How a small-scale enterprise thrives amidst this pandemic and persistent inflation?

Small businesses in the Philippines continue to overcome untold hurdles amidst the ongoing pandemic and persistent inflation.

But persistence and resiliency seem to be traits that are akin to Filipinos. Starkaffea Corporation is one such SME, which is thriving and trying to earn a niche in the beverage industry.

Ms Cheng Pabilonia, Starkaffea Corporation’s CEO, described the challenges as enormous but the business managed to sign up with more than 100 new store partner distributors and finalized export transaction with a Singapore distributor for its signature healthy coffee company.

Our sales dropped by about 36% in 2020 versus our 2019 sales but government agencies such as the Departments of Trade and Industry and Agriculture provided the much-needed support to bridge their economic situation, she said.

Kaffea also managed to optimize its digital marketing platforms and embarked on a social media campaign during the pandemic.

More than anything else, she attributed the survival of the enterprise to her staff who are committed to providing a healthy alternative coffee and chocolate drink to the Filipinos.

“We have always wanted to provide our patrons with quality alternative healthy product. Other than coffee, Starkaffea is proud to introduce Chocolea, the first chocolate drink using coconut sugar in the Philippines”.

Proudly-Philippine made, Chocolea has to undergo a total of 50-trial formulation to ensure that it has the quality ingredients that best suit the Filipino taste buds.

Each chocolate goodness is best consumed by kids who are aged four years old and above. But Chocolea is also good for parents and even grandparents. There is no limit to chocolate wellness!

As Chocolea has coconut sugar, its signature sweetener, it helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure and is rich in calcium and potassium. It also helps manage diabetes and boosts the immune system. Each cup of Chocolea is fortified with Vitamins A, C, calcium and iron. This chocolate drink is now available in select supermarkets, DTI Go Lokal stores and through Fintech companies such as Shoppee and Lazada. It will soon be distributed through export partnerships of DTI-Ka local projects and is getting ready for its global expansion.

Ms Pabilonia said that Starkaffea Corporation would in the meantime focus on the recovery and growth in its domestic transactions. “We would endeavor to look for opportunities on how our products such as Kaffea and Chocolea can be made available to our OFW heroes and their families. We remain true to our commitment to provide an alternative healthy product that will promote a healthy lifestyle and advance the quality of life of our consumers”.