In the heart of a quaint coastal town in Rosario, Cavite, a success story has unfolded over the decades, woven with the dedication and passion of a family deeply rooted in the art of smoked and dried fish production. The story began with Justa Morabe, who laid the foundation for the business. Over the years, Genoveva Morabe, her daughter, took the helm, passing on the family legacy to her three children—Ricardo, Emelita, and Robert Enriquez.

While all three children were exposed to the ins and outs of the business, it was Emelita who developed a deep passion for managing and operating Skye Smoked and Dried Fish. She absorbed the intricacies of sourcing quality fish and creating delectable recipes, ensuring the family’s heritage would flourish.

Emelita’s dedication and commitment to the business transcended generations. Her son, Jan Carlo Reyes, witnessed the challenges and successes of Skye Smoked and Dried Fish throughout his upbringing. Although he explored other career paths, the allure of continuing the family legacy drew him back. With the unwavering support of his wife, Rose Anne Mangubat Reyes, Jan Carlo decided to take the reins of the family business.

The journey was not without its challenges. Economic fluctuations, changing market dynamics, and environmental factors such as the pandemic that affected their sales and business operations posed hurdles. However, true to their roots, the Reyes family faced adversity with resilience and innovation. They adapted their traditional methods to incorporate modern technologies, improved efficiency, and elevated quality while preserving their time-honored recipes and meeting the demands of a dynamic market. With Jan Carlo’s leadership, Skye Smoked and Dried Fish embraced sustainable practices, supporting local fishermen and communities. They prioritized the quality of their products, sourcing the finest fish and perfecting the art of smoking and drying to create a range of delectable offerings that captivated their customers’ palates.

The turning point came in 2022 when Jan Carlo joined the Department of Trade and Industry One Town One Product Next Generation (OTOP Next Gen) Program. This strategic move allowed Skye Smoked and Dried Fish to refine its packaging, develop its brand, and expand its market reach. With a fresh approach to marketing and distribution, the products found their way into convenience stores, OTOP Hub Bacoor, OTOP Hub UPLB, Dream Mart Alabang, and The Best Juan (Tagaytay), reaching a broader audience. It increased their sales and production, and they were able to help more people through employment.

The business flourished with the help of DTI through strategic partnerships, participation from other agencies such as PCLEDO, DOST, BFAR, DOLE, IPO, and FDA, and a focus on customer satisfaction. Skye Smoked and Dried Fish are known little by little and known for being a premium brand in smoked and dried fish.

Also, he joined the first batch of the Kapatid Mentor Me-Money Market Encounter (KMME-MME) Program of DTI in 2023. This gave him more knowledge of business models that would fit his business operations and marketing. He expanded his market reach through social media, trade fairs of DTI, and other agencies. He ensured that he applied every learning in the business and slowly developed. As he quoted from KMME Mentor, “MAXIMIZE YOUR SUPPLIES DON’T STOP ALWAYS THINK BIG.” He is always motivated to face new challenges from new heights of their business.

Today, Skye Smoked and Dried Fish is not just a local favorite; it is on the brink of becoming the leading supplier of premium smoked and dried fish products in the Philippines and beyond.

The story of Skye Smoked and Dried Fish is a testament to the power of family values, dedication, and the ability to adapt to changing times. Through decades of hard work, the Reyes family has turned a small enterprise into a beacon of success in the competitive world of smoked and dried fish production. ♦

Date of release: 4 January 2024