POCO DELI: Surviving the Pandemic

Poco Deli is one of the best neighborhood delis in Manila. Now also in Coron, it continues to survive this pandemic despite a lot of restaurants closing down in Brgy. Kapitolyo, BGC and the Coron neighborhood.

Listen to our Awesome! LIVE discussion with Sonny de Leon on their ongoing Covid-19 survival story: 🔴 POCO DELI: Restaurant Learnings from the Pandemic (Brgy Kapitolyo • BGC • Coron)

We love to support our local homegrown restaurants for them to thrive in 2021 and beyond. We revisited their BGC deli shop to enjoy their sausages, bacon slab and Spanish specialties over a glass of wine.

Related features:
• Poco Deli, the Blossoming of the Little Neighborhood Deli (March 2012)
• POCO DELI Now Open in the Makati Neighborhood 🙂 (January 2013)
• POCO DELI: The Best Artisan Sausages and Smoked Bacon Slab in Manila! #UTT2015Winner (November 2015)

First Things First

Poco Deli Story

In 2008, Sonny and Joy started Poco Deli as a little, family-run, neighborhood delicatessen, serving the Kapitolyo and Ortigas areas. Sonny was Anton’s officemate in P&G, and Joy just graduated from culinary school. A delicatessen is primarily a shop selling European specialty meats, cheese, spices and other ingredients. This is Sonny and Joy’s Poco Deli story:

In our case, we are a family of carnivores, we made our sausages and bacon from scratch. We would start the process by choosing prime slabs of meat that are sliced, seasoned and cured, smoked in our wood-fired ovens. We were selling purely retail from a glass chiller; the restaurant part started as an extra service to our customers who wanted to buy and eat in the shop.

Over the last 12 years, our 2 older children joined the business, working on the branding and marketing side, while our youngest son was tasked to taste new items before launch. The restaurant side of the business grew. We opened Poco Deli in Makati, BGC and Coron Palawan. With the Covid lockdown in March, we had to shut down all stores.

Re-opening during Covid, going back to our roots

Since the Poco Deli stores were fully loaded with essentials, meats, sausages, bacon, bread, pasta, olive oil, spices, etc., we decided to slowly, safely reopen, following all health protocols, to serve the essential needs of the neighborhoods where we are located. Initially, immediate family members and trusted household staff manned the shops online and in-store. Our shops are outside the malls, along major roads and are very accessible for curbside pick up or deliveries.

We were able to support all the families that started to cook at home by becoming like a grocery. We also started sharing our recipes and tips on how to cook delicious meals at home via our FB and IG channels. We were going back to our roots, going back to the fundamentals of cooking and serving our families and our neighborhoods.

Poco Deli at Home

Sometime in August, 5 months into the pandemic, people must have gotten tired of cooking at home. We started selling our restaurant’s top 5 menu items—ready to eat,  in frozen, vacuum sealed packaging which could be reheated in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and served immediately. We have fully cooked sausages, Bacon Slab, smoked BBQ Ribs, Callos, Lengua. Except for the salads, everything can be packed and frozen, stored and organized in the freezer, then thawed out and heated, then served! As some of our customers have said when preparing food at home—”Poco Deli to the rescue!”

Going local and sustainable

Awesome! LIVE: 🔴 POCO DELI: Restaurant Learnings from the Pandemic (Brgy Kapitolyo • BGC • Makati • Coron)

On top of the brownouts, logistics and shipping are quite challenging in Coron so we were forced to look for locally grown veggies and other ingredients. Apart from the usual fish and vegetables, we discovered that a lot of families were raising pigs for added income to buy essentials for their families, school supplies,  medicines. Coron pigs are actually pampered, happily living the “island life” until the time they fulfill their purpose.

