The Beginning

“Without the color green, it felt like there was no hope or vitality…” That was the realization that brought the birth of Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing by Ms. Josephine Alviar Velasco and her family from San Pedro City, Laguna.

Year 2013 was when Typhoon Yolanda stormed the country with lifeless bodies on the streets and barren trees that lacked any traces of green. The Velasco family were struck by the absence of life and the overwhelming sadness in their surroundings. They had witnessed and saw people who had nothing to eat and felt powerless because money had no value when there was nothing to buy. It was during this time that they had recognized the potential of being in the food business — to provide sustenance and make a difference. They have aspired for the day when they would be capable of helping others in similar situations.

The journey from surviving Typhoon Yolanda to starting and growing the business has been a testament to the resilience, compassion, and determination of the Velasco family. It is a reminder that, out of the darkest moments, seeds of hope and opportunity can emerge.

The Business Introduction

The business name “Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing” located at Lot 670, Brgy. San Vicente, San Pedro City, Laguna, was registered on May 17, 2017 under Ms. Josephine Velasco as the registered business owner through the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Negosyo Center in San Pedro City. As of today, Ms. Sharon Rose Velasco, the daughter of Ms. Josephine Velasco, serves as the overall operations manager and the face of the business. They have sported a perfect concoction of breads and pastries for their famous “mamon”.

As of today, they are focusing on products such as mamon, wherein it has two variations, an original mamon (vanilla flavor) and their special mamon (fruity flavor). Also, they have started manufacturing bottled products such as their “Chili Blast”, a chili garlic oil, and their “Chili Kaelomel”, a Korean side dish.

The Challenges Conquered

During the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, all businesses were affected especially those involved in the food industry. A lot of businesses have ceased operation, some changed their business products and services, and there are those who strived to continue and conquer this situation. Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing is one of the latter type. They were never reluctant in seeking assistance and in exerting incredible resilience to push through and see how their business will thrive and flourish after these excruciating happenings.

The pandemic has served as the gateway for Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing to avail services offered by the government. Through the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) together with DTI – Laguna Provincial Office, the business was given mobilization that enables them in navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic and in maintaining the smooth business operation.

Adjusting to the new normal was never an easier journey. Knowing that they cannot do anything about this situation, with the increased cost and lesser availability of the ingredients. Also, being not accustomed with solely relying in product deliveries, the business struggled. They felt uneasy about the customers having to pay higher shipping fees. However, through the seminars conducted by DTI, the business gradually adopted an e-commerce style. They started utilizing platforms such as LBC, Grab, Shopee, and Lazada to reach their customers. This shift allowed the business to continue their operation and cater the need of their customers’ in this new normal.

The Support from DTI

Legalizing the business was just the first step. Sustaining, cultivating, enhancing, and staying in the industry is another story. After finally registering their business in 2017, they know that it was not enough and that they have to keep striving and improving,

not only their products but also their mindset as an entrepreneur. Throughout the years, Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing has been continuously keeping their relationship with the DTI. They are very keen in attending various seminars provided by the DTI Negosyo Centers and come year 2019 when the business decided to join one of DTI’s MSME Development Program, the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program. It is a program that aims to help MSMEs scale up their business thru coaching and mentoring. In addition to this, Green Ribbon Food Manufacturing actively participates in trade fair offerings of DTI, which leads them to a wider market reach. This exposure also paved way for them to generate new business ideas and opportunities. ♦

Date of release: 4 January 2024