While “millipreneurs” (millennial entrepreneurs) are finding success in starting their own businesses, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Arieston and Cherrlyn Federico decided to stick it out and succeeded with the tried and tested, old school sari-sari (variety) store. Their success, however, got a big boost from a recent venture to distribute a brand of soymilk drink.
The couple has been operating their store for years, using their humble profit as their main source of livelihood to put food on the table and send the kids to school. And just like any other Pinoy sari-sari store, they would introduce new items in their shelves from time to time to see what would click among their suki (loyal patrons). They know by experience how Filipinos like trying new things until they get satiated and move on to newer items.
There is, however, one item that stood out in terms of profitability the soymilk brand, Vitamilk. It was just one of those items that they didn’t put much thought on except that it’s worth a try. Before they knew it, the soymilk brand started selling faster than they could re-stock. The couple saw this as an opportunity to become a distributor, so they decided to milk the situation, so to speak.
They began to buy more Vitamilk and distribute these to stores in the neighborhood, as well as in the public wet and dry market in Calamba, Laguna. The rest, as they say, is history. From a mere 30 cases of soymilk per month, they have reached 300 to 400 cases per month, selling an average of 70 to 100 cases per week.
Perhaps what helped the Federicos succeed in this newfound trading business is their faith that the product is actually doing something good for its consumers’ health. “It’s not often that you come across a beverage that not only tastes good, but offers something healthy as well. It’s because of these qualities that make the product easier to sell,” Arieston shared.
Some may call it luck, but the Federicos are just thankful that this opportunity fell into their laps. They are proof that sometimes, one does not need to invent something from scratch to be successful in business – the product may already be there just waiting to be discovered.