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Passion, Patience and Perseverance
Edelyn Sitchon Cañero of Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts

As the owner of Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts, Edelyn Sitchong Cañero made the transition from retailer to manufacturer in 2005 because of three Ps: ‘passion, patience and perseverance.’

By adhering to these three Ps, Cañero managed to become a successful businesswoman despite the difficulties one would encounter in any business.

The hardships of doing business

In 2002, Cañero was wondering how her family would survive on her commissions as a part-time real estate agent, given that her husband was out of work and they had two children. It did not help that the rains of the monsoon season had begun to besiege their flood-prone area in Pampanga.

“I had to step up for my family to survive,” she said. With her husband’s support, she chose peanuts as a business, both as a wholesaler and retailer of nut delicacies.

When going from one company to another to sell peanuts was not enough, she decided to get into manufacturing—complete with her own brand: Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts.

The challenges of running a company

She then had problems sourcing capital. She had to deal with lending cooperatives and thrift banks despite having no collateral to offer and taking on interest rates as high as 24 percent.

Other problems she faced included having to comply with requirements from distributors, exporters and mall stall operators that a small business like hers could not fulfill. Supermarkets and specialty stores also turned down her products for similar reasons.

“We got so tired of getting rejected,” Cañero said.

She faced these problems head on as she resorted to taste tests or product sampling, severe price cuts, and selling on consignment to generate demand. Soon, orders started rolling in.  

The rewards of hard work

When the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) stepped into the picture, she began getting a steady stream of repeat orders from big institutional buyers.

She also started joining DTI-sponsored local, regional, and national exhibitions and trade fairs. Soon, she was landing spots on various television shows and her products managed to make it to markets all over the world.

Cañero said the key to her success is having a business you truly like so as to marshal the “passion, patience and perseverance” required.

Likewise, she said: “You’ll need to know how to discern, to treat the competition—not as adversaries—but as challenges, and to have financial discipline. Don’t spend too much.  Borrow only when needed.”

The key to success

“Doing business isn’t easy in the beginning. But once you get used to doing it, you’ll realize that you’re not really working.  It becomes part of your daily life,” she added.

Not bad for a business that went from peanuts to sales amounting to millions and being sold in over 100 outlets nationwide.

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