It was simply to cater to the demands/requests of the customers from The Kitchen Bookstore.
Running The Kitchen Bookstore, we try our best to fulfill the many different requests of our customers; Some want the books that they ordered delivered at a certain time or date, some ask us to put a message for the recipient if it was ever a gift, and some customers ask us to look for books that aren’t on our website. Now although we have a special-order tab on our website, the books that the tab was intended for were books on anything that talks about food and/or beverages. Whether it’s a cookbook, a food stories book or a food history book, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s a book on food.
Our customers, however, send us special orders for books that don’t even remotely talk about food. Some involve art, others involve architecture. Some are children’s books, and some are on history. What they all have in common though, is that they are books that talk about or are made in the Philippines.
Back then, months after we started The Kitchen Bookstore, we’ve figured out that books about the Philippines or are from the Philippines will be able to sell well to the international market, based on the quantity and titles that are being “special-ordered” on our website. My business partner Rajiv also knew that a big number of Filipiniana titles are very hard to find and/or are unknown to the world because the publishers have a hard time getting their books on the shelves of the bigger, more popular bookstores in the country.
This made Rajiv want to look for as many Filipiniana cookery titles as he can get. Not only would we be able to show the titles (on food) made from our home country in one website, we would also be able to serve orders for them from almost anywhere in the world. Although we don’t have ALL the Filipiniana cookery titles from the Philippines today, we have not stopped looking for titles we believe are worthy of being shown to the world.
But, why stop there?
Why should we confine ourselves to everything about food? Why don’t we cater to these customers who have tried to order so many different Filipiniana titles from us? That’s when it happened.
After several days and hours of meditating, we decided we want to do it. However, Kitchen already had its own identity, its own set of goals and its own everything. We couldn’t just modify it from having only books about cookery to having everything we wanted to sell.
We had to open another bookstore.
A bookstore that will specialize in everything Filipiniana. A bookstore that can show the world that the Philippines has books worthy of being inside a home outside of the country. The goal grew from making just the good, hard to find Filipiniana cookery titles available to (practically) everyone, to having ALL the good Filipiniana titles of ALL the different categories available worldwide.
Whatever we did for Kitchen, it worked out well. It’s now just a matter of mirroring what we did for Kitchen in terms of its system/operations, for Anáhaw to be as smooth as its older brother.
In terms of customers however, this will be a totally different story. We will be catering to a different set of minds. A different perspective from our clients’ point of view. We would be driving along a path we’ve never gone before. Each step we take from today onward will teach us something new. We don’t know how the world will react to a new bookstore like our Anáhaw, but we sure can’t wait to find out.
About Jose Miguel A. Angeles
Jose Miguel A. Angeles is a bookseller by accident. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management from the De La Salle University, Manila in 2015. Miguel believed that his destiny was in running his own business; and it is with his best friend Rajiv Daswani that he saw this opportunity. Soon after he graduated, Miguel and Rajiv set up The Kitchen Bookstore, Inc. In barely two years in operations, they saw the potential for expanding their online empire. In October 2017, The Crown Book Group, Inc. was born. Miguel is the President of The Crown Book Group, Inc. which now owns and manages both The Kitchen Bookstore & Anáhaw Books.