Mario Alvarez Jacob has always idolized Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao. It also helps that the 43-year-old has an uncanny resemblance to the eight-division world champion.
The Philippine senator had his humble beginnings kneading bread in the Philippines and Jacob has followed in his footsteps, working in several bakeries since arriving on Saipan in 2000.
Then the native of Mindoro started his own bakery in Garapan, called Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ, last year on Dec. 11.
He said initial plans was to put up a bakery with his wife, Racquel, but after careful thought they decided to include a barbecue stand to take advantage of the local community’s love for Filipino grilled meats.
“My wife just wanted a bakery to make bread, pastries, and cakes, but I said ‘we need to grill barbecue in the evenings because a lot people on island love barbecue’ and besides it’s very inexpensive at a dollar a stick,” he said.
Jacob said he and his wife didn’t had any second thoughts about opening Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ even as COVID-19 continues to takes a toll on the local economy.
“We opened Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ as a family business and also to help and serve the Saipan community during this…situation. We…have the lowest prices and make freshly baked pastries every day,” he said.
On what makes Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ different from other bakeries and barbecue stalls on Saipan, Jacob said aside from keeping their prices low and churning out fresh bread everyday, their barbecue also has a unique taste and one of the cheapest on island.
With the business going three months strong, Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ’s bestsellers have been their pandesal ($1 for six pieces), ube pandesal ($2 for three pieces), donuts (75 cents each), 16-inch pizza ($13.99 and free delivery for two pies), and barbecue skewers (pork, chicken, and isaw at $1 each). They also have pearl shakes at $4 each. Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ’s is also open for catering.
“All businesses are affected by this COVID situation. It’s the same here as we’re also affected because there have been no tourists at all. Good thing the local community is the one supporting the businesses and I would like to thank everyone, including my friends and relatives, for patronizing us despite being new,” said Jacob.
On why he didn’t name his business after the Philippine senator and boxing legend, Jacob said everyone already knows him as the Pac-Man of Saipan and it’s about time that everybody gets to know him by his real name.
Jacob’s Bakeshop and BBQ is located along Flores Rosa St. in Garapan. It’s open from Monday to Saturday, 6am -11am and 2:30pm-9:30pm. For more information or for orders, call 233-1876 and 785-0324.