Emma de los Santos

“Flavors of Success”

“I have always loved to sell ever since I was a child… I love to venture into business” revealed by 48 year-old Emma de los Santos of Bay, Laguna. Emma is a graduate of BS Agriculture from UP Los Banos, Laguna. Being the fifth among 9 siblings, Emma witnessed the struggles of their parents just to provide their basic needs. Her mother sells apparel and mosquito nets for additional income to help her out father in their financial needs. This is the major reason why she did her best to finish college to have a good job and help her family. Furthermore, she doesn’t want her children to experience the hardships she had gone through. While working in UP, Emma was also into selling Christmas lights, candles and other export over runs for additional income. The venture proved to be profitable. When she get married and blessed with a child they named Chelsea Lourdes, Emma further doubled her effort because she wanted to help her husband provide a brighter future for their only daughter. Her business sidelines flourished. However office situation became challenging. So Emma decided to quit working after 15 years of office work. She then tried to work a teacher in a Montessori School but after a year she to resigned. Emma decided to venture into the eatery business with her husband’s aunt as cook, she, along with her sister in law, opened a canteen with a capital of twenty thousand pesos (Php 20,000). Their eatery started with two tables serving 6 menus. Slowly, it was able to gain wide patronage. Later they delivered pre-ordered meals to the employees in the UP campus. Emma personally did the delivery along with their driver. After a while she was contacted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor to do the catering in their meetings. Emma was indeed very happy because it is a big leap of opportunity. Her dream of catering services is being realized. At the start her catering services had three chefs, her aunt’s husband, sister-in-law and a trainee. Her mother-in-law served as cashier while she took charge as the manager. Soon they were able to establish contacts and gained customers. They now accept order for deliveries, cater at weddings, birthday parties and any occasion which paved the way for theestablishment of Chelsea’s Catering. TSKI came at the right time when she was in need of an increase in capital. Emma was encouraged by her sister-in-law, Fatima who was already a member of the PKK Program to join TSKI. She started with a ten thousand pesos loan. Her loan with TSKI has greatly helped in her capital needs. Currently she is on her 9th cycle with the OKEY Loan program amounting to Fifty Thousand Pesos. Being 9 years in business and 4 years as client of TSKI, Emma has been through a lot. She encountered different challenges both in staffing and personnel issues. There was even a time when her trusted employee stole their sets of branded utensils for catering. With her perseverance and dedication, Chelsea’s Catering was able to acquire space in a two story building near UP Los Baños. She has 13 regular employees. Some are hired during big events. Also, she was able to have two service vehicles which augment her business operations. Emma dreams of having a bigger space to be the venue for big events she will cater. She is thankful for all the blessings she has received and grateful for TSKI’s help. She believes in the golden rule which says “do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you…and stay humble despite your success.”

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