26 Jan2010

S & L Fine Foods, Inc.

by Marketman


Just before last Christmas, a good friend let on that there was a fabulous new (at least in Makati) source of cheese and other ingredients that I must go and see. Egads. Not 24 hours had passed and I was in their warehouse, stunned by the stuff on offer, amazed by the wholesale prices and unable to resist putting item after item into my growing pile by the cashier. I normally have a reasonable amount of cash in my wallet but there was no way I would be able to pay for my selections that day in cash. It just so happened I had a cheque book in the car having come from another purchase, so I was a bit wanton in my food choices that morning. With several holiday dinners coming up, siblings and friends who are cheese lovers, I figured wheels of cheese would disappear in no time. Marketman was definitely like a kid in a candy shop!


S & L Fine Foods, Inc is a WHOLESALE OPERATION. They DO NOT sell retail amounts and please do NOT go to them if you are not prepared to buy in commercial quantities. I write about them because they are fabulous and a great source for restaurants, chefs, home based food businesses, etc. who can buy in quantity. The company is run by two wonderful Turkish men, and a lot of the items they have on offer are imported from Turkey (fantastic olive oil for example), but they also carry a lot of Italian, Spanish and other European items. I ended up getting a whole wheel of SUPERB aged (14 months) manchego cheese (the brown wheel) which was a bargain at PHP175 per 100 grams, but the wheels are about 3 kilos in weight! I also ended up getting a smaller and equally wonderful Queso de Cabrales or blue cheese, a large wedge of parmesan, several tubs of mascarpone, several packages of buffalo mozzarella, bottles of olives, a five liter can of basic olive oil (not their extra virgin version) for the zubuchons, a case of arborio rice, a case of Italian canned plum tomatoes, etc. They also carry hams, sausages, salamis, other cheeses, oils, vinegars, pastas, etc., etc. FANTASTIC. But please understand they limit their business to wholesale buyers. If you are interested, contact S & L Fine Foods, Inc on Yakal Street at 843.2996 or 843.2997. And don’t blame me if you buy way too much. :)



  1. nina says:

    OHMYGOD!! i want the cheeses!! but then again im the only one in the family who loves cheeses. huhuhuhuhu.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 10:11 am


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  3. atbnorge says:

    Oh wow, all that cheese, and for that price! Ang sarap namang mamili d’yan.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 10:19 am

  4. sister says:

    Nothing more fun for a foodie than buying in bulk to stock the larder!

    Jan 26, 2010 | 10:23 am

  5. apm says:

    I was lucky enough to be introduced to the owners last christmas. I found the best value in their jamon iberico (much cheaper than other sources), canned artichokes, olive oil, and they had a lemon dressing (I use it as a substitute for fresh lemon juice its a steal at around PhP 150 for a liter).

    Jan 26, 2010 | 10:32 am

  6. moni says:

    MM, thanks for your post about S & L Fine Foods on Yakal St. It is near my son’s place in Makati and I have emailed him to check it out since were just talking about cheeses the other day.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 10:58 am

  7. mojito drinker says:

    how exactly are commercial quantities defined?

    Jan 26, 2010 | 11:01 am

  8. Marketman says:

    mojito, to give you an example, the cheeses usually come in wheels from 3-5 kilos. Smallest parmesan wedge is 3 kilos, etc. apm, just got me some of that lemon juice minutes ago… :)

    Jan 26, 2010 | 11:35 am

  9. millet says:

    whoa! my kind of store. my eldest son told the family that after he graduates and gets a job, he’ll keep us supplied with a whole wheel of blue cheese every month. no, he’s not just being good, am sure he’ll finish half of it!

    Jan 26, 2010 | 11:58 am

  10. ihid says:

    details on the php150/li lemon substitute please.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 12:16 pm

  11. Dee says:

    Wow!! What a dreamy store! Re: lemon substitutes, I found small packages of lemon concentrate and key lime concentrates in the Market Market grocery. I think they are branded Real Lemon and it comes in small packages shaped like yup, you guessed it, lemons! I find them to be super handy when I dont have lemons on hand.. And its only P13!

