Have you ever eaten a burger made from pekin duck?
“That’s one of the specialties we can offer in this restaurant,” remarked Marietta Lorenzo, the busy mother hen in the family-owned EDL Café, which her twin daughters set up inside their farm in San Mateo, Rizal.
She takes pride in offering a quarter-pounder duck burger because they have been raising pekin ducks in their farm.
“Aba talagang labor of love ‘yan,” says Marietta, as she talked on how her husband, Dr. Eulalio “Ayong” Lorenzo painstakingly raised pekin ducks despite its limited market, which oftentimes has been dominated by smuggled ducks.
30 minutes away from Quezon City!
Doc Ayong is known to his colleagues as being a risk-taker in agriculture, even if his company has emerged as one of the leaders in the agro-vet industry, excelling in affordable products ranging from animal vitamins to biotech vaccines.
Marietta says that she didn’t really want to discourage her husband, who has been gung-ho in raising pekin ducks, simply because the Philippines remains a bird flu virus-free country, unlike its other major sources like Hong Kong and mainland China.
Actually, Doc Ayong earlier helped set up a small “lugawan” joint in Marikina named “Goto Duck”, which serves his farm’s produce.
It was also Marietta who later inspired her twin daughters Catherine and Katrina, to try to make a difference by venturing in the organic food business, now that they are converting the family villa into an events and convention center.
“I told them that if they really want to compete in the service industry, they should also produce their own vegetables and even meat sources in our own farm,” she says.
After showing him their plans, Doc Ayong gave his daughters the go signal to start developing a portion of their nearly five-hectare estate into a commercial complex, and even offered to help finance a two-story pavilion, which, when completed could accommodate 250 to 400 people.
“We want to cater to the A and B market,” says Catherine, a Psychology graduate who later studied culinary arts in Singapore.
Catherine, who handles the operations, explains that this is because the materials and the designs are comparable to other high-end business centers.
Katrina, who completed her MBA in Ateneo, meanwhile, will be handling the financial aspects of their new business.
But the twins say they also plan to expand their business to a resort hotel and recreation area where all people from walks of life can visit. Eventually, they say they hope to convert the Lorenzo farm into an agro-ecotourism center.
“We believe that in this business we should have that social responsibility,” they say.
Doc Ayong, for his part, admits he was impressed with his daughters’ endeavors. “It’s really good to know that they are not just after profit but to ensure the sustainability of the place while protecting the environment” he says.
Apart from his fighting cocks and peking ducks, Doc Ayong has already developed a portion of his place for a crocodile farm.
He says that also plan to set up a bee and butterfly farm, along with a mini-zoo and an aviary with a collection of exotic birds from all over the region.
”Okay, we have a fast-developing town, but where are the visitors? This place can provide the missing link,” he says.