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The French Baker Celebrates 25 successful years of French Baking in the Philippines

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Press Release

The French Baker, the original French bakery-cafe that first opened in SM City North Edsa 25 years ago; together with Insight Vacations, Rajah Travel Corporation and Etihad Airways, today launched “Visit Paris in Summer 2015”, a raffle promo where one lucky winner will get the chance to visit and experience Paris, France next year.

This much-anticipated promo marks French Baker’s 25 years of bringing European-style breads in the mass market, and the company’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to the customers who have embraced and supported the patisserie over the years.

“It was in 1985 when I travelled to Europe for the first time that I fell in love with PARIS and her baked goodies. Since then I’ve dreamt of doing the same so that I can impart a similar experience to our kababayans in the Philippines,” shared Johnlu G. Koa, professor turned entrepreneur, and now Founder and CEO of The French Baker.

“It is for this same reason that we wanted to give back to our loyal customers the same French experience not just through our products, but by giving one lucky winner a chance to see and feel for themselves the beauty and charm of Paris.”

French Baker launches Paris fly-off promo

Experience France

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“Visit Paris in Summer 2015” gives one lucky winner and three of his companions an all-expense paid 10-day trip to Paris through luxury escorted tours provider Insight Vacations, together with Rajah Travel Corporation, and Etihad Airways as the official airline.

Every P500 worth of dine-in and take-out single receipt from any The French Baker branch entitles the customer one raffle coupon.  The promo will run from November 5, 2014 until March 15, 2015. Grand Draw will be on March 20, 2015.

25 The French Baker gift certificates worth P5,000 each are also up for grabs.

The grand prize winner will get to spend at least three days in each of France’ key cities, including Paris, the old Roman City of Nimes; and finally in Monte Carlo.

 “People may ask why four tickets for one winner, and not four winners with one ticket each?” Koa furthers. “The reason is that we wanted the winner to see the charms of France and experience that magical feeling together with family and friends, and not just by themselves.”

“We are very excited for this promo,” said Sheryl Lim, Regional Director for Insight Vacations. “We see it as a perfect way for The French Baker to celebrate 25 years in the country, and for showing their gratitude to their loyal customers.”

Insight Vacations also launched its 2015 itinerary and magazine, which is available through Rajah Travel Corporation.

Bernie Arnaiz, Assistant Managing Director for Rajah Travel Corporation, together with Lim, shared with the night’s audience the kind of luxury the winner can expect with the launch of their Signature Events.

This marks signature experiences from handpicked Signature Hotels; specially-arranged Signature Evenings of Entertainment; and booked Signature Dining in authentic and local restaurants.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways will fly the winner in utmost class. “Our winner will experience luxury on air, with the first-class amenities and features of our planes,” said Jackie Lim-Gonzaga of Etihad Airways.

25 years of The French Baker

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Apart from the raffle promo, The French Baker also featured a spectacle of fashion, art, music, entertainment and food in the form of tableaus at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall:

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The Art tableau, which are decorated with paintings from France; the Fashion Tableau, with models dressed in Parisian Chic; the Wine and Cheese tableau, which offered exquisite wines and cheeses from different parts of Europe; and the Food tableau, which provided a delectable choice of entrees and desserts.

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TV host Issa Litton was the host of the momentous celebration, which was jam-packed with a crowd composed of public servants, dignitaries, members of the media, and Koa’s family and friends.

Koa with Etihad RTC and Insight Vacations
The French Baker launches “Visit Paris in Summer 2015” promo with Insight Vacations, Rajah Travel Corporation and Etihad Airways The French Baker Founder and Chief Executive Officer Johnlu G. Koa (2nd from the right) poses with raffle promo partners (from left to right) Insight Vacations Regional Director for Asia Sheryl Lim; Rajah Travel Corporation Assistant Managing Director Bernie Arnaiz; and Jackie Lim Gonzaga of Etihad Airways as they launch the “Visit Paris in Summer 2015” at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.

Among the most prominent names who graced the event were former senator Edgardo Angara, Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino, and Trade and Industry Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Dimagiba, to name a few.