    Jan 26, 2010 | 12:31 pm

  12. ta says:

    Mr Marketman can you charm and persuade Mr S&L to open a retail section.
    I know I will love this store but buying wholesale for me is not feasible.How much is a
    box of Italian plum tomato? I wonder if its worth saving the hassle of packing and shipping.When you say wholesale is there a minimum sale?Do you of any other store
    that sells authentic mascarpone cheese aside from S&L?

    Jan 26, 2010 | 1:26 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    ta, I think technically, a foreign owned business can only engage in wholesale endeavors, unless they hav e minimum equity capital of PHP100M. So there is a regulatory hitch. Santis, S&R and sometimes Terry’s carries mascarpone. But it is more expensive… I have a registered food company, so I can purchase wholesale… and I do buy by the case, half dozen, dozen, pallet, etc.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 2:08 pm

  14. Peach says:

    Hi Marketman. In case you are curious, I have copied below the foreign participation restrictions in retail trade under the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000. Hope S&L can work their way around the restrictions so that we can all buy from them on retail :-)

    “SECTION 5. Foreign Equity Participation. — Foreign-owned partnerships, associations and corporations formed and organized under the laws of the Philippines may, upon registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), or in case of foreign-owned single proprietorships, with the DTI, engage or invest in the retail trade business, subject to the following categories:

    Category A — Enterprises with paid-up capital of the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of less than Two million five hundred thousand US dollars (US$2,500,000.00) shall be reserved exclusively for Filipino citizens and corporations wholly owned by Filipino citizens.

    Category B — Enterprises with a minimum paid-up capital of the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Two million five hundred thousand US dollars (US$2,500,000.00) but less than Seven million five hundred thousand US dollars (US$7,500,000.00) may be wholly owned by foreigners except for the first two (2) years after the effectivity of this Act wherein foreign participation shall be limited to not more than sixty percent (60%) of total equity.

    Category C — Enterprises with a paid-up capital of the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Seven million five hundred thousand US dollars (US$7,500,000.00) or more may be wholly owned by foreigners: Provided, however, That in no case shall the investments for establishing a store in Categories B and C be less than the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Eight hundred thirty thousand US dollars (US$830,000.00).

    Category D — Enterprises specializing in high-end or luxury products with a paid-up capital of the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of Two hundred fifty thousand US dollars (US$250,000.00) per store may be wholly owned by foreigners.

    The foreign investor shall be required to maintain in the Philippines the full amount of the prescribed minimum capital, unless the foreign investor has notified the SEC and the DTI of its intention to repatriate its capital and cease operations in the Philippines. The actual use in Philippine operations of the inwardly remitted minimum capital requirement shall be monitored by the SEC.

    Failure to maintain the full amount of the prescribed minimum capital prior to notification of the SEC and the DTI, shall subject the foreign investor to penalties or restrictions on any future trading activities/business in the Philippines.
    Foreign retail stores shall secure a certification from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the DTI, which will verify or confirm inward remittance of the minimum required capital investment.”

    Jan 26, 2010 | 2:47 pm

  15. emsy says:

    I can see why they want to keep things wholesale, especially price-wise. Everything is cheaper when bought in bulk, I would think. But for someone who cooks for two 95% of the time, it might not be practical…but it still might be a good place to look at, especially since it’s located so near. Thanks MM!

    Jan 26, 2010 | 2:55 pm

  16. Joyce says:

    ohh im curious abt their jamon iberico

    Jan 26, 2010 | 3:17 pm

  17. Nicole says:

    What a fabulous place! Cheese Heaven ^_^

    I often see mascarpone cheese in Rustan’s supermarket.
    I love love love mascarpone cheese.
    I bet I was an Italian lady in my previous life.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 5:32 pm

  18. Divina says:

    Wow, nice selection of cheeses and other products. Don’t worry, I won’t blame you.

