A Filipino street food vendor in New York earns more than P800,000 per month. Robin John Calalo, the owner of the stall, sells isaw, betamax, adidas, and other street foods to both Filipinos and foreigners.
In New York, Robin is known as the “Boy Isaw,” as his stall is frequented by customers eager to try Pinoy street foods. What began as a side hustle is now worth over P200,000 per week or P800,000 per month. In an interview with GMA, Robin revealed that he began his business with a capital of $50, or P2,500. He came up with the business idea while craving Filipino street food at the market.
“I decided to buy from market with $50 then I cooked. I prepared a lot then I sold it. The first one who bought from me are friends and family,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Robin sells his Pinoy street food favorites at food fairs and online. For his customers who prefer to grill at home, he prepares ready-to-grill street food on sticks.
According to his Instagram post, Robin sells adidas, betamax, isaw, hotdog, chicken, and other items for $3.50 or P175 per stick. He also sells a cup of rice for $2, or P100, to round out the Filipino experience. He’s running a special for three sticks and drinks for $14 (P700). His chicharon bulaklak, according to his posts, is also a best-seller.
Robin agrees that his success is the result of hard work and perseverance. According to him, “Ihaw-Ihaw sa New York! Sabi nga ni Kuya Kim, pagdating sa negosyo mapa-Pilipinas man o ibang bansa, HARDWORK is the KEY!”
Robin, in addition to being a street food vendor, is also a fitness instructor in the United States.
This isn’t the first time Filipino cuisine has risen to prominence in New York. In June, dirty ice cream or sorbetes were sold to commemorate the Philippines’ Independence Day.
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