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  • Dads Became Weekend Warriors To Earn P10K To P15K Extra A Month

    Families looking for rakets may find inspiration in these two families.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Dads Became Weekend Warriors To Earn P10K To P15K Extra A Month
PHOTO BY courtesy of Mirma Ortiz (left) and Kristoff Arcega
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    The pandemic has undoubtedly brought out the entrepreneurs in many moms. But many dads have also started rolling up their sleeves, either working on a business they’ve always dreamed of or helping their better halves make a good quarantine business idea a reality.

    Corporate employee by day, kusinero by weekend

    Kristoff “Toff” Arcega works full time as a marketing manager for an auto supply company. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced his employer to cut his working hours.

    The pay cut prompted Toff to put his cooking skills to good use to augment his family's income. So in June 2020, he and his wife Mian introduced La Casa and Kusinero.

    La Casa offers Toff’s signature lasagna in party platter size for sharing and celebrations.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Kristoff “Toff” Arcega

    Kusinero offers Marikenyo favorites such as Everlasting, Menudo a la Marikina, Pork Steak Tagalog, and Rustic Pork Binagoongan.

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    “The kitchen has always been Toff’s territory. With encouragement from our friends and family, we finally decided to make it into a business,” says Mian, who takes care of the inventory, accounting, and storage.

    Mian adds their biggest challenge is making sure they have all the ingredients on hand, especially since quarantine guidelines can change at any moment. “Our village’s vibrant Viber community has been a great help because not only do we source some of our cooking ingredients from our enterprising neighbors, but it has also become a great avenue to sell our products as well.”

    Toff and Mian still have day jobs and a 3-year-old daughter, Nara, so it’s been a challenge to balance business, work, and the household.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Kristoff “Toff” Arcega

    The Arcegas had started with a Php5,600 capital, which they used to buy initial ingredients and packaging materials. Now they earn an average of Php10,000 per month from the business. They hope to add more dishes to their menu in the coming months. 

    “I never really understood what the phrase 'our compliments to the chef' meant until it was directed at us. It’s very heartwarming, and it feels good to share a part of our home with more people,” Toff says.

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    Selling fresh seafood from Malabon

    Marco and Mirma Ortiz already had a headstart in the food business. They established Ticx in 2014, selling gourmet sandwiches at weekend bazaars and opening their place for private dining. However, Ticxs took a backseat when they got married and decided to focus on their young family and their respective jobs in an educational institution.

    Even without Ticxs, their weekends remained full of "rakets," but everything stopped after the lockdown last March. “After four months, we started becoming anxious and knew we had to find a way to earn extra,” shares Mirma. 


    It was while watching YouTube vlogger, Mark Weins, feature Jamaican seafood that a light bulb moment sparked for the couple. “We live in Malabon, one of the Philippines’ seafood capitals, and knew we had to take advantage of the resources available to us,” she says.

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    The couple decided to find trusted seafood suppliers in Malabon who could supply them with items like crabs, prawns, oysters, sea and freshwater fish, and the like they could sell online under Ticxs Seafood Marketplace. “Finding reliable suppliers of fresh produce and making sure they are true to their word was one of the early challenges of the business,” says Mirma.



    Ensuring that the supply is delivered on time and that their deliveries met the changing lockdown policies of their LGUs added to their challenges. But what worried them the most is to be seen as just "another online seafood marketplace."

    “Thank God for family and friends, they’ve really helped spread the word,” says Mirma. “Today, our customers order our fresh seafood to send as gifts to loved ones instead of flowers and material gifts. One Ninang even contacted us from Canada to have seafood delivered as gifts to her siblings.”


    The couple expanded their home-based business to offer cooked chili garlic seafood and chili garlic shrimps with the encouraging sales.

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    Mirma, who is originally from Malabon, does the logistics, quality control, and the cooking, while Marco handles accounting, promotion, and follow-ups. “He’s also better at Math,” adds Mirma. Their weekdays are usually reserved for their day jobs, but the weekends are dedicated to deliveries and orders.

    The couple started with just a capital of Php1,500 and were able to grow it 10 times more after a month. “This may not be much for many, but it has helped grow our savings and cover some expenses,” says Mirma.

    Marco and Mirma, shown here with their son Mikael, hopes the business becomes a gateway to fulfill their dream of opening a small restaurant for “people who love seafood but don’t like the dirty job.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Mirma Ortiz


    “You can’t go wrong with fresh seafood. I think with the stress the pandemic gives, seafood can give comfort and joy,” concludes Mirma.

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