    Jan 26, 2010 | 9:43 pm

  19. Vicky Go says:

    Just a suggestion for RP/Manila food lovers for whom buying wholesale isn’t practical: why not round up a group of friends and/or relatives to form an informal “gourmet” club & then you can divvy up purchases like a whole wheel of cheese or a box of San Marzano tomatoes. This way the problem w shelling out a lot of cash in one purchase and also of storage & consumption are circumvented. And you all can enjoy the price advantage of buying gourmet food in bulk. Just a thought!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 12:51 am

  20. Bubut says:

    MM, you’re so lucky with those cheese… i envy you!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 8:59 am

  21. thelma says:

    mascarpone cheese makes me think of tiramisu… one of my favorite desserts!
    i’ve never made this myself, but there is a really good italian restaurant my family
    go to whenever i feel like having tiramisu. they serve it on an elegant big goblet
    and there’s no way that i could finish it by myself!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 10:01 am

  22. ness says:

    I love cheese! Do they have brebis? I’ve been looking for one for ages…

    Jan 27, 2010 | 11:09 am

  23. ta says:

    Mr MM Please help, Where can I buy frozen 100% orange juice and fresh or frozen blueberries and buttermilk?

    Jan 27, 2010 | 12:58 pm

  24. Anne :-) says:

    Marketman, where exactly in Yakal Street is this located? Thanks!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 2:13 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Anne, I think it is 135-C Yakal Street, in a “garish” light blue building. ta, why frozen juice? They make fresh in Rustan’s or S&R, or sell boxed pure orange juice in S&R. Frozen blueberries at Santis, S&R or rustan’s or even SM groceries, I would think. No buttermilk in the philippines, just substitute with good full cream milk and put about 1/2 teaspoon of clear distilled vinegar or some lemon juice per cup or so of milk to “fake” the buttermilk… ness, sorry, I didn’t notice if they had brebis…

    Jan 27, 2010 | 2:46 pm

  26. Hershey says:

    I think it is time to make paella again with your rice HAHAHAHA!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 7:49 pm

  27. celeste de leon says:

    Mascarpone is one of the best type of Cream Cheese that can be used as icing on cakes.And the taste is really very delicious…email me for recipe request if anyone outthere is interested in the Phil.Thanks for this Market Manila S & L Line Foods ,postings.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 9:47 pm

  28. celeste de leon says:

    For Mascarpone Icing email at pinksoda122002@yahoo.com and try the big difference in taste of the icing..it is the best!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 9:49 pm

  29. ta says:

    Mr MM I make pancake that calls for orange juice I find the flavor is more intense
    and consistent when I use frozen juice.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 9:33 am

  30. ta says:

    Where is Santis and S&R

    Jan 28, 2010 | 9:35 am

  31. Anne :-) says:

    Ta, Santis is located at Rockwell while S&R is at Fort Bonifacio near the new St. Luke’s hospital.

    Marketman, thanks for the info. I’ll go there later after office hours. I’m just working in RCBC building. I’m excited to buy parmesan cheese and olives. :-)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 12:17 pm

  32. RT says:

    Fresh buttermilk can be ordered in advance and picked up at the Rizal dairy stall in MarketMarket.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 7:42 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    RT, thanks for that, it’s really nice to know there is some locally available.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 8:33 pm

  34. Dexter Aviles says:

    Congrats to S&L Fine Foods. My family is a fan of the products they offer for the past 2 years now. More power to you.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 9:01 pm

  35. Guia says:

    Ms. Vicky G, I was also going to suggest same thing as your post. Price, quantity becomes more reasonable; there is strength in numbers.

    Jan 29, 2010 | 4:35 am

  36. EJ says:

    A tip for those who don’t have easy access to mascarpone – equal quantities of cream and Philadelphia cream cheese, mixed well together, make a good substitute for mascarpone.