Koa partner foundations 1
The French Baker with partner foundations The French Baker Founder and Chief Executive Officer Johnlu G. Koa (3rd from left) poses together with (from left to right) EJ Litton Foundation Founder Johnny Litton; GoNegosyo Programs Development Manager Jap Uminga; PGH Medical Foundation President Dr. Gregorio Alvior Jr.; and representatives from the SM Foundation Inc. as the company pays it forward to deserving organizations and in celebration of its 25th anniversary held at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.

Representatives from The French Baker’s partner foundations were also present during the event, also part of the company’s tradition of paying it forward to deserving organizations. These include PGH Medical Foundation, represented by its president Dr. Gregorio Alvior Jr.; GoNegosyo’s Jack Umaga; SM Foundation Inc., represented by  Executive Director Debbie Sy and SM Foundation Inc. Executive Director for Education Linda Atayde; and the EJ Litton Foundation, with its founder Johnny Litton.

Celebratory Toast The French Baker Founder and CEO Johnlu G. Koa (6th from the left) toast with friends and family as they launch the “Visit Paris in Summer 2015” at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4. The launch of the promo marks French Baker’s 25 years of bringing European-style breads to the Filipino market and is the company’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to the customers who have embraced and supported the patisserie over the years.
Celebratory Toast
The French Baker Founder and CEO Johnlu G. Koa (6th from the left) toast with friends and family as they launch the “Visit Paris in Summer 2015” at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4. The launch of the promo marks French Baker’s 25 years of bringing European-style breads to the Filipino market and is the company’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to the customers who have embraced and supported the patisserie over the years.

The night was also highlighted with Koa’s award for the Outstanding Category of the Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) held just the night before.  APEA is an awards ceremony organized by Enterprise Asia that honors entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region who have shown outstanding leadership and innovation when it comes to managing their businesses.

Johnlu G. Koa The French Baker Founder and Chief Executive Officer Johnlu G. Koa poses with his creations during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.
Johnlu G. Koa
The French Baker Founder and Chief Executive Officer Johnlu G. Koa poses with his creations during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.

Koa is one of the very first Filipino entrepreneur in the history of APEA to be given the coveted award.

Lighting up the night with dance remixes of popular French music was DJ Samir; while a live performance from Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano got the crowd thrilled, performing songs as he celebrated with The French Baker.

Gary Valenciano Award-winning Filipino singer and Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano serenaded the guests with his songs during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.
Gary Valenciano
Award-winning Filipino singer and Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano serenaded the guests with his songs during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.
DJ Samir DJ Samir plays a set of French pop dance remixes during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.
DJ Samir
DJ Samir plays a set of French pop dance remixes during the 25th anniversary celebration of The French Baker at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City on November 4.

Raffle prizes were also given away courtesy of San Miguel Great Food Solutions, Fonterra Brands, and Moulinex.

A ‘Selfie’ contest also went on during the event, wherein anyone can take a selfie with any of the four tableau backdrops in the area, and have it posted via Instagram or Facebook, with hashtags #frenchbaker25years and #thefrenchbakerph. Five winners chosen and won P500-worth of gift certificates each.

Opening its first branch at the SM City North Edsa in 1989, The French Baker began as a startup selling French-inspired breads and pastries such as baguettes, croissants, sourdough and tarts alongside local favorites like pan de sal and ensaymada, until it expanded into a casual dine-in that also offers soups, salads, pasta and pizza.

It prides itself as the first establishment to introduce European-style breads and pastries in the Philippine market, and the first to employ the nightly half-price sale to ensure the freshness of baked goods to be sold the next day.

Today, The French Baker has 52 branches all over the country, and has expanded to include The French Baker “Salon de The” edition.

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Cake by master cake maker and decorator Penk Ching

“This is a noteworthy milestone not only for me but for all of us. I thank you all for the support, especially those who have been patronizing our products since we opened 25 years ago. We have achieved so much, and I hope you keep on supporting us so we can do more in the future,” Koa said.

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