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There’d be challenges but continue doing what you love to do – Ara Roslyn Calleja

In a move to honor her mother’s legacy, Ara Roslyn L. Calleja opened Mama Turing’s Recipe, now an up-and-coming biz offering homemade foods.

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Ara Roslyn L. Calleja opened Mama Turing’s Recipe only last June, and only with over PhP1,000.00 as a capital for this business.

But she said it was something that was bound to happen.

“Mama Turing is what my family, relatives and close friends fondly call my mother. Her real name (was) Teodora and she died two years ago. All of the people who came to our house and ate (there) really loved the food she cooked. She was very well-known with her cooking skills and her passion in re-inventing menu that she had just tasted for the first time,” Ara recalled.

One time, when she was looking at her mother’s things, “I saw this very old tickler where she wrote all the recipes that she re-invented, or should I say menus that had her own touch/style. And naisip ko, bakit hindi ko gawing business yung mga specialties niya? Alam kong maraming nakakamiss ng luto niya. So why not continue her legacy? I wanted my mother’s recipes to be remembered forever.”

And so she entered the food industry via Mama Turing’s Recipe.

Ara is glad to be backed by “my family, my husband, who continue to motivate me everyday despite of the challenges that we faced (including the loss of our daughter last March). That really made me stronger and made me who I am right now; I became much closer to God and God helped me to stand up and continue living. And lastly the one who inspires me everyday is my son, a God’s gift, a miracle baby.”

Looking back, Ara always dreamed of opening her own business, having been an employee for 13 years.

“I was a Mass Communication, with a minor in Advertising, graduate,” she said.

And now, “I think having some knowledge about advertising helped me to market my business.”

Of course running a business is challenging.

For instance, there’s her location. “Since bago pa ako sa business, I wanted to reach a wider market. There were times na pag may nagtatanong kung saan ang location ko parang napapaisip sila na mahal pa yung pa-Lalamove nila. So what I’m doing right now is ‘meet up delivery’. Medyo mahirap due to the world’s situation. It’s really scary pero of course at least parang nakakatulong narin ako sa mga customers ko dahil ang food ay basic need lalo na ngayong pandemic.”

And yes, this is a profitable venture.

“I guess lahat naman ng klase ng business is a profitable venture. You just have so work hard and accept downfall sometimes but rise up again. Sabi nga nila try and try until you succeed. If some of the things you do in your business didn’t worked you must have a lot of options for it to work out.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Ara give?

“I chose this business because I really love to eat. Sabi nga nila kung pipili ka daw ng papasuking business, yung alam mong mag eenjoy ka at nandun ang passion mo. Hindi rin lahat ng oras o panahon ay sagana. May mga challenges na darating, but you just have to face it, stand up and continue doing what you love to do. And believe that you will be successful someday. All the things you do, you need to offer it to the Lord, dahil kung ano man ang narating mo at nasan ka man sa kinalalagyan mo ngayon, si Lord ang dahilan nun.”

For more information or to order from Mama Turing’s Recipe, head to their FB page.

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‘Don’t be afraid to take risks’ – Diana Abne

For Diana Abne, owner of Sugar Mommah PH – established in 2020 with a startup capital of only P5,000 – people should find their passion. “It is never too late to find new passions and goals in life. Find what your strengths are and what are your weaknesses … build your business from there.”

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To help ease the anxiety brought by COVID-19 (while augmenting income at that), Diana Abne established Sugar Mommah PH in June 2020 with a start-up capital of only around P5,000.

“It started as a passion project,” said the single mom, though “I have always loved cooking for my family (even if) I haven’t tried baking. But during the pandemic, I wanted to learn something new and add new skills, (so I started baking).”

It helped that people around her were supportive.

The oven she uses, for instance, “was a gift from my parents,” Diana said. And other family members and friends “became my first customers.”

These are also the very people who “inspire me to make good food.”

Looking back, it never occurred to Diana he’d go into this line of business.

“I always thought I do not have the patience nor the discipline to bake,” she said. “In cooking, I have always trusted my instincts in mixing spices and flavors. But in baking, everything has to be exact. I graduated Communication Arts in UST and is currently working as a Social Media Manager for a digital company. It is not aligned with my current business although it helps me in handling my social media pages.”

But yes, the decision to open Sugar Mommah PH was a good one.

“It is already profitable,” Diana smiled. “I was able to get my ROI within three months.”

Obviously, there are still challenges; as is normal for any business.

“The biggest challenge and struggle for me is handling my business, my work and being a mom. I live alone with my kid with no hired help so I am very much hands-on in everything – from cleaning the house to homestudy with my 7-year-old,” she said. “I get to adapt by following a very strict routine and schedule. I wake up at 5:00AM so I can have my me time and start cleaning and cooking. Baking time is scheduled every weekend since I only accept weekend orders, as of now.”

Business-wise, a challenge is “making sure that I have something unique and new in my shop. With the pandemic ongoing, food business quadrupled, and my competitors have years of experience in baking and decorating. I used to envy them and feel bad about myself but I realized that like most in life, we are on different levels.”

