Best Of Friends Bake Their Way To Success

Best of Friends Rosanna Baguio, 38 yrs. old, and Rowena Archie Patinio, 40, both single, never ever thought that the candy business they’ve started out of a two hundred peso capital (Php 200) would grow into a lucrative business. These two BFF (best friends forever) are the Owners of Rosechie Food Products, a company based in General Santos City which, in 2006, out of Chie’s hobby for making candies and pastillas for family members and Rosanna’s love for marketing and selling, the two started with an initial product line of three, composed of yema, sampaloc candy and polvoron.

Initially thinking that their business only involved cooking and selling, the two realized that “We have learned that it is not as easy or simple as you cook then you sell. A lot of parameters needed to be considered in order to ensure high quality of products and food safety. We are happy that DTI is there willing to assist us.” Rosanna enthuses.

Having benefitted of DTI 12’s business advisory services, the company extremely reduced its problem of having too many wastage or bad orders (BO) because of their tart products’ very short shelf-life lasting only for two to three days as they would turn brown and become spoiled , thus causing big losses to their finances. However, when DTI assisted them by referring them to a consultant who computed the right formulation for their products, there was a significant increase in product quality and shelf-life that can make products last for a couple of weeks or even months.

Through the combined interventions of DTI offices - both Regional and GSC Field Office, the two ladies were able to attend more trainings such as on Product Packaging and Labeling, Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) Food Safety, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cgmp), How to acquire FDA and License to Operate, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Pricing and Costing, Marketing Strategy and many more. Aside from that, the company was able to enjoy DTI’s Access to Market program, whereby they participated in various Trade Fairs in Gensan, Tacurong, South Cotabato, Cotabato, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Manila. The most recent that they have joined was the Treasures of SOX: Travel and Trade Expo in Manila last April 11-14, 2016 in Glorietta Mall, Makati City wherein according to them, ALL the products they brought were SOLD.

Because of these, new markets for their products were opened. From friends, relatives, neighbors, and students in school canteens, their market has evolved into Class A Market of the airport, big malls like SM GenSan, Pasalubong Center, and KCC Malls both in General Santos and Koronadal City. Currently, a fruit processing company is also sourcing their candies and coats them with chocolate. The General Santos City Airport, is also one of RoseChie’s biggest customers. Consequently in 2008, six months after the two ladies started selling their products in the airport, they were able to buy a 150 square meter lot near the residence of Rosanna’s parents at the B’laan Commmunity Village in Brgy. Labangal where they were able to build a house and a plant facility for the business. According to Chie (Rowena), “that’s when we knew how lucrative this business can be.”

RoseChie’s growth accelerated also because it was able to avail of financing loan from LGU GenSan. Since it already had an additional capital, the company progressed and increased its job generation capacity from two persons up to ten employees, most of whom were working students who sought to have a source of fund for their schooling. Because of this, DTI referred the enterprise to DOST so it can become a beneficiary of the latter’s SET UP Project wherein DOST gave the enterprise an opportunity to avail of a loan amounting to P245, 000, payable in five years. With the money, Rosechie was able to buy additional equipment such cooking mixer, flour mixer and band sealer. To cope with increase in mixing capacity, the two bought an industrial oven as their counterpart. These brought increased productivity at about 700% per day. From a daily production of 60 packs, the enterprise can now produce 480 packs. Although the enterprise has reduced its regular manpower to about 70% as its need for labor lie in the packaging aspect only, still, the company has on call employees, most of whom are students.

At its 10th year in the business, Rosechie Food Products embarks not only on the friendship between its two owners but most importantly, on their brilliance, hard work, persistence and diligence. It is good to note that the skill of one complements that of the other. Rosanna is good in product marketing and establishing good relationship with clients, Chie, on the other hand, is good in numbers and is the one doing the accounting for the business. Because of this, both are very optimistic in expanding their market in order to have the “finishing touches” on their plant facility and also for a new delivery truck for their products. Currently Rosanna’s father serves as the business’ official driver. “It’s funny because at first, our “Top Down” was not allowed to enter the RDU (section/ unit place where delivery of goods for malls are done) of the malls. But later on, when product sales began picking up and we were told to deliver immediately, their RDUs already allow it to enter the facility. But of course, we are saving to have a new car. That’s why we are doing our best to increase our production and identify more market”, said Rosanna.

“This interview is very timely. We’d like our clients to know that our company is strict when it comes to safety and it really observes good manufacturing process. In fact, our company has an FDA license. Hence, when they order from us, they can be assured of product quality and safety.” Chie added.

Today, the enterprise produces 20 product lines namely: tarts with two shapes: circle type and bow type with 5 different flavors each namely: manga, durian, langka, macapuno and cashew; polvoron with 4 new flavors like cookies and cream, cashew, durian and milk with moringa; candies composed of 5 flavors such as durian, macapuno., yema with carrots, sampaloc., and durian; and also pastillas with 3 flavors namely: ube, durian, and pure milk. Our products are very affordable as price range from P30 – P35 per pack. “We make it a point that our products become very affordable so many people can enjoy their delicious taste. Our tarts have very soft base and our fruit filling are not too sweet either and hence, suitable to the taste of many people. Our various flavors for yema candies taste heavenly also. Same is true with our pastillas and sampaloc candies.” Rosanna added.

With the enterprises’ tagline, Pasalubong Ko, Pasalubong Mo“, this formidable Women Entrepreneurs are set to make their business soar to a much greater height.

Sweet Life Abounds For Local Women In The Coconut Farmlands Of Cotabato

Brgy. Aroman in the municipality of Carmen, Cotabato is a land teeming with coconuts. And it is from this abundance that the Aroman Natural Food Women’s Producers Cooperative (ANFWC) traces its roots.

It all started in 2008 when the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) 12 came up with the idea of a livelihood opportunity for the wives of their farmhands, about half of whom were members of the ethnic Manuvu tribe. Life was hard, the men earning only a pittance while their wives were mostly plain housewives.

This changed when 21 of the women, with seven of the men working as mananguetes, joined the fledgling group to start the production of coco sugar. With only a little idea about the process, they approached DTI-Cotabato and became recipients of capability building and skills trainings on Food Safety Assurance such as HACCP and GMP, as well as Packaging and Labeling, Product Branding, etc. By July 2009, they registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) 12.

Thereafter, they ventured into the commercial production of coco sugar, which fast-tracked their growth. DTI then selected them as one of the SSF beneficiaries of packaging facilities worth PHP1.313 million, to include a sacheting machine, pH meter, refractometer, stainless steel working tables, foot sealer, vacuum sealer, and sifting machine.

Nakatabang jud ang DTI sa amoa kay sadtong una, below-standard ang quality sa amuang packaging. Kulang pud ang among ubang mga gamit, ug kanunay lang mi sige ug trial-and-error, hinungdan nga dugay ang among paglambo (DTI really helped us since we had below-standard packaging quality. We also lacked other machines and equipment, the reason why we were always doing trial-and-error, and why growth was slow),” said Ms. Desebel Jadraque, Chair of the cooperative.

Thereafter, Coconut Republic, a Manila-based consolidator, sourced its coco sugar requirement from them for export to the United States and Europe. DTI also helped market their products by encouraging them to join trade fairs and exhibits at the local, regional and national levels. Their growth is such that the cooperative now has 75 women processors and 20 mananguetes working fulltime.

Now, the women earn a minimum of Php 7,000 a month, boosting their families’ once meager finances. For their part, the men now earn a low of Php 2,500 a week and a high of PHP4,000 a week as mananguetes. This has helped send their children to school, with some already graduating from college to become our country’s nurses, teachers, and engineers.

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