Business,  Interview

Filipino Ice Cream and Marketing |INTERVIEW|

How are you? 

I am great! We are very busy now with various new marketing projects for Red en Company and also busy with the expansion of Luneta Ice Cream Europe-wide.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Rhea Topacio, the Managing Partner of Luneta Ice Cream and the owner for Red en Company Marketing Services. I have been here in the Netherlands since 2010, settled here with my husband Dennis Rogacion and now we are happy parents of our daughter Rheaen. I am a long-time Marketing and business practitioner with background in IT, logistics and food industries. 

Please present us your businesses?

Luneta’s Super Premium Ice Cream offers the best quality of unique Asian and Exotic ice creams. The first Filipino ice cream brand made in Europe in 2015 by us, Rhea Topacio and Dennis Rogacion, it features delicious flavours of well-loved Filipino desserts in frozen goodness. These ice creams take you to a delectable journey to the tropics in every scoop. Luneta Ice Cream is available at selected retailers and restaurants in the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. We are looking forward to serving our delicious flavours to more countries worldwide. Luneta Ice Cream upholds the Filipino value of Bayanihan or “community spirit”. It supports Filipino organizations’ activities for sports, charity, and cultural festivals. Luneta Ice Cream also nurtures the Filipino entrepreneurship by collaborating with other business pioneers — creating unique experiences that are profitable and progressive.

Our 700cc (500g) ice creams are available at retail chains and outlets. Each tub is easy to hold and transparent, providing the customers with a truly enjoyable dessert treat in the comfort of their homes, anytime. 

We always find ways to bring our delicious ice cream closer to our customers. Luneta Ice Cream partners with restaurants, wholesalers and distributors so we could spread that “tropical feeling” to every part of the world. To date, our products sizes are from 700cc (500g) tubs, 2,5-liter (1,45 kg) and 5-liter (2,9kg) tubs.

Red en Company is a multi-cultural marketing company focusing on marketing to Filipinos in Europe. It has been managing brands and marketing in the Netherlands since 2013. The company is a collaboration of talented and creative individuals that provide support and management to brands. Services range from Brand management, advertising, events management, content management, webdesign, and marketing collaterals designs to name a few. To name a few, some of our clients are Luneta Ice Cream, LVM Cargo Forwarder, Ruth Galura (Singer), Charlie Curilan (Actor and Model), Bahay Kubo sa Brussels Restaurant, Baryo Pilipinas Restaurant in The Hague, Amor Kitchen, Taste of Zen in Drenthe, Roldertorenroute, Picknicktogo, Shortcourse, Human Ventures NL, This Delicious Side (Ces Kitchen) and Kalayaan Fiesta Foundation Netherlands.

How is it to run two companies that are completely different?

Running 2 companies is challenging. Luneta Ice Cream offers products while Red en Company provide services. But at certain points, they complement each other. Red en Company provides all marketing requirements of Luneta Ice Cream, and Luneta Ice Cream provides a venue for Red en Company to meet new people, promote itself and maintain the standards to keep its services updated in the marketing industry.

Why ice cream? 

We have had other food businesses in the past—Dea Chocolates and Taartini designer Cupcakes, but both cater to the entire market apart from Filipinos. During our quest to find our next business, we ended up planning to export the  table-top ice cream machines. Naturally, we must test the product before shipping it to the Philippines. And then we realized after making our first milk chocolate ice cream, that Filipino ice creams are not allowed to be imported here in Europe. From that moment, we started studying recipes for the best and first Filipino Ice Cream made in Europe. 

What is your biggest achievement?

Personally, my biggest achievement is my family. Professionally, it is Luneta Ice Cream.

What was one of your biggest struggles?

Balancing business and personal life daily are my 2 big struggles. It may not be the ultimate struggle, but it is a constant challenge to make sure that these two parts of my life are well taken cared of and would continuously grow.

What does the Filipino Community mean to you?

The Filipino community serves as a reminder to me that wherever I may be in the world, I am by heart a Filipino who loves to laugh, enjoys life, in love with food, resilient to challenges, and persistent with dreams. 

Since you sell Filipino products, is the Filipino community key to your success?

The Filipino community of course played a big role in introducing a Filipino product in Europe. They were my first supporters when we started. Their support drove the rest of the market to be interested to our ice creams. And for that, we are truly happy.

What do you miss most about the Philippines?

We definitely miss the weather and our families back home.

What are your future plans?

We aim to grow the Luneta Ice Cream brand globally and hopefully be able to reach the Philippine market in the near future.

Any advice you want to give to other entrepreneurs?

Integrity. Dignity. Perseverance. Aim high and just do what you love to do. 

A last thing you want to plug?

Get your Luneta Ice Cream in stores near you. Visit bit.ly/licstore for more information. Like our Facebook Page faceboook.com/lunetaicecream and follow us on IG Instagram/lunetaicecream to stay updated with news, events and promotions. For interested retailers, restaurants and distributors, you may contact us at mailto:info@lunetaiceream.com or visit www.lunetaicecream.com for more information.