TBP Podcast 49: From Running a Small Carenderia to Managing a Successful Homegrown Multi-Brand Business with Chef Raki Urbina of the Laguna Group

Café Laguna, Laguna Group’s flagship restaurant, started as a 10-table carenderia known as Mother’s Best. It opened in 1979 and was situated in the then apartment Mrs. Julita Urbina was renting. In 1991, they renovated the apartment space, expanded the venue, and re-branded the restaurant Café Laguna. And the rest they say is history.
Today’s guest is Chef Raki Urbina, Laguna Group’s corporate chef and managing director. Among other things, he talked about their humble beginnings and how they evolved into one of the country’s most successful brands, their business mindset and values, and what their future plans are for the Laguna Group.
If you are starting your own business and can use some much-needed inspiration, you can’t afford to miss today’s episode!

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Show Nuggets:

  • Who Raki is
  • How their business started
  • What motivated his mom
  • The dream of making the business flourish
  • How the family’s mindset changed
  • What kept Raki from joining the family business at first
  • His overseas education
  • The differences between the old and new Laguna Cafe
  • On passing the family business to the next generation
  • What a family constitution is
  • Their company values
  • What his typical day is like
  • The maturity of their business
  • How Lemon Grass and Ulli’s came about
  • The future of the Laguna Group
  • Learnings of the hosts
  • His morning routine
  • Who or what inspires him
  • On whether or not he considers himself successful
  • Three or five things he would like to have if he has to start all over again
  • Best advice given to him
  • Worst advice given to him
  • Things the new generation are not doing that are important for their growth
  • His advice for people who don’t like their jobs or those who are employed in other countries and would like to go home


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