Local premium ice cream brand Carmen’s Best has opened its first international store in Stamford Road, Singapore. The store had its soft opening on Nov. 26., where discounts and limited-edition frozen ice cream were offered to celebrate the holidays and the opening of its first international branch.
The brand, which began as a kind of offshoot from a dairy farm in Bay, Laguna (co-owned by Carmen’s Best owner Paco Magsaysay’s father, Jun), is largely built on a commitment to sourcing fresh ingredients. “We don’t cut corners and scrimp with our inclusions, ingredients, and process,” says Magsaysay.
That’s something you hear from many businesses but not all of them can back up these claims with much-needed transparency and a definitive focus. In their dairy farm in Laguna where the product’s main ingredient is sourced, there’s a lot of focus on how the milk is processed. As the only company in the country that houses a fresh milk pasteurizing plant, Carmen’s Best attributes its quality to a specific practice: pasteurizing milk at 72.5 degrees Celsius.
Since establishing the company in 2009, it was about five years ago that Magsaysay started looking into bringing his products to an international market. According to him, Singapore was top-of-mind because of a variety of factors: the country’s climate, economy, food-centric culture, and ease of doing business. The company’s business partners in Singapore were also a major consideration.
“It’s our distributor in Singapore that put up the store. They have enough confidence in the quality of our product to compete directly with bigger premium foreign ice cream companies,” says Magsaysay.
So what can customers expect from Carmen’s Best Singapore? The store will carry the same flavors offered in Manila but it will also create its own sundaes and milkshakes. As for the store design, the Singapore branch took inspiration from the Carmen’s Best store in Power Plant Mall.
Magsaysay says that though there are plans to open more stores in Manila soon, it’s important that they choose their next locations carefully. “It’s hard as we don’t have a mass base product. We cater to a small segment of the market.”
“As for [further] international expansion, it will greatly depend on the success of our Singapore operations.”