By ROY C. MABASA
Since the pandemic began more than two years ago, food prices have skyrocketed, leaving many people unable to afford even the simplest of meals. Many businesses have faltered due to the rising cost, logistical challenges and inflation.
Despite these hurdles, Starkaffea, a Filipino-owned small-scale enterprise engaged in producing chocolate and coffee drinks, was able to wade through the storm and thrived due to its ability to adapt and innovate.
Starkaffea Corporation’s Cheng Pabilona described the challenges as “enormous” after their sales dropped by about 36 percent in 2020 compared to their 2019 output.
At the height of the pandemic, Kaffea managed to optimize its digital marketing platforms and embarked on a social media campaign.
More than anything else, she attributed their survival to her staff who are committed to providing a healthy alternative coffee and chocolate drink to the Filipinos.
Now that the market is slowly stabilizing, Pabilonia said that Starkaffea Corporation will focus on the recovery and growth in its domestic transactions, and eventually, across the borders to reach the overseas Filipino workers and their families.
“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,” Pabilonia told Politiko during the launch of their newest product, Chocolea, in Pasig City on Saturday, August 6.
Starkaffea was founded with a purpose: to help the community grow. From the beginning, they set out to partner with a community of farmers who would provide them with the raw materials they needed to create their healthy products. And they’ve never looked back.
Today, Starkaffea sources its cacao and coconut sugar from farmers in Davao who work hard to provide sustainable, healthy crops.
Their latest product Chocolea contains coconut sugar as a sweetener that 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.
Pabilonia was thankful that their product is now available in select supermarkets, DTI Go Lokal stores and through Fintech companies such as Shoppee and Lazada. Negotiations are now underway with a Singapore distributor for the export of its signature healthy products.