We had the good fortune of connecting with Fernan Sunglao and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Fernan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking to me is very important because I see it as an opportunity of growth. We only have one life to live so I feel that we should always challenge and push ourselves to experience new and different things. No matter the outcome of a risk you take, there’s always an important lesson to be learned after it.

Taking risks was always apart of my life. Being Filipino-American and growing up in a predominantly Filipino community, my generation was pressured by our elders to pursue a safe and secure career path. They sacrificed a lot to give us an opportunity for a better life and we never want to take that for granted. Feeling that pressure to stay on track and make everyone happy was something I had a hard time with. I felt lost because I felt like I was living to please other people but not really knowing what I wanted for myself. As I found my way into the restaurant industry back in 2017 looking for a part-time job, I would’ve never thought this industry would be my career and most importantly my passion. Being in this industry I’m basically going against what I was taught growing up. Taking the risk to stray away from that upbringing led me to my career path and something I love and I feel like I found my self after years of feeling lost. I want to show my Filipino community that there is a place for us in this industry and that you can be successful in it. By taking a chance starting my own business based off my passion and to see what it’s growing into is definitely a risk that i’d take over and over again.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am the founder of GÜDMÜDFÜD and we are a Pop-Up Food Stand. What sets us apart from other brands is the dishes we serve out. I feel like we created our own style of fusion street foods so we’re building our own culture and identity as we grow. As a newer business coming into our 2nd year, I am very proud of our growth from last year. I’m proud of my team for coming up with some amazing food which helped us grow creatively and helped us gain more opportunities. Last year our goal was to innovate our menus and serve food that you wouldn’t usually see anywhere else and I think we accomplished that. Also building and forming relationships across the community with local businesses and small businesses was something we wanted to do too especially during Covid. Supporting eachother and helping eachother during those tough times was important for us. GÜDMÜDFÜD was created during the pandemic. Not being able to work at professional setting we created our own brand and started serving out our own signature dishes to our friends and community. At first we didn’t think it’d be a big deal but more people started finding out about us wanting to try our food so we gained more opportunities to showcase our foods. As we kept innovating and creating new dishes, I feel people gravitated to our menus more and more because of how unique some of our dishes were which is what we take pride in. Last year was big learning experience for us. We had highs and lows for sure but all in all it was worth the experience and helped us become better as a business. Personally I learned alot of lessons last year. I learned that consistency is very important when running a business. In order to set the culture for your business you got to practice it daily and make sure you have your own system down that works best for you and your team. Another valuable lesson I can take from last year was to take a step back and look at the big picture time to time. At times i’d be so caught up in particular things stressing out when in reality I wasn’t looking for the solutions. It’s always good to reset and refocus and it’s okay to adjust if you have to. Running your own business you kind of have to change your mentality from thinking like an employee and to start thinking like an owner which is totally different. This experience definitely helped me grow individually and has helped take on the responsibility of being a business owner. From everything I learned until now my focus is the business first and to improve in all aspects especially in a creative and operational stand point. We’re still growing and learning and we love the process. You got to test yourself and take risks to see where you stand and I feel like we found a new sense of direction and we’re excited to share what we projects and menus we have on the way.

GÜDMÜDFÜD is a brand created by guys who love food and have a passion to innovate and push boundaries in our style of cuisine. We create new ideas and try to bring them into life through our dishes. We focus on street food with a fusion twist because we feel that’s a safe introduction to other cuisines that other people may not be familiar with. Our food and pop ups are about bringing people together and experiencing some different. We like to be versatile with our menus and showcase different styles, techniques, cuisines, and flavors with our own twist how we tie it all together. We put in alot of thought and love into every dish.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so much to do in San Diego it hurts my head to even think of where to start. For starters, you can’t come to San Diego without getting Mexican Food. My favorite spots would be TJ Bierria 664, Tacos El Gordo, and Humbertos. I’d also suggest to check out our amazing food halls we have here in San Diego as well. Market On 8th in National City is place to hang out, eat, and grab a drink as well as Liberty Public Market. I definitely would suggest OB farmers market, I really enjoy the vibe out there. Other than that, i’d try to catch a Padres game, visit Balboa Park, enjoy a night in Gaslamp, and checking out malls like UTC and Fashion Valley. Walking around Seaport Village is always something I liked to do, nice views and you’re close to the water without being in the sand. I’d suggest a night out in North Park to hit some bars. I’d also suggest to visit Convoy for the variety of asian foods, drinks, and karaoke bars. I’d force them to try a dirty flat top burger from The Friendly and let them pig out on some Filipino Food from Titas Kitchenette before leaving.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

First person I want to shoutout is my Dad. He’s made so many sacrifices for me and my family to give us an opportunity for a better life. He has supported me through everything and is someone I definitely idolize and consider one of my heroes. His unconditional love makes me proud to honor our family name. He’s a big part of who I am and is an example of who I want to become. He’s the type to not take credit for anything but I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done for me and most importantly, thank you for always allowing me to be myself. Proud to be your son! Love you, Dad!

Another person that I want to shoutout is my sister, Rochelle Sunglao. She’s my older sister but she’s also one of my bestfriends in life. Watching her progress in her career throughout the years and to becoming a business owner really motivated and inspired me to pursue my own dreams. For her to choose her passion as a career path and to work hard to get where she is now is something that I will always be proud of and so rewarding to witness. I appreciate you for always believing in me, pushing me to be better, and the guidance you provide me. Thank you for always being a positive influence in my life and watching your business grow makes me feel like l can accomplish anything too. Love you, Ro! Thankful for everything you are to me!

I also want to shoutout one of my partners in GÜDMÜDFÜD, Teddy Deguzman. Thank you for giving me my first restaurant opportunity and taking me in. You gave me the support and confidence to progress but kept me disciplined and grounded at the same time. Your mentorship throughout the years helped me grow in all aspects in working in the restaurant industry but most importantly, you helped me discover my passion and helped me grow into who I am today. I’m glad to have you apart of this journey and excited to see where the future takes GÜDMÜDFÜD!

I want to give a shoutout to my close friends who I grew up with and shared my childhood with on Elsberry. Our friendships will always be important to me because it laid the foundation of who I am and who I want to be. I appreciate and love you guys so much for the endless support, you guys are my backbone.

Quick shoutout to all my past and present coworkers. I appreciate everyone I worked with because you guys were all instrumental to my daily development and growth in this industry. Good shifts or bad, we all grew together and i’ll always be thankful for the memories we’ve shared and friendships that were formed.

Last shoutout goes to my Mom. My Mom passed away back in 2011 but her memory is the driving force to keep doing what i’m doing. Everything I do is for her honor. The lessons she taught and memories we’ve had me are things I still hold onto daily. Even though she’s not with me, I always want to make her proud. She’s my motivation to become the best version of myself. I can’t repay her for the life she gave me but I will try my best to pay it forward for her. Love you Mom! Rest In Peace!

Instagram: @gudmudfud_

Facebook: GÜDMÜDFÜD

Image Credits
Donald Allard ; @donny_ducktales

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