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

Hi Francis, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Before I started Belly Pork Gang I was doing the normal office 9-5 thing. I worked in Housing and I did love my job as it involved helping people but I have always loved food. Then on our family holiday in 2017 to Turkey we went Paragliding and unlucky me, on landing it went a bit funny last second with my Paraglider trying to avoid people we ended up on the concrete with me breaking my back (Coccyx). I still remember it was like a scene from Baywatch, I was laid out on the beach and people just started rushing around me. My Wife just landed she was 3months pregnant (Lol) and my Daughter was about to land. Fast Forward 3months I recovered but that experience changed my life. During my recovery me and Wife would talk like what if I ended up in a wheelchair I mean what would have happened we dreaded to think. So from there I decided its time to start up my own Street Food Business Belly Pork Gang bringing Filipino BBQ to London. Belly Pork Gang was born.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My idea was to sell Filipino Food in London. Growing up as a 2nd generation British Filipino there was never ever any options only now is it really popping off. I wanted to make Filipino BBQ Pork & Chicken that reminded you of The Philippines. I started my Street Food Stall in February 2020 it started slow but it was doing ok just once a week on the weekend all my friends and family came out to buy and support but then Bam the corona virus came in I literally did our stall 5 times then it was all over. I still had my part time job so I just started working my Instagram account and building my following. I was getting DM’s with people asking me to do home deliveries but I was like na I’m good but then then suddenly I lost my job. I had no choice really but to start home deliveries. It has been a success living 5 minutes from a hospital (there is a lot of Filipino Nurses if you didn’t already know) I have been busy ever since. I have only ever gone a week without an order so I am really chuffed that people love our food. I think what sets me apart is that I deliver to you anywhere in London within the M25 and 99% of our customers are Filipino born which for me means so much. Hence my hashtag #tasteslikehome the feed back we get is just so nice and overwhelming it is really an honour and I’m half Filipino too (Mum Filipino who raised me herself) my Dad is from Pakistan but I have never met him. Our customers say our food brings them back to Philippines I mean what more do you want for positive feedback. My food is straight Filipino no fusion no nothing I stick to what I do best our menu is small and we keep it that way. The biggest challenge is to do you, be real and stick to your guns. My Instagram following has grown to 6000+ to date. We also had to put a UK Flag on our Instagram homepage as we were getting requests for food from America, Canada, Australia and even The Philippines itself. I want the world to know that Belly Pork Gang is bringing you that banging Filipino Food and in the future I hope to have my own store so follow us on @bellyporkgang on Instagram or Facebook.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to my friends restaurants in Kentish Town which is down the road from Camden Town, it’s Bring your own bottle and the food is great. Bintang, Guanabana, Ramo Ramen & Mamasons. I would take them to places in Camden Town, Shoreditch, Brixton to name a few. There are just too many places to name London Nightlife is Live.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Wife 100% she supports me all the way even when times are tough and money is low she’s always upbeat, on point and ready to roll. She is also the secret to all my recipes without her I mean what would I be doing now. My daughter also always ready to taste the marinades to give her seal of approval along with my little boy. My friends also have been very supportive from day one and everyone came down when I launched my street food stall. Love to the Filipino Community also in the UK and on Instagram as I get a lot of love on the gram. Love to everyone that supports Belly Pork Gang.

Instagram: bellyporkgang

Facebook: bellyporkgang

Youtube: Belly Pork Gang

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