Francisco “Paco” Magsaysay is one inspiring businessman with many stories to tell. He shied away from his father, former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr’s political path, became a single father, survived cancer, and became a successful entrepreneur.
It has been more than a decade since Magsaysay founded Carmen’s Best Ice Cream. It has grown into one of the most recognized local artisanal or premium ice cream brands in the Philippines.
Magsaysay looked back into his humble beginnings and shared that he did consider following the political dreams of his father. However, he soon realized politics wasn’t for him.
When his father and friends started a dairy farm in Bay, Laguna, in 2007, he helped distribute their fresh milk. Unfortunately, they learned that there was only a small market for fresh milk, and they would have to deal with an oversupply.
Instead of wasting their excess product, Magsaysay decided to diversify into several dairy products until he came up with a premium homemade ice cream. Thus, Carment’s Best was born.
Their homemade ice cream was named after Magsaysay’s unica hija, Carmen. From a small market of customers, Carmen grew into a big brand through social media and word-of-mouth.
Magsaysay’s success was not without any challenges. In 2013, he thought he didn’t have much to live when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was only given three years to live by his doctors in the US.
The single father decided to devote his remaining time to his three children. He also worked hard to grow Carmen’s Best. Finally, Magsaysay was able to survive cancer.
“I realized that if you live your life three years at a time, you’ll accomplish so much more. Don’t assume to live 20 or 30 years. If there’s something you want to do, if there’s a place you want to visit, if there’s something you want to accomplish, finish it within three years and you will get so much more done. Because we’re never guaranteed a long life,” he shared in a report from Carmen’s Best.
Being A Successful Entrepreneur
Amid his success, Magsaysay said he followed his father’s virtues of hard work, honesty, and integrity. Magsaysay said his biggest advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to understand the importance of taking risks.
“Oftentimes, many people don’t want to explore the unexpected. They don’t like eating different food, going to different countries, trying things that they don’t know. People sort of stay in their comfort zone. For me, the more uncomfortable you are, the more difficult [the situation] is, the greater the learning is,” he said.
There are many inspiring business stories that started with ice cream. One of those that became viral is when a Filipino started a sorbetes business in Belgium and it became a hit.