IRENE HERRERO: Cooking Up Success With Passion, Innovation, And Sustainability
In the heart of Manila, in a culinary industry teeming with contenders, one woman has risen to make a meaningful difference. Meet Irene Herrero, more popularly known as Chef Irene, the mastermind behind Jacob’s Gourmet Foods, an innovative food processing business offering healthier alternatives to traditional gourmet foods. Healthy living and a love for cooking have been ingrained in Chef Irene from a young age. Today, as the founder and visionary behind Jacob’s Gourmet Foods, she continues to honor these values, crafting premium, innovative, and healthier versions of traditional gourmet foods in a jar.
Under her stewardship, the company has firmly etched its name in the gourmet food industry since its founding in 2015. Chef Irene, a single mom and passionate entrepreneur, took her love for food and cooking and channeled it into creating a brand that not only encapsulates her family’s culinary passion but also resonates with the values of health, integrity, professionalism, reliability, sustainability, and customer service. Jacob’s Gourmet Foods has since set out to bring Filipino flavors to the world while advocating and supporting organic farming and local fishermen. Their goal? To reach one family, one country at a time, globally.
From humble beginnings, Jacob’s Gourmet Foods has grown exponentially. Starting with a modest offering of gourmet tuyo (dried herring) in glass jars, the company now boasts 27 product lines and has a market presence in 28 countries globally. This growth, however, wasn’t without challenges. Chef Irene recalls the adversity the pandemic brought, limiting movements and making resources scarce. Yet, thanks to the Continuity of Business processes in place across their operations and their unwavering commitment to customer service, they were able to sustain the business and continue delivering their products to their patrons’ tables.
Asked about what sets her brand apart from the rest, Chef Irene responds, “Food Innovation is our DNA. We exist to co-exist.” She believes that their innovative approach to food, which combines their culinary traditions with a commitment to health and sustainability, will help feed the world by 2050.
Much of Chef Irene’s drive and motivation comes from her deeply ingrained philosophy and faith. “Making a difference in someone else’s life is what keeps me motivated,“ she shares. “I have faith through the business; I would like to make an impact to create a healthier and happier planet.”
It’s a testament to Chef Irene’s spirit and determination that she has built a successful enterprise despite the odds. She encourages others, especially women, to pursue their ambitions and dreams. In her opinion, success requires faith in God and a burning passion that endures no matter what life throws your way.
Her message for women striving to succeed in life and business is profound, yet simple: “Believe in yourself and keep the strong faith that God is with you and will answer all your prayers in His perfect time as long as you believe. It only takes an ordinary person with extraordinary dreams to create an impact, shine the light of optimism, and make this world a better place to live in.”
Jacob’s Gourmet Foods’ commitment to quality, sustainability, and customer service is unwavering. With their 100% organic extra virgin olive oil and zero tolerance for artificial preservatives and MSGs, it’s clear that they have a deep understanding of the discerning palates of their customers and a commitment to serving them only the best and premium organic ingredients.
Behind the scenes, a team of dedicated professional chefs, nutritionists, and dietitians work together to maintain the high standards the brand is known for. They also collaborate with local organic farmers and fishermen, ensuring not just the quality of their products but also the welfare of the people and the planet.
In the heart of Chef Irene’s’s culinary empire is her youngest son, Jacob, the inspiration behind the company’s name. His resilience and determination to live, despite being born prematurely, resonate deeply with her, inspiring her to create a company that, like Jacob, is “strong and fighting.”
Jacob’s Gourmet Foods is a living testament to the power of a dream fueled by passion and perseverance. The journey has been anything but easy, yet every challenge faced has only served to strengthen the resolve and commitment of Chef Irene and her team to offer the world a healthier, tastier, and more sustainable choice of gourmet foods.
When asked about her life right now and what she’s most proud of, Chef Irene delivers a heartfelt response. She may not possess the conventional titles often associated with earth-shaping change – like a professional farmer, an established agricultural engineer, a world explorer, an award-winning archaeologist, or a renowned scientist. Yet, she strongly believes that any person, no matter their background, can harbor a dream and carry the determination and burning passion to realize it.
Today, Chef Irene passionately declares her greatest desire not to live forever but to create something that will outlive her. With the perpetual spirit that calls everyone to push boundaries and look at the long-term view, she firmly believes that we can bring monumental change, one step at a time, as long as we believe.
In the spirit of her favorite song, she asserts that “if your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.” Chef Irene lives as an embodiment of these words, proving that when you wish upon a star, as all dreamers do, your dreams can indeed come true. Her life is not just about business success; it’s about creating a legacy that will continue to inspire and make a difference in the world, long after she’s gone.
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Company Address: Pontiac St., Fairview Quezon City, 1118 PHILIPPINES
Contact Numbers: +63927-632-5737 / +63917-715-0074 / +63917-715-0017
Social Links and Online Stores:
Union Bank Linker Store: https://jacobsgourmetfoods.linker.store/
Shoppee: Jacob’s Gourmet Foods Shoppee Store