Kristine Mae Flores knew that she was not meant for a full-time job. Her burning interest ever since is to put up a business. The only question then was finding the business that would realize her dreams.

“Filipinos love to eat, so a food business might be the best venture to enter into,” said Kristine.

Shortly after completing a course in Culinary Arts, Kristine spent time in creating a recipe for a marketable longganisa, hopeful that this recipe would be accepted by her target customers.

Kristine Mae Flores is the owner of Khit’s Homemade Products and KHP Dabaw Kitchen.

Passion for Cooking

“I learned making longganisa during my on-the-job training in Palawan. When I got back here in Davao I started making one on my own using basic ingredients until I finally achieved the taste I wanted,” Kristine narrated.

Kristine loves cooking, and putting up her own food business is a dream come true.

While venturing and exploring her venture, she came across an online application form to register herself into something unexpected but help in her entrepreneurial journey. This was when she got accepted in a reality show called “Final Pitch,” a business reality show by CNN Philippines where participating entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of investors who are searching to own a piece of the next big business idea.

“It actually started there. The Final Pitch show gave me a huge opportunity to introduce my product,” she narrated. She added that the biggest challenge was actually how to sell her product. “I am not into sales, and I am not comfortable offering my product. But then, I still tried since this is important in this kind of business,” she recalled.

Kristine noted that she had to deal with rejections before finally making a successful pitch.

“One of the many challenges I dealt with was how to sell my brand, especially to those who find it unfamiliar and new compared to those who’ve already established their own credibility in the food market,” she explained.

Kristine pitched her business idea, and earned the trust of an investor who is also a well-known businessman. It was the start of many opportunities for Khit’s Homemade Products. The capital she received from a new business partner enabled her to pay for the equipment and other resources needed.

Kristine is ready to share her story and inspire others as well

Brushing Up Her Skills

Already armed with the needed initial capital, Kristine further went out of her way to check out the programs and services offered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Although Kristine is skilled in cooking, she was aware of the need to brush up her skills in terms of running a business, something that could make or break an enterprise.

She joined DTI’s Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program in Davao City, a program which aims to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) scale up their business through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different aspects of entrepreneurship.

“Mentor ME program really helped me widen my knowledge and grow as an entrepreneur. I gained many network and the mentors are really helping us even after we graduated,” she recounted.

Kristine Mae Flores is the owner of Khit’s Homemade Products and KHP Dabaw Kitchen.

With KMME’s help through the trainings and seminars, she then ventured into bigger production to meet the increasing demand for her food item. This greatly boosted Kristine’s confidence as an entrepreneur. Her network of potential customers has also increased since then.

With this confidence and increasing client base, she decided to expand and offer more product options. Khit’s Homemade Products now serves a variety of processed meat including tapa, embutido, longganisa and tocino.

Kristine also established her own restaurant with three branches in Davao City, featuring all of her products in the menu. Her enterprise continues to grow among local customers and has been a consistent supplier of meat products for hotels in Davao City.

She is thankful that her clients are satisfied with her products, as demonstrated by the positive feedback she continues to receive. Pumped up by encouraging client response, her team is working hard to offer the best for their buyers.

As a way of luring clients to patronize her restaurants, Kristine introduced the loyalty card program for her customers. “On their 12th visit, they will get something for free,” she shared.

Kristine plans to introduce additional products in the coming years and aims to expand further by offering franchising as an opportunity for other entrepreneurs. Kristine helps fellow entrepreneurs by allowing some of them to showcase their products in her store.

Kristine shares that the process that she has gone through helped her develop herself and boost confidence as well. “I can now speak in front of an audience to share my story and inspire others,” she mentioned referring to her speaking engagements at KMME, which features successful entrepreneurs to help those who are still starting.

Some of Khit’s Homemade Products