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Robert Calixto

Episode 154

Crafting the Lumpia Legacy

Robert Calixto has been a fixture in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) since 1986, where he discovered his passion for entrepreneurship and community building. In 2000, he founded Sunflowers Real Estate and Mortgage, marking the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. Over the next decade, he ventured into various industries, including construction with XLS Construction in 2016 and culinary arts with Taste of Manila Restaurant in 2004.

In 2022 Robert truly made his mark as the founder and owner of Lumpia Mania, a beloved culinary gem in the SGV. His commitment to excellence and innovation has solidified Lumpia Mania’s reputation as a culinary destination.

Throughout his ventures, Robert has remained dedicated to the SGV community, enriching it with his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for excellence.

Location: Glendora Public Market  905 E Arrow Hwy, Glendora, CA 91740

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Robert Calixto Quotes

“It’s my whole upbringing and now it’s a mission, you know?”
“This is like historical; it’s got everything, you know, all the boxes check on the way I kind of see us moving forward.”
“I’m very SGV, very SoCal.”
“I can’t believe we’re here.”
“I’m trying to put Lumpia on the map in America to make it mainstream just like tacos and hamburgers and pizzas.”
“You gotta have fun all the time, you know?”
“We’re basically Chinese Hispanics.”
“We’re not fast food. We’re sit-down, made-to-order.”
“My timing was great for what I’m trying to do, you know.”
“The difference between us and all these other countries who speak Spanish is that we were only conquered for 350 years.”

Reinventing Filipino Cuisine

Robert Calixto, the owner of Lumpia Mania, is on a mission to make Filipino food more accessible and mainstream by simplifying the menu. Unlike traditional Filipino restaurants that offer a vast array of dishes, Lumpia Mania focuses on a few items, aiming to solve the problem of overwhelming choice and introduce Filipino cuisine to a broader audience.

Historical Venue with a Modern Twist

Lumpia Mania is located in the Glendora Public Market, a food court set in a historical building that was once a Wonder Bread factory. Robert appreciates the venue for its unique character, family-oriented atmosphere, and its suitability for starting his restaurant.

Embracing SGV’s Diversity

Robert has a deep connection to the San Gabriel Valley (SGV), having lived in the area since moving to the dorms at Cal State LA in 1986. He values the region’s diversity, which reminds him of his upbringing in Manila, where Spanish and Chinese influences blend seamlessly.

Expanding Beyond the Restaurant

Lumpia Mania is expanding its reach by selling at stadiums, a move that has proven successful with sold-out products. This expansion is part of Robert’s strategy to make lumpia as ubiquitous as tacos and burgers in America.

Lumpia Burger – A Culinary Innovation

The Lumpia Burger, a creation of Robert’s, is a unique offering that combines the flavors of traditional lumpia with the convenience of a burger. This signature dish has garnered significant attention and positive feedback from customers.

Personal Tribute to Filipino Heritage

The restaurant and its offerings are a tribute to Robert’s Filipino heritage and his parents’ exceptional cooking skills. He incorporates memories and elements from his childhood into Lumpia Mania, making it a personal and cultural endeavor.

Pursuing a Dream at Dodger Stadium

Robert aspires to have Lumpia Mania featured at Dodger Stadium, which he sees as a significant milestone in promoting Filipino food. His passion for the Dodgers and vision for his business converge in this dream.


Music Credits

Like it Loud, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Scarlet Fire (Sting), Otis McDonald, YouTube Audio Library

Indecision, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Picture of Robert Calixto

Robert Calixto

Glendora Public Market

A food court located in a historic building that was formerly a Wonder Bread factory, featuring unique eateries and a family-friendly environment.

San Gabriel Valley

Robert discusses his life phases, including his time in Manila and his move to SGV, where he attended Cal State LA and lived in various cities. The diversity of SGV, especially its food scene, is meaningful to him.

Binondo, Manila

Although not part of SGV, Robert reflects on his childhood in Binondo, Manila, which has a strong Chinese influence and is akin to SGV’s diversity. He likens the culinary experiences in Binondo to those in SGV.