Galing Ni Nanay 2012 â€“ Micro Entrepreneur of the Year
Maria Andal, 39, Barrio Meals/Andal Restaurant, started in 2012, employs 24 people, joined CARD Bank 7 years ago, is on her 16th loan, makes a profit of PhP 2,000,000 per year (USD 50,000)
Maria Andal knows all about meals on wheels. For years, she sold banana and rice snacks on passenger buses, but barely made enough to feed her own family. With a small loan from CARD Bank, she bought bananas, cooking oil and other supplies â€“ and the buses began coming to her on the side of the highway.
â€œWe are able to meet many bus drivers and private vehicles who stop and eat here together with their passengers,â€ she said. â€œI treat them nicely, and they recommend us to other drivers and commuters.â€
After seven years, she is now on her 16th loan and makes an annual profit of PhP 2,000,000 per year (USD 50,000). She is in the process of building enough capital to turn her road stand into a real cafeteria with direct suppliers and a rotating menu.
â€œOne of my strategies is to make variety of food to sell,â€ she said. â€œYou donâ€™t want your customers to get tired of your food. It should not always be bread, rice and viand. If they want coffee, siapao, porridge, or mami, we can provide them. Our food adjusts to what the customers want.â€
She also credits her high standards of cleanliness and respect for her employees for the success of Barrio Meals.
â€œOur workers never see or hear bad things about us,â€ she said. â€œFrom my children to my husband, we treat our workers with respect and dignity. That is why they stay in us for a long time.â€
With the earned trust and encouragement of her family, workers and customers, sheâ€™s considering opening two more cafeterias in nearby towns. But first she wants to make sure that the existing business continues to run smoothly, and that her employees also benefit from the expansion.
She advises other entrepreneurs, â€œAlways be humble, and always keep your feet on the ground.â€
~ Maria Andal