COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)– A Columbus man who started cooking for fun during the COVID-19 pandemic has turned his hobby into a business, Filberto’s Authentic Filipino Cuisine, a new Filipino restaurant.

Miguel Pacle and his family began cooking Filipino food for their friends during the pandemic. Pacle’s friends enjoyed his food so much they began telling more people in the community about his cuisine. This gave Pacle a head start and he decided to join Market Days in Uptown Columbus.

“We joined Market Days on Broadway on July 2020 and then that’s when we actually started constantly cooking every Saturday. We were a pop-up restaurant; we have a rotating menu, we always have different menu items every weekend. We did a whole lot of catering, we did weddings, we did birthdays, any event you could think of,” Pacle said.

Pacle told News 3 he was only cooking for fun.

“We were doing it for fun at first and then didn’t realize that there is a market for Filipino food here in Columbus. So to us, it wasn’t really about the money, we just loved cooking. I kind of learned how to cook through that because before any of this, I didn’t know how to cook before the pandemic. I had enough time to really learn how to cook, and then my mom taught me everything that she knows,” Pacle said.

After all of Pacle’s hard work, Filberto’s Authentic Filipino Cuisine is now under construction at Banks Food Hall.

“When we were actually seeing lines every weekend at Market Days on Broadway. Our first Saturday we were sold out in like an hour, the following weekend we brought more food and we were sold out again. So we kind of just realized we definitely do have a market here, with people lining up to get their food. We would open at 9 a.m. but they would be in line by 8 a.m., we’d have to close early because we would run out of food,” Pacle said

Pacle said he was afraid to launch his business at first but he decided to take a leap of faith.

“At first I was just kind of scared to actually put out my business because it’s really not a lot of Filipino people here. I mean there’s like a good amount, it’s a really good Filipino community here in the surrounding area,” Pacle said.

Pacle wants to encourage those who have a business idea to go out and just do it.

“At first like I said I was scared and I feel like you just have to take that risk and not really think about it too much. I feel like everything in life is about taking risks, small or big every day you wake up you’re taking a risk. I feel like if you’re passionate about something you just have to go for it because you never going to know what the end result is, so you have to take that risk,” Pacle said.

There’s no exact date for Filberto’s Authentic Filipino Cuisine but Pacle plans to open by early Feb.