F&C Group is a conglomerate of a number of industries in food, retail, ecotourism, finance and real estate. The conglomerate as we know it today was initiated by the efforts of Marcelino, Jr. and Susan Florete. The business, F&C Pawnshop and Jewelry, started as a retailing outfit selling jewelry catering to the middle class Ilonggo locale along Guanco St. in Iloilo City on October 15, 1973. Decades later, operations spread throughout the Philippine archipelago alongside its largest distribution strategic partner—SM Department stores whose dominance in the industry had resulted into more than 50 retail outlets across the country and still growing.
After years of breaking out into national consciousness, the food and real estate divisions became the jewelry division’s offspring. The first of its successful endeavors was the franchise of international food brand Sbarro with more than 30 stores around the country and the subsequent 100% acquisition of heritage but homegrown brand Dulcinea in 2008. As of this writing, Dulcinea is being strengthened by adding an array of newer items in addition to its offerings it has been known for. After Dulcinea, the company has introduced into the fold a number of franchise favorites such as Mang Inasal and Hukad by Golden Cowrie. The F&C Group also wholly own Paraiso Grill located at Station 2 Boracay and is a partner in Lighthouse Resto + Bar in Iloilo city. In the last quarter of 2016 the master franchise of the popular international food brand, Buca de Beppo, was awarded to the F&C Group and is set to open 5 stores in the Philippines in the next few years to give Filipinos a taste of fresh, authentic Italian food served family style.
Besides the food business, F&C Group has virtually integrated its operations by tapping unique strengths derived from every division, whether hotels, real estate or its jewelry arm to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from its investment activities for whatever endeavor it pursues.
The introduction of hotels produced a side by side growth spurt with the food division. In less than 10 years from the start of its first hotel in Cebu called Cebu Business Hotel, three resorts were simultaneously constructed to anticipate the government’s thrust in promoting its battle-cry that everything is “More fun in the Philippines.” Vis-à-vis government spending in infrastructure and tourism promotion, the Group took advantage of this exponential growth in tourist arrivals around the country. The group’s hotel division operates five premiere hotels catered to a more affluent demographic looking for luxurious holidays and two business hotels directed toward a more cost-conscious professional looking for a more reasonably priced accommodation. Under the business hotels, we have Cebu Business Hotel and Riverside Inn in Iloilo City. The premiere hotels are distributed in Boracay under Arwana Hotel (Station 3), Estacio Uno Boracay Lifestyle Resort (Station 1), Boracay Uptown Hotel (Station 2); Chalet Baguio; and the latest of which is Bohol Shores which opened its doors on November 2015. Another luxury project with a novel island concept Palawan is now in the pipeline. The group plans to build or expand its hotel operations in Boracay, Bohol and Palawan in the near future. The hotel group currently has 434 rooms in operation and the Hotel Division’s goal is to have 1,000 rooms in operation by 2020.
The development of the Northern Luzon artery—otherwise known as the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) are major thoroughfares that cut travel time to Baguio by approximately three hours. This has enhanced bullish sentiment into recreating the idyllic beauty of Baguio City through its boutique hotel, Chalet Baguio, with a small Dulcinea outlet to bolster its log cabin feel.
The tradition for hard work and excellence has transcended into the next generation. Marcelino Florete, III, an accountancy graduate from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and earned his Masters in Business Administration (MBA Regis) from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. He is the Executive Vice President for Finance and Audit for the whole F&C Group of Companies. On the other hand, Marissa Florete-Gorriceta heads the Marketing for the jewelry division is likewise a graduate of Business Administration major in Marketing from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas. Marjorie Florete is a graduate gemologist from GIA and Vice President for Sales of F&C Jewelry and a Management graduate of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas. Atty Mary Christine Salome Florete is a Management graduate from the St Paul University of Iloilo and got her law degree from the University of Iloilo. She is in charge of the legal concerns of the group and has initiated efforts to start a legal department in the F&C Group.
F&C Group is committed to growth and community development by generating jobs, providing superb services and value to all its stakeholders. Together with its team of talented strategists, they make an effort take advantage of whatever peaks and valleys the political-economic environment has to offer. From its humble beginnings back in the 1970’s, the F&C Group looks beyond the future breaking through any potential industry that may come their way.