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From Home Kitchen to a Local Favorite: The Story Behind Family-Owned Restaurant Mama's Lumpia

(Left to right) Mama Haydee, Bunso Simon, Ate Celina, and Papa Romano Delos Santos of Mama's Lumpia in Pacheco, California on April 6, 2023. Photo: Jen Rocha

Mama’s Lumpia celebrated its third year in business in March, serving up delicious Filipino cuisine and plenty of lumpia to customers throughout Contra Costa County and the wider Bay Area.

In 2020, Haydee Carreon Delos Santos co-founded Mama’s Lumpia alongside her two children, Celina and Simon, with the help and support of her husband Romano and their eldest son Gian.

“My kids wanted to sell the lumpia that I cook because we couldn’t find something like it at the grocery store,” Haydee said.

Celina believed her mother’s culinary skills had the potential to turn into a successful food business that celebrated Filipino flavors and brought communities together.

“Our culture is very loved, especially when it comes to lumpia. We wanted to create something for the community, and we didn’t see many Filipino restaurants in the area,” Celina said.

The family business first operated from Haydee’s home but moved into its Pacheco location last year. Before obtaining a storefront and becoming an official DoorDash merchant, Mama’s Lumpia was primarily driven by sales made through Instagram.

Growing the business and ensuring customers felt welcomed at the restaurant’s new location took time. But with each team member came unique skills and perspectives.

As the CEO of Mama’s Lumpia, Celina directs the business and administrative aspects of the restaurant. Her fiancé Chris rolls lumpia and works as a fryer and a dishwasher. Simon oversees the creative elements of Mama’s Lumpia, managing social media and merchandise, which includes charms for Crocs, Filipino art, and other accessories.

“I do what I can bring to the table and want to introduce more cultural media,” Simon said.

In addition to their signature lumpia accompanied by sweet chili or vinegar, crema Mexicana, and banana sauces, customers can relish a savory array of options, including chicken adobo wings, pancit bihon, and garlic noodles. Mama’s Lumpia also offers a thoughtfully-crafted drink menu with calamansi iced tea and limeade, Barako coffee, Gulaman refreshers, and one of their most popular items, ube milk tea.

“I was looking for something to eat for lunch and found Mama’s Lumpia on Apple Maps. As a Filipino, I thought it was a great way to try and connect with my culture,” said first-time customer Justin Ayala.

For Ayala, the location is ideal as it’s near Diablo Valley College and convenient for students looking for a nearby dining option that is the epitome of comfort food.

“The name, Mama’s Lumpia, itself shows their intention to create a caring environment that you can’t get from a food chain,” Ayala said. “You can see that in the decorations, thoughtfulness in the gifts, the Pride flag at the door. Everything is very welcoming, and overall the menu options are great.”

Celina and Simon have devoted themselves fully to working full-time in the family business. They envision Mama’s Lumpia flourishing and becoming more than what it is today.

“We had big ambitions starting this, and our goal in the future is to have multiple locations throughout the Bay Area,” Simon said. “We don’t want to settle on feeling comfortable here in Pacheco or maybe at two locations. We want to keep expanding and spreading our influence.”

The Delos Santos family is grateful for their customers. They believe in their slogan, “Can’t have Mama’s Lumpia without U,” and recognize that their growing success would not have been possible without the community’s support from the very beginning.

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