The first pig we bought in August was from Arnel, our local barista. His family started taking care of the pig at the start of the lockdown. When the animal was 80kg, Arnel did not get a good price from the local market so we offered him +20% better pricing. When he collected the money, he came with his wife and kid, smiling proudly as he counted the money. We learned the following day that the reason he came together with the whole family was that they all went to the supermarket to buy food and school supplies. With these efforts, we are able to also help build the local communities and support their livelihood.

Goals for 2021

First and foremost, stay connected to family and the community; stay healthy, continue the good health routines—physically, mentally and spiritually. For Poco Deli, we will continue to serve the needs of the communities we are in, continue to take care of each other and continue to innovate and learn. Many friends and family have concluded that cooking is one of the best forms of therapy to anxiety. It is a creative activity that gives great personal fulfillment and purpose as it feeds our loved ones and gives opportunity for bonding moments. If you’re lazy to cook, call Poco Deli!

Brgy. Kapitolyo • Bonifacio Global City • Coron City, Palawan
FB: https://www.facebook.com/PocoDeli/
IG: instagram.com/pocodeli/
Website: https://www.pocodeli.co/

The Poco Deli BGC Experience

Seafood Chowder (₱280). Seattle-inspired medley of shrimp, squid, vegetables.

We savored each moment with this hot, creamy chowder and appreciated how it was carefully and safely prepared by the kitchen.

Prawn & Apple Salad (₱470). Romaine lettuce crowned with prawn, apple, feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette.

Eating healthy salads is now a must for each and every meal for immune-boosting nutrients that we need during these times.

Sausage Sampler (double – ₱900): 2 large Wagyu Sausage, Lamb Sausage + 6 small kinds: Vienna, Debreziner, Chicken and Nuremberger.

Loved each slice of the juicy, tasty wagyu sausage, and we had sauerkraut to refresh the palate before trying our other favorite sauces like the Nuremberger, which made Poco Deli famous.

We took our time eating our sausages paired perfectly with the red wine.

Spanish Callos (₱440). Beef tripe, chorizo pancetta, pork knuckles & olives.

Callos!!! Always good to eat it hot, straight from the kitchen with good chunks of meat and thick red sauce over white rice!

Bacon Slab (₱350 half / ₱480 full). 1/2-inch thick French pork belly cured, wood-smoked & seared to perfection.

One of the best bacon-silogs in Manila, thick slice of bacon with good layer of meat and tender layers of fat. Sarap kainin.

Blackout Chocolate Cake (₱240). French Valrhona chocolate with caramel & Belgian chocolate chips. Served warm for that melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

End with their signature blackout chocolate paired with almond coffee ice cream and dark Americano coffee to keep you awake the whole day.

Final Thoughts

It’s so awesome to see this “We’re Open 10.00am – 6.00pm” sign and we’re hoping that more restaurants will survive the financial onslaught of the pandemic. Keeping our restaurants open means more employment and more money to boost the food industry in Manila this 2021.

More power to Sonny de Leon and the Poco Deli team! See you in Coron!

Brgy. Kapitolyo • Bonifacio Global City • Coron City, Palawan
FB: https://www.facebook.com/PocoDeli/
IG: instagram.com/pocodeli/
Website: https://www.pocodeli.co/
Contact Number:
Poco Deli BGC/Tihanny: +63 915 4981125
Kapitolyo/Janine: +63 917 8811237
Coron/Dave: +63 906 2765943

Note: Please make sure to check, depending on the quarantine status in Manila, if senior citizens and kids are already allowed.

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We paid for our meals. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. These gift boxes are popular for teambuilding and e-numan sessions. They also have a private room you can use for your private meetings.

Large gift box (₱3,200) Salami Milano, Salchichon, Mortadella w/ Pistachio, Brie, Dutch Truffle Cheese, Swiss Gruyere | Small gift box (₱1,500) Prosciutto, Salchichonm Mortadella w/ Pistachio, Dutch Green Pesto Cheese, Dutch Red Pesto Cheese, Brie | Plus breads, cookies, dried fruits, nuts, Palawan wild honey, pickles and spread
Poco Deli BGC Private Function Room

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