RTFARM SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS or popularly known as “The Garden Kitchen” was started in 2009 by Ms. Andrea Karina Alforte. It was registered as sole proprietorship in 2016 thru the Negosyo Center Los Baños (NCLB). 

The Garden Kitchen first started out as a weekend cooking hobby. Her healthy dishes were being sold in Manila. However, traumatized by an unthinkable disaster brought by Typhoon Ondoy, the family decided to leave their life in the city and move to a simpler lifestyle beneath the legendary Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna. Quitting their jobs, the couple invested their pay checks to put up a hydroponic farm, which was later converted to an organic farm. It was a family-run operation. “We do everything ourselves, from constructing the greenhouse, to planting, harvesting, and delivery. Even the kids help out in sowing seeds and their cute little faces help us market our produce.” Specializing in lettuces, salad vegetables and herbs, ARTFARM now produces the ingredients for The Garden Kitchen’s processed food products, and supplies fresh vegetables to local organic stores, food businesses and restaurants. 

The development of good products using ingredients that are sustainably sourced and produced is one of their strengths. Clients are able to differentiate ARTFARM’s products and are sure the quality of products are grown and processed with personal touch. Like any farming enterprise, their weaknesses include production-related risks, pests, droughts, storms that affect the quality and quantity of farm harvest. 

One of the major achievements in their business is finding partners who can help bring their products closer to their target markets. They joined bazaars however, it’s a bit costly and inefficient. They then started to work with a small network of businesses, and organizations. Now, they are able to reach households, organic stores and organic farms not only in north and south Luzon, but also in Visayas and Mindanao. 

She shared her experience at the Negosyo Center Los Baños. “We first walked into the Negosyo Center just to inquire about the process of registering our business. But we left already having a Certificate of Business Name registration. It was a very efficient transaction and it motivated us to take our business to the next level, to make it a legal and legitimate business entity. We are lucky to have the Negosyo Center as our partner as we grow our business. This is also our first business venture, but through the networking, marketing and learning opportunities offered by NC, we are more confident to move forward, with product registration and licensing, and acquiring certification from various bodies. We already know that we have good products, but Negosyo Center is supporting us so we can offer products that are guaranteed, registered and certified so consumers will be assured of our products’ quality, and so that our products can reach a bigger market, not just locally, but perhaps globally.”