Emilda Engo of Catarman, Northern Samar, a wife of a seaman and a mother of three, had the bitter taste of life when she lost her eldest son to a drowning accident in year 2009. Getting over it is never easy. The pain of her loss is perpetuating especially when she is left alone. To divert her attention, this Boholana resorted to business as a means to cope with her grief. She started making peanut butter and offered it around. Introducing her product was difficult at first as she lacks network. Later on she realized there is opportunity in this business when all the 6 bottles she delivered to a grocery store were bought within the day. Emilda decided to take this pastime seriously when customers encouraged her to produce more.
To make her business official, she got her business name registered with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2010. Having her product registered further increased customers’ confidence. Emilda keeps on asking and using feedback to continually improve the product quality. Gradually she is gaining more patrons, as positive response from customers further fueled her enthusiasm.
In 2010, DTI called her up requesting her to visit their office. At that time, Emilda who is a high school graduate, have intimidation with government institutions. Her first thoughts turned out unfounded when DTI offered their assistance for the improvement of her product instead, an offer she agreed in great delight. DTI improved her label design by hiring a professional designer and had its Nutritional contents analyzed. She was also enlisted in several Entrepreneurship Development Seminars and marketing assistance extended by the department. She then became a member of the Association of Northern Samar Producers, a pool of entrepreneurs assisted by DTI.
With newly improved product label, the marketability of her peanut butter was boosted. Sales significantly increased and her outlets swollen in numbers. Sales of P18,000 per month puffed into P200 K to P250 K monthly. Her keen sense on marketing was even further acuminated by attending seminars through DTI’s SME Roving Academy. Exposure to Regional Trade Fairs also further enhanced her marketing competence. She joined Bahandi Trade Fairs on Years 2012 and 2015. From a single outlet in Catarman, it grew into 12 including supermarkets and bakeshops. Through customer demand she started reaching out other towns, and now have another 4 outlets in the towns of San Roque, San Jose and Mondragon. Now her product is also available at big supermarkets in Catarman including Gaisano Super Mall. As a result of trade fair participation, invitations to make her product available outside the province is also coming. Starting as the owner/worker/marketing manager herself, she now employs 2 permanent workers and 1 part time worker in her business. Emilda is also preparing for the expansion of her production center in the near future to cater for the growing demand.
For her, monetary benefit is not the prime motivation why she is thriving in this field. She maintained optimum product quality, keeps her costs at lowest, and is contented with minimal return. Emilda is fascinated by the fact that she is not only helping herself cope with the loss of her son but is partaking in a meaningful contribution to the community. Emilda now serves as an exemplary entrepreneur to her fellow ANSP members. She likewise gives the credit to DTI for their package of assistance that contributed much in the growth in her business.