A simple craving for tocino and longganisa (Filipino cured pork meat) when she moved to the Netherlands in 2010 prompted Gladez Kok to revolutionize the importation of Asian food to Europe, particularly Filipino food. An idea sparked when she was looking for perfect taste of preserved Filipino meals that she was used to.
Her husband, Jack Kok, found tocino and longganisa very appetizing that it inspired him to recreate a new mixture. They conducted sample tasting among friends and family, which proved to be a success.
Due to the growing demand for their preserved products, the couple started the brand Sarap Pinoy NL, with affiliations engaged in importation and wholesale distribution of dry goods, fresh produce, fruits and frozen food based in Zwolle, the Netherlands. “Ka Wai” Jack Kok whose family is also involve in the trading and import of Asian products to the Netherlands, made the Filipino food importation more possible.
With a combined experience of more than three decades in restaurant management, food innovation, sales, customer service and logistics, the husband and wife tandem managed to capture the market all the way to the BENELUX and Germany areas.
Today, Sarap Pinoy NL has almost 300 variations of dry goods and frozen products in addition to their own line of preserved food. Their distribution extends up to France, Italy, Spain and the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) including Austria and even up to Finland.
“We want to provide Filipinos with the kind of food that they grew up with but find it difficult to buy here. Likewise, we hope that Europeans will be able to recognize quality Asian products most specially Filipino food.”
Gladez Kok’s marketing strategies and connections in the Philippines is key to the successful importation of fresh fruits from the Philippines like mango, saba (a kind of banana that grows only in the Philippines), as well as frozen seafood and vegetables. She puts high priority on quality control to ensure that they will only deliver the highest quality of products to the customers.
Jack Kok’s experience as a manager for a big logistic company in the Netherlands also plays a big role in transporting the products. Special handling, storage and temperature-controlled trucks are required to maintain the quality of fresh produce and transport their products to retail outlets across Europe.
By combining our goals, initiatives and experiences, Jack and I are able to turn our dream into a reality. There were many challenges along the way but despite these, we were able to fulfill our goal of promoting Asian, especially Filipino products, here in Europe,” says Gladez Kok.
Visit “>www.sarappinoynl.com for more information.