Carmen’s Best Founder Paco Magsaysay on Crafting Ice Cream and a Winning Strategy

Paco Magsaysay shares the inspiration behind Carmen's Best and how his creativity and sharp business acumen made it a worthy contender against big-name ice cream brands.

When Francisco "Paco" Magsaysay started Carmen's Best, he did not expect it to grow into one of the leading premium artisan ice cream brands today. He also did not expect billionaire businessman Manny “MVP” Pangilinan’s investment company Metro Pacific Investments Corporation to buy 51% of the business for PHP198 million. And yet, both happened.

Taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane will tell you that the origin of Carmen's Best was a happy accident. "The story of Carmen’s Best started in 2007 when my father, Jun Magsaysay, together with his friends, acquired land in Bay, Laguna. The initial plan in putting up a dairy farm was to participate in the Department of Education’s Milk Feeding program to school kids and offer 100% fresh cow’s milk," Paco Magsaysay begins.

"At first, we had trouble selling the fresh milk, as it only had a 7 to 10-day shelf life. So my dad said, 'Paco, can you help me sell the milk or do something with it?'"

The fate of unsold milk was bleak. It would spoil and be thrown away—a waste of product and profit. With that in mind, Magsaysay set to work doing the latter. But despite playing around with flavored milk, cheese, pastillas, and other possible products you can make with milk, he still felt something was lacking.

Soon after, the entrepreneur had his eureka moment—turning excess milk into ice cream. And that was how Carmen's Best came to be.