This man from Batangas City couldn’t help but become emotional when he revisited his journey as a business owner.
In September 2020, Jerome Macatangay decided to launch his own business due to the uncertainty of his job as a promodiser at a furniture company.
“Hindi kami nagbebenta no’ng una ng luto. So raw materials o hilaw na marinated na. Nag-try kami magluto. Pinatikim namin sa relatives, kaibigan. Ayan ang naging comment, okay daw,” Jerome told The Philippine STAR while reminiscing their humble beginnings.
“Naglakas loob kami ngayon ma’am na ibenta ngayon sa ibang tao. Nag-start ma’am kami no’n is isang monoblock. ‘Yung pinaka display rack po namin tapos five packs po,” he added.
Jerome shared that he has no experience in cooking that’s why they went through several attempts to achieve the crunchiness of the chicharon. “Experimentation lang talaga. Natiyambahan lang siguro o bigay lang talaga ma’am ni God sa’min.”
Little did he know, the monoblock chair he used during their first day in the business would lead to something bigger.
“Hanggang sa hindi na namin ma’am namalayan, ‘yung ten kilos, naging 17 kilos, 20 kilos, 25 kilos, ngayon nakakapagluto na kami a day ng minimum 75 kilos to 150 kilos. From the monobloc na five pieces, ngayon nakakapag-display na kami ng 100 to 200 boxes po,” Jerome said with a teary eyed.
One day, Jerome uploaded his products on social media. Surprisingly, it went viral and he received bulk orders from different individuals.
“Almost 95 percent, nakatutok po talaga sa social media. So ‘yun ‘yung ginamit kong pinaka sandata para mai-explore ko si Pupor’s Choice. Minsan magugulat na lang ako, may pupunta dito isang van or mga minsan tiga Laguna, Pangasinan. “Sir, nakita namin sa TikTok ‘to, ‘yung viral video mo. Sir, bibili kami,” he recalled.
“Wala kaming idea talaga. Nagulat nalang talaga kami na hanggang sa marami nang dumadaan, nagtatanong na sila. Nakatikim sila. Tapos hanggang sa shine-share nila sa mga friends nila, mga relatives nila,” he added.
Due to the influx of orders, Jerome decided to resign from his day job and focus on their business. He also expanded their team to accommodate more orders.
“No’ng 2020, kami lang ni misis talaga ang nag-start niyan. Tapos ‘yon hanggang sa nagkaroon na nga ng adjustment, medyo nag-boom na ‘yung business. So, kami Ngayon ay nasa anim na katao,” he said.
“Nagulat din kami kasi hindi namin talaga ine-expect na magbo-boom talaga,” he added.
Looking back, Jerome said that he is very thankful for his support system, especially to his wife, Hazel.
“Hindi rin naman maiiwasan [na] mayro’ng ups and downs ang business. So, mas malakiang naging pagbabago later sa ngayon kasi unang una ma’am, nakikilala na siya. Tapos ‘yung mga nagiging client namin nadadagdagan na siya,” he said.
Two years after they launched their chicharon business, they now earn five figures, selling 1,000 to 1,500 boxes per month.
Jerome’s goal is to establish a physical store to reach more customers in the country. Currently, his products are available worldwide. Their business has a total of 12 resellers nationwide.
“Masaya ako sa aking ginagawa. Hindi lang ma’am sa habol ko is ‘yung kita. Oo, kasama ‘yon pero mas mahalaga pa rin ma’am ‘yung masaya ka sa ginagawa mo,” he stressed.