Mention The Lost Bread to any foodie and they will immediately tell you that their milkshakes are the best. What was originally a stall in the Maginhawa StrEAT Park now, under the watchful eyes and creative wits of business partners and real-life couple, Emil Ongchuan and Patty Marabut has 4 branches, with their latest located in SM Megamall.
A remarkable revolution to its antecedent in UP’s Teacher Village; the store is tucked in a cozy corner at the mall’s Fashion Hall, featuring bright interiors with cheerful pops of teal, wall art by Kay Aranzanso, Machucca tiles, and their trademark IG-worthy dishes that don’t only look good, but also taste good.
The journey to what The Lost Bread has become: four well-visited branches, a spot in a major mall, undeniable social media presence, and becoming a household name for over-the-top milkshakes has not always been sweet. But it all boils down to courage. They jumped the gun the moment they saw the opportunity. And the rest, as they say, is history–which you could scroll through their instagram (@thelostbread_).
Not Just Beginner’s Luck
Emil and Patty have always wanted to start their own food business, given that both are food lovers with a penchant for trying out new culinary fads. “I’m more into sweets because I love to bake, and he’s more into coffee,” shares Patty.
Patty was fresh out of college, and Emil was in the corporate field for a light bulb company. All they knew about running a store serving delectable confections is how much they love eating them. By a stroke of serendipity, they chanced upon an empty stall in Maginhawa Street, and decided to take a leap of faith by opening up their own food stall.
Like every other entrepreneur before them, they had their fair share of challenges with the birth of The Lost Bread. Staffing problems, financial struggles, operational glitches, and proving to their parents that setting up their own business was really what they wanted.
Both have strived to shoot down each one of those challenges — even if it cost them their own resources and pushed them to do additional work. They would bring materials to set up in Megamall using their own cars (“Maybe one day we’ll have our own truck,” muses Patty), try to accommodate the seemingly never-ending orders for soft serve (“I had to tell customers that there was a 2-hour waiting time,” says Emil), and deal with costly mistakes.
Emil and Patty believe that all of those hurdles were — and still are — part of establishing The Lost Bread, and living their dreams. As they say, experience is our best teacher; and The Lost Bread’s trajectory speaks for what the duo has gone through for their rising venture.
Crafting An Experience
When The Lost Bread began serving customers in 2015, the store’s main stars weren’t supposed to be their signature milkshakes.
“We really wanted to push French toast since whenever we would eat out, we’d always try every French toast we could find,” Emil relates. He adds that even until now, there is no other food business in the Philippines that “specializes” in French toast. Later on though, as the restaurant gained traction, The Lost Bread’s French toasts took the back seat to their infamous milkshakes.
As the conversation progressed, Emil emphasized that The Lost Bread aims to give a fun and unique experience to its patrons. Needless to say, they have accomplished to do so.
The Lost Bread let its diners enjoy and exercise their creativity. Their signature French toasts come with different “syrup syringes,” which one could use to add flavor to their toast. Their wide array of delectable–bordering insane–milkshakes with its out-of-the-box flavors, and far more outrageous toppings (like cotton candy fluffs, marshmallow swirls, and pop corn) are customer favorites and double tap magnets on social media. Even the internationally viewed micro blog, The Insider has featured The Lost Bread for its deliciously crazy take on milkshakes and desserts.
Aside from its headline sweet treats The Lost Bread also offers starters and main dishes that do not fall short of fun and creative: from its velvety Fried Mashed Potato Balls, to its tangy and zesty Sriracha Fried Chicken Bowl, and even the hefty Teriyaki Fish burger.
The Lost Bread has always been consistent in not only giving its customers great food, but also the place to enjoy their orders in. Since opening in Maginhawa Street in 2015, to what has become its flagship store in UP Teachers Village, and even its latest branch in SM Mega Mall Fashion Hall, the restaurant continuously puts a premium on its location and facade. Adding to the experience that their food already offers.
What’s In Store For The Lost Bread?
Right now, the couple is focused on getting their Megamall branch up and running smoothly, which held its soft opening last March 9. But they’re not slowing down on their expansion plans any time soon.
“We’re looking at expanding at malls but smaller than this. Probably like a pop-up store,” says Patty.
Currently, The Lost Bread can be found in Maginhawa’s StrEAT Park (which is seeing new light with its renovations); The Yard in Kapitolyo, Pasig; SM Megamall; and a full-service restaurant that serves as their headquarters in 80 Maginhawa St. As for their future branches, Emil says they’re thinking of Cebu, and probably further south of Metro Manila, like Alabang. “Maybe SM again,” he says, since they’re already familiar with their brand.
Photos by Noel Salazar, and The Lost Bread’s Instagram (@thelostbread_)
Photographed on location at The Lost Bread, 4th Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
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