Banaue, Ifugao’s Mary Ann’s Souvenir and Gift Shop was registered and established in 1992 with an initial capitalization of PhP100,000 and employment of four. Specializing in souvenirs and novelty items, the shop located at Poblacion, Banaue, Ifugao produces and a manufactures various woodcarvings and other handicraft products which are sold to tourists. These items are also sold to bigger buyers in Manila, Tagaytay and Cebu and exporters.

Owned and managed by Mary Ann Tacio, who is a residence of Banaue, Ifugao, the gift shop engaged in the production and manufacturing of woodcarving products primarily souvenirs, Wearable & Homestyle and novelty items.

As part of the Trade Facilitation and Marketing Assistance of DTI-Ifugao, Mary Ann’s Souvenir and Gift Shop was regularly invited for trade fairs participation. Tacio was able to attend various provincial trade fairs that made her qualified to participate in the regional trade fairs and eventually qualified her to participate in various national trade fairs like CITEM’s Manila Fame, National Art Crafts, and other National Trade Fairs being conducted all year round.

After qualifying to participate in the 2nd phase Manila Fame Exhibits and selling fair at the World Trade Center and the Sikat Pinoy National Arts and Craft Trade Fair at the Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Ann’s Souvenir Shop was also endorsed to participate in the Regional Trade Fair at Fiesta Mall, Alabang.

The enterprise was able to participate in various trainings like Negotiation Techniques and Skills training, Productivity Enhancement, Business Management and other entrepreneurial trainings.

Also, Ms. Tacio availed of productivity improvement and enhancement having been consistently endorsed to designers from Manila for product designs. Her shop was entered and included in the Export Pathways Program in 2008 with level 3 as the entry stage. As a growing business, the shop was endorsed to PLGU for the Ifugao Certified Products.

With DTI’s Trade Facilitation and Marketing Assistance Ms. Tacio’s enterprise was able to maintain three big buyers in Manila who are into domestic and export markets, the Christian Ventures, Balikbayan Handicrafts and Grandma’s Handicraft.

At least fifteen new product designs were recently introduced and a systematic production schedules were likewise introduced. For the CY 2016, Tacio’s firm recorded a total of 2.2M as of August 31, 2016. The increase in sales each year was attributed to the increase of buyers, joining trade fairs and improved designs from enhance prototypes. From the initial investment of Php 100,000.00.

The firm has reached an investment size of 5M from an initial employment of 4. Today, Tacio’s enterprise already employs and maintains at least 12 regular workers and 10 contracted workers. From level 3 as an entry stage of the EPP, the firm is now marked at stage 5 and soon to graduate from the EPP classifications.

Brgy. Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province

It all started over a pot of coffee along with a discussion about the history and simple community life in Bila, Bauko Mountain Province where a group of young women came together to chat and relax before retiring for the night. Shifting from the usual topics, the group related their observations on the situation of the local coffee industry where the idea of venturing into the industry came up.

Although armed only with limited knowledge, three among the group were invited by DTI to participate in the Coffee 101 training way back in 2011 in Baguio City. From this, they came up with a Back Home Plan to consolidate and trade coffee beans.

However, realizing the potential of the coffee industry in Mountain Province, the opportunity laid before them goes beyond consolidating and trading green beans. Along with this, they then named their group as the “Bila Rural Development Club” or simply BiRD Club consistent with the aim to soar and fly high with their dreams. With that, they decided to try a hand in coffee processing.

CAR Mountain Province Bila Rural Development Club (BiRD Club) 01CAR Mountain Province Bila Rural Development Club (BiRD Club) 02

Reality may have dictated the absence of a processing center and needed equipment, but the group sought the roasting services of an establishment in the nearby municipality of Sagada.

Faced with the high cost of the process, the group then sought assistance from government agencies most especially the Department of Trade and Industry for the procurement of needed facilities through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program. After partnering with the Dang-dang-ay Di Ibila Multi-Purpose Cooperative where most of the members of BiRD club are also part, the group was able to benefit from the said program.

With the launching of their SSF in 2014, it invited better opportunities for the group. Today, it is providing roasting services for Individuals, SMEs and organizations in the nearby municipality of Tadian and in the locality of Bauko. Aside from that, BiRD Club, prides itself with its premium coffee, a product of functional facilities, continuous trainings undergone and learnings gained thus raising the quality improvement of coffee in the Province.

Further, the club also provides regular supplies to local markets in Maountain Province and in establishments outside the province such as the Health 100 and Porta Vaga in Baguio City.

CAR Mountain Province Bila Rural Development Club (BiRD Club) 03CAR Mountain Province Bila Rural Development Club (BiRD Club) 04

Aside from their President being invited as resource person during trainings and seminars on Coffee production, their processing facility in itself serves as an educational hub or on-site learning facility. This is where technical information is shared to farmers availing of its roasting services, and where individuals, students and other organizations through organized educational tours can have a first-hand experience in observing the whole process in the coffee production. The latest of which to visit the facility is a group coming all the way from the UNISG-University of Gastronomic Sciences from Italy.

Moreover, with all the experience in coffee production and processing, BiRD Club members replicated these in other product focus such as, insumix, wine and peanut as it continuously levels up worthy of its name especially that it has already.

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