Jovelyn's Story: Mango Shakes and Cheese Waffles

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Not long after she left for college in Cebu, Philippines Jovelyn’s family started having financial difficulties, which required her to return home to Davao. While she was there, a storeowner invited Jovelyn to supervise a small eatery where her duties included making and selling mango shakes.

After about a year, the owner asked Jovelyn if she would like to take over the mango shake business, which essentially meant buying the blending machine and paying the rent. She could see the advantages of being in business for herself, so she accepted the opportunity.

Jovelyn began thinking about ways she could better cater to her clients, who were mostly elementary and high school students from several nearby public and private schools. She changed the packaging of the mango shakes to make them more appealing to students. She also reassessed how much she was charging for the shakes. Because of her changes, her sales started to increase.

Jovelyn also decided to add a new product to her menu: cheese waffles. Without any training or recipe, she began to experiment making waffles based on what she thought the ingredients should be. She gave students samples of her waffles until she was convinced that they liked the product.

Again, her sales increased. She was now making 12 times as much as she did when she first started working for the storeowner.

As with any business, however, competition started coming in. Peddlers began parking their carts in front of the schools, offering better convenience. The schools also began to limit the students’ access to outside stores by not allowing them to leave the school yard during recess.

Many students continued to come to her food stand because she sold good-quality food at a good price; however, her competition was causing a significant dip in her sales. Jovelyn was making half of what she had been making.

Since she provided for her family’s financial needs, she had to think of other ways to boost her sales. She learned of the twice a month livelihood-entrepreneurship training that the Davao Employment Resource Center organized in coordination with the Davao and Buhangin stake Relief Society organizations. At the training, she learned about Kwek-kwek, an egg-based street food that was quite popular in the area.

Jovelyn could see the profit potential in Kwek-kwek and began experimenting on the product. It became an instant success. Her new product has increased her sales and helped her better provide for her family.


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