|SERG'S CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS, 1957|
In the 1950s, the most well-known name in local chocolate products was SERG’S. It was founded by the Goquiolay Family in 1954, with Antonio F. Goquiolay at the helm as president and general manager. Under him were Cochita Goquiolay as treasurer, and the chief chemist and product manager, Flaviano Yenko, Sr. The company was named after Antonio’s son, Sergio Goquiolay—hence SERG’S.
By 1956, SERG’S was a fully mechanized food enterprise, churning out chocolate products like breakfast chocolate powder, flavored chocolate, candies, cocoa drinks and chocolate snacks that were comparable to the world’s best.
|SERG'S AND SUPPLY. Ditribution of Serg's products were handled by Willy's Commercial,|
managed by Mr. Chua Tiong Chuan.
SERG’S was capitalized at one million pesos by 1956, and its air-conditioned factory boasts of the finest chocolate machinery and equipment from Europe and the U.S/ At its prime, it had the largest cracler-fanner equipment, that cracked and fanned coca beans.
Its leading branded products included SERG’S Breakfast Cocoa, Choc-o-Malt, Milk Chocolate Bars, Choc-lettes, Chocolate Bars with Orange Flavor, and a host of other chocolate lines.
|SERG'S COCOA POWDER AD, 1956|
SERG’S was a thriving business all throughout the 1960s but the Goquiolay family migrated to the U.S. at the height of Martial Law. When Marcos was ousted and the Aquino administration took over, SERG’S was taken over by the government as part of the Asset Privatization program.
Some 2 decades later, Sergio Goquiolay, who had been a marketing professor in the U.S., came back to the Philippines and attempted to re-start the SERG’S business. For awhile SERG’S chocolate products were seen again on supermarket and grocery shelves.
But the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 dashed all hopes of a permanent comeback. With the peso devaluation, SERG’S came under great debts and was plagued with labor problems despite promising sales. SERG’S filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and Sergio Goquiolay passed away that same year.