Matet’s Kitchen Plans to Bring Lumpia to D.C.
April 11, 2023 @ 9:00am
Matet’s Kitchen is set to sell lumpia, a traditional Filipino food, in grocery stores around the DMV.
If you’re a fan of Southeast Asian food, you’ve got plenty of restaurant or take-out options in the DMV. But let’s say you’re working from home, don’t feel like going out, but still want a savory Southeast Asian snack. Try a lumpia, a traditional Filipino small bite — similar to a crispy spring roll and traditionally filled with sweet or savory ingredients. While these are super common in the Philippines and Indonesia, you might not have seen them here in D.C. Brother and sister entrepreneurs, Christopher and Marcia Silayan DeVore are setting out to change that with Matet’s Kitchen, which will put a taste of the Philippines in your grocer’s freezer.
“Our parents were chefs, so we always ate well, and anytime the family got together they’d make a massive tray of lumpia,” Christopher says, “And our mother would build a Lincoln Log house out of lumpia on a plate and we’d eat them before guests came.”
Imagine warm, savory rolls packed with pork, celery, carrots and onion and drizzled with oyster sauce.
“Two years ago, we were sitting at our kitchen table eating lumpia with our family and wondered, ‘Why don’t we sell these?’” adds Marcia.
Since making great food is in their DNA, they set out to make this happen. Starting in a shared kitchen in Frederick, Maryland, they began advertising on Facebook and doing pre-orders at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown. As their fan base grew and people started discovering lumpia, the duo made moves to Union Kitchen’s accelerator program — a way to help DMV food and beverage companies have a chance at growing and bringing their offerings to market. In fact, the vast majority of vendors in Union Kitchen grocery stores are food entrepreneurs like the Silayan DeVores.
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“Direct-to-consumer is very different from restaurants,” Marcia says. “To physically manage a restaurant is a lot, and we saw our parents do this, so we wanted to not do that. With pre-packaged food, there’s less pressure to make the food right there, ready to eat, but it’s not a walk in the park.”
While Union Kitchen can help, food entrepreneurs still need to work through the serpentine licensing process, labeling, talking with grocers, designing packaging and working with suppliers. But there is a fun part, aside from seeing a dream come true: refining the menu.
“Mom was making this since before we were born, so we took the recipe and ran with it,” Marcia says. “We didn’t play around with success, and wanted to try new flavors.”
They’re starting with pork and chicken, both seasoned with salt and pepper and marinated in oyster sauce for a nice contrast. If you prefer it spicier, you can dip lumpia in Thai chili oil. If you’re not into animal proteins, worry not: There’s a vegan offering in the works where they will use a mushroom-based oyster sauce.
“I was a little wary because I like meat, but it all tasted really good,” Marcia says.”We shared it with friends to get their opinions on it and finally settled on a recipe.”
They hope to officially launch Matet’s Kitchen in April or May when they get the final packages printed. To start, they’ll be immediately available in the half-dozen Union Kitchen grocery stores. And don’t worry, you don’t need to wake up early to make these. From the freezer, just pan-fry them in a bit of oil in a pan or a wok, or pop it in your air fryer.
matetskitchen.com // @matetskitchen
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