recipient ends up getting in touch and purchasing more.
Thank goodness the waiting time for orders has improved. “Kailangan gumising pa nang mas maaga,” Anes says with a chuckle. A couple of months into operations, she figured out the technique for big volume production and has since been working more efficiently. Plus they increased their baking days from three to five.
Pan de Tisay marked the third anniversary of its first sale a few days ago. “Nae-enjoy namin siya and yung gratitude nung customer,” Jaypee says of their humble enterprise. We’re in this dahil na-a-appreciate namin yung umo-order ulit. Aaaaawww, naalala nila tayo, may ganun kaming feeling. Nakaka-happy pag sinabi ng mga tao na ang sarap, gustung-gusto ng anak ko, ng daddy ko, ng mommy ko. Or yung may sakit, may mga customer kami na pag may cheat day sila, yung chicken pie namin ang kinakain. Kinikilig kami! Kasi feeling namin pag friends ang nagsasabi na masarap china-charot lang kami kasi friends. Pero dahil ibang tao ang nagsasabi, mas naniniwala na kami,” Jaypee concludes.
All images are from Pan de Tisay