Larry Borro is the Souperintendent of Ted’s Old Timer Lapaz Batchoy.
Take a healthy serving of perseverance. Add a heaping 1 spoonful of llonggo pride, and mix in a lasting commitment to the preservation of a legacy. Stew until boiling and serve while hot.
The above recipe may not be what comes to mind when savoring the hearty feast that is a bowl of batchoy, but it certainly fits the colorful history of one of Iloilo’s most iconic brands: Ted’s OldTimer.
It has been a good 65 years since Teodorico “Ted” Lepura first sold the celebrated golden broth at the Lapaz Public Market, with a meager P10 in his pocket and a modest food stall to his name. Yet the efforts of his daughter Adelfa and her husband Larry Borro have ensured that his name and his heritage have not only survived but continue to be relevant to the changing times.
“We pick our innovations wisely”, Larry Borro about says with a chuckle. “Survival isn’t just about speed. It’s about maintaining the standard of quality and service that our customers have come to associate with Ted’s. And that means hard work, hard work, and more hard work.
The Borros’ philosophy of careful consideration is evident in their story. It was not till the ’60s they introduced “choose your own noodles,” which gave customers the option of miswa, sotanghon, bihon, or the usual miki. It was only in 1984 that they opened their first branch outside Lapaz. Twenty branches later, Ted’s began franchising. “You can’t rush a business decision, just as you can’t rush making a bowl of batchoy,” Larry notes. “It pays to be patient. And in the end, your perseverance will be rewarded.”
And rewarded they have been. Added to Ted’s already numerous accolades and a guestbook that reads like a who’s who of celebrity patrons is a trophy for 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, awarded by global professional service firm Ernst & Young.
“We still have a great many plans,” says Larry. And as Ted’s continues its steady pace towards innovation by sharing the unique Ilonggo invention with the world, we wait in anticipation, And we are not alone. For as evinced by the thousands of followers on the business’ web, Facebook, and Twitter pages, the batchoy of the past may indeed be the business of the future.
Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)
- Ted’s Oldtimer Lapaz Batchoy: Flavor in Every Spoon of Its Soup
- Where to Eat Batchoy in Iloilo?
- The Ultimate List of Restaurants in Iloilo