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Happiness is starting your own Filipino restaurant

Happiness is starting your own Filipino restaurant

Posted on: August 14, 2018
Author: ATB Staff

Edgar Gutierrez knows the challenges and hard work that come with owning a small business: he’s the head chef for two successful Mexican restaurants in Edmonton.

So when the local entrepreneur saw an opportunity to open a Filipino restaurant downtown called ​Kanto 98 St.​, he came to ATB for help. ATB saw his potential and couldn’t say no.

Edgar had grown up eating Filipino street food and loved it. His menu is inspired by the food that you typically get from a Filipino food vendor on the streets. Kanto itself means “when two streets meet.” From barbeque fried chicken to baos (or siopaos), Edgar wanted to bring a taste of his own culture to the city he now calls home.

“This was something I wanted to share with the rest of the Filipino Community, and I found the perfect location in the heart of Edmonton's Chinatown,” Edgar says.

Even though this is his third restaurant, opening Kanto was a challenge. “This one didn't have any business partners,” he says. “I had to dig deep and learn to pull it together all on my own—from menu development, to the concept, to all of the business-y stuff.”

That’s where ATB came in.

“It was a huge struggle dealing with big banks because they were always waiting for some approval, or someone to look over my stuff,” Edgar recalls. “ATB is tailored for a small business like me.”

Edgar thanks ATB Relationship Manager Dennis Lagura for his guidance during the early days.

“I was looking for a Filipino banker. I needed someone who understood my concept, my heritage and my culture.”

- Edgar Gutierrez, Owner, Kanto 98 St.

“I was looking for a Filipino banker. I needed someone who understood my concept, my heritage and my culture. [Dennis] had many experiences with other entrepreneurs, so he gave me recommendations that would help me get my business going… He's been wonderful.”

Although Kanto 98 St. is in the early stages of business, Edgar is excited about what the future holds.

“We are pushing the envelope for introducing the many sides of our Filipino culture to the world,” he says proudly. “This is my absolute true calling.”

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