    Jan 29, 2010 | 5:24 am

  37. ta says:

    Thanks RT and Anne for the info

    Jan 30, 2010 | 7:19 am

  38. Gayle says:

    hi.. yakal street is located where? and how to go there? :)


    Jan 31, 2010 | 1:56 am

  39. traci says:

    Yakal Street is accessible from down Ayala Avenue (past the Columns), it’s the street just past the Makati Fire Station. It’s also accessible from Pasong Tamo, past Buendia heading down to the Philippine Racing Club (PRC). turn left after the Belton Place construction (the old Squibb).
    That said… MM, is S&L on the same block as Santi’s Yakal?

    Jan 31, 2010 | 1:50 pm

  40. Hazel says:

    i almost gave up in finding a deli that sells guanciale here in Manila. but thanks to your post MM, i just found out that S&L has it. one catch though, i didn’t expect it to be that expensive.. P1,135 per kilo, with a minimum order of 2.5 kilos! does it really cost that much?

    Feb 9, 2010 | 1:23 pm

  41. Marketman says:

    Hazel, that’s a good price. And you don’t need much guanciale for each dish. At $10-12 per pound, it seems quite reasonably priced. Think of it as PHP113.5 per 100 grams, probably pretty close to the cost of supermarket bacon which isn’t anywhere near as good. :)

    Feb 9, 2010 | 3:54 pm

  42. Hazel says:

    Really? Good point there. Thanks! I actually went to S&L several days ago. You’re right. They do have a lot of great stuff. My mom and I couldn’t help ourselves and bought practically everything the owner showed us. One of our most interesting buys is a bottle of pomegranate syrup. We were told that it’s especially good to use in salads. We’re very excited to try it out soon. Again, thanks for sharing. It’s refreshing to shop in a different specialty store other than Santis =)

    Feb 11, 2010 | 11:25 am

  43. Nathan says:

    Hi marketman. I don’t know how long it’ll take you to finish all that stuff from S&L but when you start running low, you can also give Italfoods a try. They have canned tomatoes, olive oil, mascrapone, pasta, etc. They’re located at the ground floor of Expocraft Bldg, 1008 Metropolitan Ave.; I understand that retail quantities are welcome. Enjoy!

    Feb 25, 2010 | 4:52 pm

  44. mokongbugoy says:

    Hi! To the person asking about buttermilk, I saw a sign by the Rizal Dairy Farms stall in the “market” area of Market Market & took note of it in case I needed some of their goods someday. =) It says they sell whey, buttermilk, quark, fresh mozzarella, yoghurt & kesong puti. I haven’t tried any of it yet, tho. In case you’re interested, I got their numbers as well: 660-2197 & 729-0304. Hope the info helps.=)

    Mar 5, 2010 | 1:47 am

  45. Liezel says:

    Marketman, thank you so much for featuring S & L. My team sincerely appreciates it. I’m not really a big fan of the cyber world, going through blogs and all. I just use the internet just to send emails and briefly surf for information. I’m one of those non-techi kind of person. But ever since you featured us, I started to get hooked to your blog! Market Manila is the FIRST blog I ever followed.

    To all the bloggers who graciously commented and visited our warehouse, A MILLION THANKS to all of you!!

    Mar 6, 2010 | 1:31 am

  46. Joe Bariring says:

    I do feel pity for the majority of the Filipinos in the Philippines who do not have the faintiest idea of what you guys are talking about, mascarpone cheeses and the like, let alone have seen or tasted these. Fortunately, they do not have internet access or time since their’s is focused on where to get their next meal to be aware that these foods even exist. I do not feel this way in the U.S. since majority of the people here have the means to buy any kind of food. Poor poor Filipinos, you guys are such a tease!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 10:04 am

  47. Ning says:

    sir, can I please have their email address or do they have a web site?

