The businessman extends his platform—and his fame—to help others out during this challenging time
While looking online, Marvin Agustin noticed an influx of entrepreneurs selling quality products, but without the big social media presence he has. “I realized that there are a lot of really talented people out there who are trying their best to sell what they love. That’s why I created Ba-YUMMY-han,” he says about his now-famous YouTube Channel, “to help people like me, who are starting a business from home, but can’t reach a wider audience.” Marvin says he chooses who to feature primarily based on how the food looks and tastes, and how interesting the story of those behind it are.
When I asked him, “What if the food isn’t good enough to feature?” Marvin joked that his friends, who often tease him by saying that as an actor, he can easily fake his emotions. However, he was proud to say that he has always proved them wrong when they finally taste the food he is promoting.
Eat This, Not That
When asked whether or not he considered himself a food influencer now, Marvin Agustin let out a large chuckle. “You know what, the first time I was asked, this brand emailed me and said that I was a KOL,” he began. “[I asked them what a] KOL was, and they said, ‘A Key Opinion Leader—like an influencer,’” Marvin bit his lip to refrain himself from laughing, which quickly changed into a humble grin. “I guess with all the food posts, reviews, marketing for other food brands, and cooking, I became a ‘food influencer.’”
This kind of statement is what makes Marvin a very charming fellow. He is always authentically surprised with himself and his reputation, despite the hard work he puts into creating his brands. At the end of the day, he still considers himself a laid-back, home cooking, type of guy. When really, he’s a lot more than that. He is resourceful, smart, and a very giving person.
Up In The Cloud
The last business born out of the madness of the pandemic is Marvin’s Secret Kitchen, a cloud kitchen and “virtual food hall,” which is located in the heart of Quezon City. A “cloud kitchen” is a concept that has been around for decades. Beginning in New York, this type of food set-up often offers physical spaces to chefs who can’t afford to put up their own brick-and-mortar stores. Marvin compares it to delivery apps like Food Panda, which carries products from different restaurants. Right now, Secret Kitchen carries dishes from Marvin’s restaurants such as Cochi, Taikoo, Mr. Vin Munchies, and Sumo Sam, allowing customers to easily access a wide array of food from one place. The entrepreneur also invited Kusina Kapamilya into Secret Kitchen.
When ABS-CBN was forced to shut down last year, Marvin’s heart went out to his old Kapuso family—especially to the displaced chefs, kitchen staff, and waiters. Extending them a helping hand, he invited them to use the cloud kitchen to launch their own food business.
Today, Secret Kitchen is running smoothly. They make their social media presence known, posting daily about their new promos and food offerings to their whopping 31.9k followers (as of print). Running a cloud kitchen is still very new to Marvin, and he admits that they’re still very much at the experimental stage. “A lot of people who started the cloud kitchen model are really from the tech industry, and some [like to] treat it like a numbers game. Right now, I’m just finding out what works. [I want] a balance of numbers and great [high- quality] food.”
Photography ERWIN CANLAS
Text CHINO HERNANDEZ
Creative Direction NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion Direction and Styling DANIEL REYES
Grooming MONG AMADO
Shoot Coordination PATRICIA RAMOS
Shot on location KONDWI