Tuesday August 21, 2018

Adding spice to your tables

(Photo by Jojie Alcantara)

YOU may have heard of Wakaba Sauce from your family or friends. Or you may have read about it on Facebook.

What started out as a personal recipe to satisfy a craving for a perfect spicy sauce turned out to be a good business proposition for Andrew Fel Rene Dedal, known to his friends as Choi.

Before he came up with the formula of Wakaba Sauce, Dedal simply wanted to find the perfect spicy sauce to pair with his favorite dishes. However, he couldn’t find anything in the market that would suit his taste. He said the chili garlic sauce that is readily available tastes good but he is still looking for something else in it. On the other hand, the Sambal Oelek from Indonesia, which he loves, seemed to have a weird after-taste.

Dedal said he initially thought of combining the good traits of the two to create his own Wakaba Sauce.

“I then started to bring some of my sauce to parties and gathering just so I would have something to pair with the lechon and grilled meats. My friends seemed to like it and they asked me to make some for them, which I did. Next thing I know, other people were messaging me to order the sauce. That’s when I decided to take it seriously,” he said.

Dedal used to work as a team manager in a business process outsourcing (BPO) company before starting the business. He studied the Culinary Arts in Saint Albans, which gave him the skills and techniques needed to mix and match to come up with the perfect Wakaba taste.

As more and more people in Davao Region and the nearby heard and read about this now-famous Wakaba Sauce, Dedal said he found it sad that he had to turn down customers from Tagum, Agusan, Gensan, Mati, and even Cebu and Manila who want to try the sauce. He said they were still working out their distribution channel as it is currently limited to Davao City.

“I just don’t like the idea of asking someone to pay over P100 to ship a bottle of Wakaba that costs only P100. I just ask them to wait until I have a reseller in their area. I always feel bad when it happens, not because it’s a lost sale, but because it’s another person who would have to endure another boring meal with Wakaba,” he said.

Over the months of producing Wakaba Sauce, Dedal said he always makes it a priority to maintain the consistency and quality of their product regardless if they are making 50 to 300 bottles a week. He said this is for the customers to have the same experience every time. Despite of this, Dedal said they still make it a point to find innovative and cost-effective ways to improve their processes.

For youths who are now thinking of venturing into a small business themselves, Dedal urged them to not be afraid to work hard on something that they have created. “Your long hours and extended effort will get paid off if you just stick to it. If you are starting a business with no money, you have to especially work hard. Starting your own business from scratch is not glamorous but it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Wakaba Sauce is sold through their Facebook page “Wakaba Spicy and Savory Sauce” for only P120. The product is also available for sale at Junex Tuna Restaurant in Bangkal and in selected Pork N’ Chop meatshop outlets.