This couple’s food business started with only P1,500

Published December 15, 2020, 7:03 PM

by Paola Navarette

Their business gives Thai cuisine a unique twist

Photos courtesy of Hajjie and Aldrain Valencia

After losing their jobs as managers amid the coronavirus pandemic, this couple decided to open their own sticky rice business.


FROM MANAGERS TO BUSINESS OWNERS!Supervisor sa restaurant si mister at manager naman sa cafe si misis. Ito ang magandang karera ng mag-asawang ALDRAIN at HAJJIE VALENCIA sa Dubai.Pero nang magkaroon ng pandemic, pareho silang nahinto sa trabaho. Dahil sinusuportahan ang pamilya, dumiskarte ang mag-asawa at naisip magnegosyo.Gamit ang P1,500.00 na puhunan, na-inspire sila na gumawa ng mga kakanin sa Laguna! PAANO nga ba ito puwede i-negosyo?PANOORIN ang inspiring nilang kuwento! #BabangonKaRin!

Posted by Karen Davila on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

In an interview with journalist Karen Davila, Hajjie and Aldrain Valencia had to return home from Dubai without their main source of income. 

“I went home to the Philippines last March. It was supposed to be a two-week vacation, but then when the lockdown was imposed, our companies were forced to shut down,” Hajjie told Davila. “I got sad, of course, because we just got married two years ago so my husband and I wanted to save up for our future.”

Because the couple have parents to support, they decided to embark on their own business to get by. After they ventured on baking and selling pizzas, they finally figured out their signature product.

Photo courtesy of Dream Foodie Philippines/Facebook

“We thought of selling something sweet since there are many competitors on social media,” Hajjie said. “Last year, we went to Thailand to celebrate our anniversary and we got to taste their mango sticky rice. So I came up with the idea of making our own here in Laguna.”

From a P1500-peso capital, the couple founded Dream Foodie Philippines, where they incorporate their homemade ube halaya to the Thai staple mango sticky rice. 

Photo courtesy of Dream Foodie Philippines/Facebook

Priced at P175 per order and P1200 per bilao order, their ube mango sticky rice quickly garnered the attention of people. 

“We sold some to our friends, and they liked it,” Aldrain said. “And after that, it got viral and the photos of our ube mango sticky rice were posted on several social media pages.”

The couple shared a piece of advice to those who are starting their own business: “Do not lose hope. Work hard, and always say a prayer.”