PEOPLE are becoming more health-conscious nowadays. But healthy eating does not mean depriving yourself of a good meal or of food you love.
That is one reason why Grace Sebanes, 42, started Chilloy’s Gourmet to provide Dabawenyos an option to enjoy food with condiments, sauces, appetizers, grab-and-go gourmet goodies, and snacks while staying healthy.
In 2016, what started as a hobby became a business when friends kept asking to order chili sauces she made at home.
“I cook for friends and relatives and they keep asking for take-homes of chili sauce until it gave me an idea to bottle them since people are already ordering. My husband and I decided to sell it na but it was on and off at the time because we are both working,” Grace said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
She said it was her dream to have a business but she thought of a gourmet food to-go or deliveries as it was the trend at the time. However, lack of resources, like a car, hindered her to start a delivery business and it will be costly to take a cab just to deliver an order.
Despite the inability to deliver, she did not stop making chili sauces and posting it online. Surprisingly, orders kept coming which prompted her to resign and become a full-time businesswoman.
“Since nag-click ang chili sauce namin, I decided para magkaroon ng difference, gourmet pa din para healthy. Kaya I used vegetable oil instead and I disregarded adding preservatives and salt, more on herbs and spices,” she said.
“Chilloy’s products are unique in terms of aroma pa lang you will notice na there is a difference and of course when you taste it kasi I maximize the use of herbs and spices,” she added.
At present, Chilloy’s Gourmet is slowly becoming known in the city as a healthy product line offering Spicy Garlic Sauce Classic with Herbs in Corn Oil, Spicy Garlic Sauce with Lemon and Herbs in Corn Oil, Gourmet Tuyo in Corn Oil, Gourmet Tuyo Flakes in Olive Oil, Gourmet Dilis in Corn Oil, Spicy Chili Oil, Smokin' Hot Chili Paste, SawsawJuan Pinoy Style, Sweet Chili Sauce, Soogba Sauce Gourmet Sawsawan, Coco Sugar Coated Cacao Nibs, Baked Peanuts, Chili Powder, and Chili Flakes.
Just recently, Grace launched Vegan Bagoong targeting vegan customers.
As of now, Grace is displaying her products in Dabawenyo Capsicum, Doña Segunda Complex, Ponciano Street but she also accept orders online and cater queries on prices and others through their Facebook page @chilloysgourmet or www.facebook.com/chilloysgourmet/.
“Starting a business is not easy. But for me, if you love what you do and you comply with your promises to your customers, people will continue to look for your products. Quality is important than profit,” Grace said.