“Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty”
by: Thomas S
Ralph Castro Victorino, the founder of Infinitee Pares, lost his job when COVID-19 struck the world in early 2020. Having grown up in Blumentritt, Metro Manila helping his mother cook and sell the popular Filipino comfort food, “Pares”, in the streets, Ralph went back to doing what he was great at – cooking delicious food. He started by selling Lumpiang Shanghai – carried on his shoulders, walking around for more than 6 hours every day. Alas, the earnings were not enough to feed his family and pay their bills. With absolutely no money to start a business, he borrowed money from friends and began with simple, traditional Filipino food like ‘Mami’ and ‘Goto’ which immediately became popular in the area. In typical fashion, Mami and Goto eateries started sprouting like wild mushrooms around the vicinity.
The Super Sarap Pares Recipe
In April 2020, due to the saturation of eateries selling Mami and Goto, Ralph went back to the kitchen drawing board and started creating his own original pares recipe. Multiple tries and numerous taste tests with over a hundred people later, Ralph decided that he finally had a winning recipe.
Hang on, how did the “Pares” end up in kawali (frying pan)?
Thinking to serve his “Pares” as a hot and sizzling first-of-its-kind dish, Ralph and his wife Zenaida went shopping for sizzling plates at a local store. However, they were discouraged to discover that they could not afford them. It was then that Zenaida saw a kawali (frying pan) and sadly suggested to Ralph, “Daddy, ito na lang bilihin naten kase ito lang kaya ng pera natin eh (Daddy, let’s just buy this since this is the only thing that our money can afford).” As fortune would have it, this turned out to be the breakout idea for the struggling couple.
The Rise of Infinitee Pares sa Kawali
In May 2020, Ralph’s delicious tasting pares was served in his wife’s kawali – Now that is real PARES! The combination of a delicious recipe and an innovative presentation had customers flocking from all over and returning frequently. Customers even waited patiently in long lines for more than 2 hours to have the famous dish. Infinitee Pares started to grow rapidly with the whole family pouring their hearts and souls into the business every day. Ralph’s eldest son, Patrick, looked after marketing and helped his Dad in the kitchen. Youngest son Timothy kept the dishes and cutlery sparkling clean. Daughter Kristin served the food while Zenaida manned the cash register. Infinitee Pares had become a successful story-book family business.
The restaurant’s fame continued to grow because of the family’s hard work and dedication. It went viral and was featured in GMA 7’s Pera Paraan, a popular television show that featured budding businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs. With the help of Ralph’s close friend and initial investor, the business was officially incorporated on October 26, 2022, at the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the name of Infinitee Foods Corporation.
The legacy and wonderful success story of Infinitee Pares continues to unfold and their “Pares” in a kawali continues to serve as an example of perseverance and innovation for other hopeful restaurateurs to follow.
Our legacy has just begun…