It’s not often that you hear a success story about a business that started in jail, but Jedidiah Food Company is the exception. Founded by Darlyn C. Bagtas, Jedidiah started as a small livelihood program for inmates in 2011.

This small business has faced many challenges over the years, but they have persevered and succeeded in becoming one of the top Turmeric tea producers in the country.

If you’re looking for the best way to run your business, follow Darlyn’s lead.

The Humble Beginnings of Jedidiah Food Company

Who would have thought that a simple turmeric tea-making business would become a multi-million peso company? But that’s exactly what happened with Jedidiah Food Industry.

The venture started as a PhP30,000-worth livelihood program initiated by Darlyn for inmates in the Bulacan Provincial Jail in 2011. The workers dried and extracted the Turmeric root to make pure Turmeric powder which can be consumed as tea. The

finished products were then brought to the Provincial Government Pasalubong Center to be sold.

Seeing the potential of the venture to become a full-fledged business, Darlyn decided to put up her own food company. With four workers and an initial capital of PhP1.5 million, Jedidiah Food Industry was launched.

Working Smart with the Help of DTI

Darlyn is one savvy businesswoman. She knew that in order to take

her company to the next level, she needed to get herself educated on all things business related.

As such, she attended various seminars sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which included Finding the Right Market for the Right Product Seminar, Quality Customer Service Seminar, and Visual Merchandising Seminar. These trainings equipped her with the knowledge she can use to apply in her business.

But DTI didn’t stop there in assisting Darlyn. The agency also helped improve her product through the Product Development Assistance Program. With it, Darlyn fully understood the value of proper packaging — it can make or break a product sales-wise. In time, she was able to improve her clear pouch packaging to all- aluminum packs required for exporting. She also upgraded the box and bottle containers for her tea line.

Darlyn’s pursuit of excellence is tireless. Not only did she innovate new products, but she also built a production facility and applied for FDA approval.

To boost product visibility, Darlyn regularly participated in trade fairs such as the GTH (Global Trade Hub) Trade Fair, BUFFEX (Bulacan Food Fair and Exposition) 2015-2016, Likha ng Central Luzon, and The Big Bite Northern Festival. Her products were so well-accepted that even major supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide, such as Landmark, South Supermarket, and Robinsons Supermarket, agreed to carry her products.

Through the International Food Exposition, the business was able to penetrate the international scene. Jedidiah’s products can now be found in other countries like Hong Kong and Guam.

With DTI’s help, Darlyn was able to take her company to new heights — both locally and internationally.

Business Wasn’t Always Sweet

But business isn’t always a bed of roses, as Jedidiah Food Company has also experienced its fair share of challenges throughout the years.

One of their difficulties was liquidity issues since they had to maintain a certain inventory level to meet the demands of their clients. They also encountered supply issues, especially during the dry season when it became difficult to source Turmeric.

To solve this problem, they started to source their Turmeric from additional suppliers in Mindoro, Talavera, Romblon, Batangas, and Dona Remedios Trinidad. Darlyn also decided to reduce production during lean seasons to avoid oversupply and wastage.

Despite these challenges, Jedidiah Food Company has remained strong and continues to produce quality products that are enjoyed by many.

A Bright Future Ahead

Jedidiah Food Company is proof that with hard work and determination, anyone can achieve their dreams. From a small livelihood program to a full-fledged food company with international reach, Darlyn’s venture has come a long way.

And she’s not stopping there. With DTI’s assistance, Jedidiah Food Company is well on its way to becoming one of the leading food companies in the Philippines.

Who knows, maybe Jedidiah Food Industry will even become a world-class brand. We certainly hope so! Until then, we’ll continue to support Jedidiah Food Company in its journey to prosperity.