Erlinda M. Reyes established what is now known as Michelle’s Homemade Putong Ube in 1996 as a small business that offered rice cakes made with purple yam or ube.
Customers would wait outside her driveway as Reyes open a sliding glass window and handed out their orders.
The business quickly enjoyed brisk sales, but Reyes had to pass it on her daughter-in-law, Michelle Concepcion-Reyes, so she could concentrate on their family-owned enterprises. The latter accepted the responsibility with a mind on growing the biz further. [Learn how to make puto here]
“I invested P25,000 to buy some equipment and ingredients. In support, my mother-in-law allowed me to use the space inside her house in Mandaluyong City that served as her production area. That helped me save on rental expenses,” recalls Michelle, the daughter of industrialist Joe Concepcion and sister of RFM Corp. president Joey Concepcion.
At the beginning, Michelle could sell 25 boxes of putong ube for as low as P90 apiece to customers who would buy them for parties and special gatherings. To increase mileage for her products, she would join Christmas bazaars; those got to taste the cakes there then recommended the brand to their families and friends.
“Through word of mouth, orders had poured in. And that was the beginning of the success of my business,” she says. [Read more about Michelle\\\'s Putong Ube and other unique cart businesses here]
With her venture growing steadily, Michelle wanted to bring her products closer to her customers. So she opened the first outlet outside their residence at Gilmore, Quezon City in 2000. Due to great market response, she branched out to the White Plains Area, also in Quezon City, the following year.
Page 2: Business success