Small Busi­ness, Big Pas­sion

Good Housekeeping (Philippines) - - News -

Grow­ing up in a fam­ily of en­trepreneurs, Eunice Chel­cie Uy was al­ways in­clined to put up a busi­ness of her own. In 2016, the 25-year-old launched Chel­cie’s Home­made Spreads, a se­lec­tion of all-nat­u­ral jams and pâtés sold on­line and in se­lect mar­kets around Metro Manila. The ven­ture started as a side gig while Eunice worked for the fam­ily’s con­struc­tion busi­ness. She has since left her full-time job, but Eunice has kept Chel­cie’s Home­made Spreads’ op­er­a­tions small to al­low her to ex­plore other busi­ness and work op­por­tu­ni­ties. She shares how the busi­ness started, her tips for hav­ing a side­line while hold­ing down a job, and what she plans to do next.

EUNICE HOLDS A DE­GREE in Ho­tel, Restau­rant, and In­sti­tu­tion Man­age­ment from the De La Salle-col­lege of Saint Be­nilde in Manila. Prior to join­ing the fam­ily’s con­struc­tion busi­ness, she man­aged her fam­ily’s restau­rant at a bou­tique ho­tel in Makati. But ven­tur­ing into the food in­dus­try wasn’t ex­actly de­lib­er­ate.

“My fam­ily kasi, my mom es­pe­cially, loves to cook. And yung brother ko na­man went into restau­rants also. So, af­ter ko mag-restau­rant, ayoko na sana mag-food busi­ness, pero ev­ery time I think of a busi­ness, doon ako na­pupunta,” ex­plains Eunice. “There would al­ways be op­por­tu­ni­ties there. At saka mahilig kasi ta­laga kami mag-cook, so ’yun yung lumal­abas na tal­ent.”

A PRAC­TI­CAL AP­PROACH

Eunice did not pass up the op­por­tu­nity to turn her kitchen skills into profit. In­ter­est­ingly, while many en­trepreneurs talk about their love for their prod­ucts, Eunice is more pas­sion­ate about the ac­tual busi­ness. “Hindi kasi ako yung type of per­son na kailan­gan gawin ko kung ano yung masaya ako,” she says. “More of sa busi­ness side ta­laga ako nag-iisip; kung saan okay ang busi­ness, I go for it.”

She first sold Chel­cie’s Home­made Spreads on­line and at bazaars. Be­ing a for­mer restau­ra­teur, she had blog­ger friends who helped gen­er­ate buzz for her prod­uct. “Kasi ’pag na-post ka sa mga blogs and stuff, peo­ple fol­low you eh,” says Eunice.

Once the busi­ness took off, Eunice found her­self re­ceiv­ing other busi­ness of­fers. For in­stance, she now ac­cepts or­ders for cus­tom­ized fla­vors for events.

THE PROD­UCT LINE

Eunice sin­gle-hand­edly pro­duces about 30 jars of spreads per week, ex­cept dur­ing spe­cial sea­sons, like Christ­mas, when or­ders bal­loon. On such oc­ca­sions, she em­ploys the help of a few on-call work­ers. Her spreads are pop­u­lar be­cause there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one. While Eunice made sure to in­tro­duce some­thing new to the mar­ket, she also in­cluded some old stand­bys.

Chel­cie’s Home­made Spreads of­fers three fla­vor se­lec­tions: Filipino, West­ern, and tea-in­fused fruit but­ter (Eunice’s take on fruit jams, but with a thicker con­sis­tency, and without the preser­va­tives).

The fruit but­ter se­lec­tion in­cludes fla­vors like Peach Cin­na­mon in­fused with Chamomile Tea, a fa­vorite among kids, and Pineap­ple Co­conut in­fused with Earl Grey Tea, which is pop­u­lar with older food­ies. Apart from the unique fla­vors, clas­sics, like Roasted Chicken with Herbs, and Smoked Ti­napa Pâté, are also avail­able.

“For ev­ery se­lec­tion, gu­mawa ako ng isang typ­i­cal fla­vor kasi merong mga tao na hindi ad­ven­tur­ous sa taste,” she says.

HOW SHE DOES IT

With na­tion­wide de­liv­er­ies and cus­tom­ized or­ders, Eunice has learned to be in­ten­tional with her sched­ule and rou­tine, es­pe­cially when she was work­ing for the fam­ily busi­ness. While many peo­ple may not have the flex­i­bil­ity that Eunice had, those con­sid­er­ing a side­line can take a cue from Eunice, who would sched­ule all the or­ders to be met so that she could at­tend to them all at once. “It’s just a mat­ter of time man­age­ment and how to strate­gize sched­ules and yung sis­tema mo with the busi­ness,” she says.

She would also find time be­fore go­ing to work to take care of busi­ness, so to speak. “Ka­pag de­liv­er­ies out­side Metro Manila, pinapa-de­liver namin siya through courier. Eh yung de­liv­ery takes two to three days— ayokong tu­mama ’yun sa week­end kasi the spreads have to be re­frig­er­ated, too. So nag-e-end up, min­san be­fore I go to work, gi­na­gawa ko na.”

Though Chel­cie’s Home­made Spreads is al­ready en­joy­ing suc­cess, Eunice doesn’t see it as her be-all and end-all. Driven and ever pas­sion­ate about run­ning a busi­ness, she is con­sid­er­ing other av­enues where op­por­tu­nity, Chel­cie’s, or any idea that strikes, will take her. Af­ter all, why stop at one ven­ture?

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