Kim and Abi Sy wanted to introduce something fun yet healthy to the Philippine market. So, in 2015, upon returning from abroad, they partnered with ‘Mr. Freeze’ Gerry Santos, to introduce BLK 513, a unique and innovative frozen yogurt brand. More than the usual frozen yogurt, BLK 513 offers an interesting lineup of toppings and sauces.
Moreover, what also sets it apart is the use of activated charcoal and Greek yogurt. “Activated charcoal is very porous and because of this, it has a negative charge which attracts positively charged molecules such as toxins and traps them so they are not absorbed by your body,” explains Abi. “Activated charcoal also helps promote kidney function because it helps trap these toxins that no longer need to pass through your kidney and may even help lower your cholesterol.” Now, this is great news for health- conscious yogurt lovers!
To introduce their new concept, they needed a partner who believed in it and had a strategic location to reach their target customers. “It was SM that first believed in our ‘Black Froyo’ concept,” shares Abi. “The first outlet in SM Megamall proved to be a highly successful venture which encouraged us to expand with more outlets the following year.”
While they won the hearts of fitness enthusiasts, COVID-19 brought a different set of challenges. Nevertheless, Kim and Abi opted to focus on the opportunities. “The good thing about this pandemic is it became a platform for change,” notes Abi. “We had to convince our people across ages and roles to move to a hybrid e-commerce set-up. We are now focusing more on digital accelerations around customer initiatives.”
Amidst some setbacks, there are remarkable learnings made. “Because of the people working for the company and their families, I realized that the purpose of this company is to serve its people. I fully understand now why this organization exists,” expresses Abi.