    Jun 7, 2010 | 6:33 am

  48. Ning says:

    Hi Joe Bariring, your comments are unkind.

    Jun 7, 2010 | 6:35 am

  49. Marketman says:

    Ning, I don’t think they have a website, but if you call their numbers above, they can send you a price list. As for Joe, all I can say is the majority of residents in the U.S. may have the means to buy more than Filipinos, but it doesn’t necessarily make them any smarter or kinder, based on that comment. Feeling superior simply because one is an ocean away from the problems is so ignorant.

    Jun 7, 2010 | 7:31 am

  50. Joe Bariring says:

    I’m sorry that my sentiments for the poor Filipinos got in a way of my comment. I simply don’t feel it appropriate that a very very small percentage of Filipinos who can afford to buy these food items would flaunt it in the midst of hungry majority. I guess I forgot that this was a food blog and anything about food was the focus of discussions. And you guys don’t flaunt it I just felt you did because, again, my emotions got in a way.
    I realized that MM has this soft spot for the under privileged, too. I read your bashing of the Arroyo’s on that $20,000.00 dinner, about your garden help who biked from his house to yours to give you a pork leg, about your school feeding program and the lady that volunteers to cook, and many other posts that to me suggest that you don’t look down on the poor.
    I, like you, love food and do a lot of things about it. I accidentally found your site and have picked up suggestions, pointers, etc. here and there since then. I will try not to get the social ills of the world in the way when it comes to loving food. I hope you don’t get tired of food experimenting.
    Take care.

    Jun 29, 2010 | 1:38 pm

  51. Marketman says:

    Joe, no problem.

    Jul 15, 2010 | 8:50 am

  52. Alex says:

    Hi MM,

    Been reading your blog for a while and you seem to be very knowledgeable with a lot of stuff. Just want to ask you, what is the best pricing for a gift basket of important food?

    You think it can be in the range of 3000-3000 pesos?

    Lets just assume the products are good for now…just want to know whether the price suggested above is ideal.

    Hope to hear your response.



    Jul 19, 2010 | 12:05 pm

  53. Marketman says:

    Alex, it depends what you have in the basket. Top food baskets from Santis, Terry’s etc. can go as high at PHP10,000 for the holidays…

    Jul 19, 2010 | 3:53 pm

  54. Alex says:

    Ah thanks for the info MM, but I think I will try to start out with 3000-3500 pesos, most likely spices and ingredients for Malaysian and Singapore cooking with video cooking instructions. Also add in some ready to eat products. One thing for sure is products that couldn’t be found in the Philippines…..thank you so much for your info….by the way….will you be going to this event? —> http://spicegasm.com/2010/07/invitation-to-press-event-of-ibayo/

    If you are,would be cool to meet up

    Jul 20, 2010 | 4:49 am

  55. abdellah says:

    I’m from morocco i’m looking for market to sell goode artichoke and wonderful olive oil .

    Nov 8, 2010 | 4:59 pm

  56. EbbaBlue says:

    I am one of those fortunate here in the States to have my hands on most of the commodities mentioned in this blog. Different kinds of dressings, olive oils, olives, bottled peppers, etc. As I wanted to share them to my relatives & staff in Quezon province, I include them in the balikbayan box that I sent monthly, together with household items. I go annually for my mission trip and I wanted to make sure we have stocks of items needed for a month stay and for the staff’s regular use for the children’s bible class. Well, when I arrive, I saw that they have not touched any of the foodies (i.e. mix of alfredo fettucini, olive tappenade, summer hungarian sausage); they are waiting for me to show them how to cook it, and when I did, they say its ok, but they prefer the traditional local dishes. Oh… can I blame them…I myself clamor for the same food and local ingredients.

    Dec 14, 2010 | 2:33 am

  57. aloha says:

    are S & l foods store open already?

    Feb 26, 2011 | 2:42 pm


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