WE HAVE to admit, every single one of us is affected by this Covid-19 crisis in one way or the other. Some have lost their jobs. Some have lost their livelihood. Some lost their loved ones. Some lost the normalcy we were all used to leading to severe mental stress. The fear of the unknown is crippling.
The feeling of hopelessness follows. To some people, they are stuck in limbo not knowing what to do next. Some are stuck in fear of not knowing what the future holds. For most who do not have savings or a very stable business like owning several branches of grocery stores like SM group, this crisis since March have wreaked havoc on future plans and current lifestyles.
That is why it is my aim in my column here in SunStar that there is hope. In these uncertain times, there were several people who were able to maneuver their current set up and try something new. Since we are all in this together, I urge you to support these businesses borne out during Covid times. I will give them the spotlight in my weekly column to honor their courage — their will to survive in these trying times. This is to give hope to our countrymen that if these small creative entrepreneurs can do it, you can, too.
Business spotlight this week is on the Malinao couple, Bernalyn and Sydney, who came out with these goodies by working together during the pandemic. They have come up with their own versions of the sushi bake. With their colorful graphics on their instagram account, it is easy to see their menu, order form, and their specialties. Get to know them here:
What is your business?
We are Malinao Kitchen, a small kitchen that offers Korean and Japanese inspired baked meals.
Who is your market?
Our market is mostly consumers within the metro who enjoy sharing good food with their families. They also order our food for special occasions and as presents to their loved ones since we also personalize notes for them.
What was the inspiration for this business?
During the pandemic, my husband and I love to cook different kinds of dishes for our little family. We noticed that aside from Filipino dishes we actually enjoy eating samgyeopsal or anything Korean and Japanese, that's when we started creating a dish that we would personally love before we try selling it to some of our friends.
How did you get this up and running?
We started getting a few orders from friends and since they gave us good feedbacks on our food, we then eventually created our Facebook and Instagram pages.
How did you make your first sale?
Our first sales are from friends who are always willing to support us especially that they know how our printing business had to close because of the pandemic.
What are your post covid plans?
We are already praying and thinking about putting up a physical store.
What is your advice to anyone who has ideas to start a business in these times?
Our advice to those who want to start a food business is for them to come up with a recipe that their family really enjoy. If it is something that you and your family love then you can start sharing it with friends. Get their feedback on how to improve and start stepping out in faith. Believe that God will guide and work on your behalf. You really have to put your faith in Him more than anything else.
What are the top three difficult challenges on this business?
1. Getting suppliers. You really have to make sure it has high quality but within your budget at the same time, So you will not end up charging the cost to your customers.
2. Effective Marketing Strategy
3. Manpower. Since we want to make sure our food is safe and clean, my husband and I personally cook/bake all of our orders. That is why we have to put daily order limits to make sure we can accommodate all orders efficiently.
What can be improved on your business?
We want to improve on marketing our products and personalizing our boxes to make it even more thoughtful.
What is your ideal goal for this business a year from now?
Our goal is for us to be every family's celebration staple. That it would give them joy whenever they have us in their tables. It will help us increase our sales and eventually fund our plan to have a restaurant.
To taste for yourself the delicious specialties of Malinao kitchen, please order at 09275303848 or https://tinyurl.com/MalinaoKitchen.
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