“I always remind myself that I will be able to achieve their successes in time. I don’t need to rush things and I need to take it slowly. As long as someone still believes in me and as long as I don’t give up, I can achieve their successes too in my own time.”

DIANA ABNE
Owner, Sugar MommaH PH

Diana also eyes to succeed for her son. “I am a single mom and he inspires to do everything, so I can help him make his dream come true.”

To others who are looking at opening a business, Diana suggested facing their fears.

“Don’t be afraid to take risks. I firmly believe that if it scares you, it means that you are one step away in changing your life. It is in that moment of fear that you should jump and go for it,” she said.

Another advice would be to “find your passion. We are trained to believe that we can only have one passion in life but I learned that your passion can change in every stage in your life. It is never too late to find new passions and goals in life. Find what your strengths are and what are your weaknesses … build your business from there,” Diana ended.

Wanna try the savory offerings of Sugar Mommah PH? Head to Facebook or Instagram: @sugarmommahph; or send a message to Viber/WhatsApp 09177537804.

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Some people won’t understand your product, but they’d recognize quality – Chris Bezuidenhout

Chris Bezuidenhout started Braai Brothers Philippines in 2016 with a startup capital of only P10,000. That was a good move, since Braai Brothers Philippines made a mark.

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Braai Brothers Philippines was started in 2016 with a startup capital of only P10,000.

“My family has been in the food industry for many generations, and the love for quality South African food is a family tradition,” said Chris Bezuidenhout, adding that his late grandfather was a butcher in South Africa for many decades, and “his recipes are what I use for my products today. My father, Arnold; and my aunt, Marlene, are responsible for keeping the recipes safe all these years.”

In 2016, “I was making the(se) products for personal consumption and for occasions with friends. After a few people said that it was good enough that they would pay for it, I decided to turn my passion into a business.”

That was a good move, since Braai Brothers Philippines made a mark.

Looking back, and because of his family’s history, “anyone (who) pushes innovation while acknowledging and respecting the lessons of the past is who inspires me,” Chris said.

Chris actually came to the Philippines because of the BPO industry.

“I started my career in the catering industry and spent a decade learning the trade including training as a chef before switching to the BPO industry,” he said. But having worked with the BPO industry, he also learned “managing a successful business. Even though they are vastly different businesses, the BPO industry taught me how to manage the financial aspect as well as what world class customer service is.”

There are still challenges in running Braai Brothers Philippines.

“The biggest challenge I have (is) balancing my BPO career, the business and family life,” he said. “I am all about a balanced approach to life and always aim to ensure that each get their quality time to ensure all are successful.”

Braai Brothers Philippines already reached ROI; in fact, this was reached “within the first few months,” he said. This may be because “I had a low initial investment and have pushed profits back into the business in order to improve equipment and quality. It is profitable and continues to grow slowly but surely.”

For people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Chris give?

“Follow your passion. People may not understand your product at first but they will recognize your drive. If your market is limited in size then stand out by your quality, your customer service and your business values. By doing this, your market will grow organically,” Chris ended.

If you want to get in touch with Braai Brothers Philippines, visit their Facebook page @Braai Brothers Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/braaibrothersph), check out their website (https://braaibrothers.one/), or send them a message via mobile phone/WhatsApp/Viber at 09272588688.

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‘Don’t be scared to work hard’ – Paul Theunissen

Covid-19 pushed the establishment of The Bushveld Kitchen by husband and wife Paul and Mary Jane Theunissen in July 2020 with around PhP30,000 capital. “Don’t be scared to work hard,” Paul said. “A lot of time and effort will reap the benefits.”

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The Bushveld Kitchen was established by husband and wife Paul and Mary Jane Theunissen in July 2020 with around PhP30,000 capital. Covid-19 pushed them to start the business, actually, since Paul is a foreigner and relied on contracts abroad to earn income while here; and all contracts came to a stop due to Covid-19. They also had to make a living for their two sons, Joe Carlos and Paul Jr.

The business, said Paul, is “something that is unique that you don’t (commonly) find in the Philippines (since it offers) authentic South African delicacies.”

Looking back, Paul said they didn’t think they’d become business people. Yeah, they loved eating the dishes; but it never occurred to them “I’ll make it for an income,” he smiled.

There is continuous learning.

For instance, “getting the right meat for the product. Specific cuts are needed for each product. If you don’t get the right cut, it will not come out as the same product you find in South Africa. It will either be chewy when it comes to the Biltong and Droewors, or too dry and no taste when it comes to the wors.”

But they learned “to demand the right cuts from the butcher.”

Has the business reached ROI?

“If it was not for daily expenses to pay for the bills and buy food, it will be a profitable company. I’m sure in another year’s time I’ll reach my goal to have enough customers,” Paul said. But “slowly the company is growing… with new customers wanting to try the products. I have a lot of customers that return weekly to buy again. Some come back monthly.”

But yeah, this is a profitable venture, he smiled.

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Paul give?

“Don’t be scared to work hard,” Paul said. “A lot of time and effort will reap the benefits.”

If you want to get in touch with The Bushveld Kitchen, contact them through WhatsApp or Viber 09062252996; Facebook account @thebushveldkitchen; or email thebushveldkitchen@gmail.com.

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