Sweets Gave Him The Sweetest Income
"Ito ang aking passion, ginusto ko itong business na ito, minahal ko at na-improve para magkaroon ng magandang kalidad ang aking mga produkto," says Ricardo Santos of San Miguel, Bulacan.

A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Ricardo opted to put up a mini grocery store in 1995 instead of practicing his profession.

However, the business didnít became successful. This failure pushed him to start a new business- a macapuno candy making. This gave birth to Eleven Fourteen Sweet Candies store in Brgy. San Juan, San Miguel, Bulacan.

Armed with confidence, Ricardo with his wife, sister-in-law, one assistant cook and two delivery personnel, fought their fears of failure. They started the fight to keep the business succeed.

"Taong 1998 ng magsimula ang negosyo. Macapuno ang una naming nilutong mag asawa. Hindi biro ang pinagdaanan namin. Pagod at puyat ang ginugol naming mag anak. Mabuti na lamang at nariyan ang aking hipag na siyang nagturo at tumulong sa amin sa negosoyng ito," Ricardo shares.

Battled with series of challenges and problems, Ricardo struggled for survival not only for himself but also for his family and the business. "Naranasan kong malugi ang negosyo. Naranasan kong maasunto at magbayad ng halagang tatlong milyon. Naranasan ko ang ups and downs ng pagiging isang negosyante. Pero hindi ako sumuko dahil na rin sa tatag ng aking mga kasama na hindi ako iniwan mula noon hanggang ngayon," says Ricardo.

Surprisingly, Ricardo revealed that he started with a working capital of only P1,000. And the rest is history in his business. Ricardo and his family worked In 2004, the business grew even more. From macapuno, he added variety of candies such as pastillas, ube, meringue and sampaloc. These products were being delivered in his markets in Nueva Ecija, Baguio, Manila and even as far as Palawan.

Expanding the business needs additional working capital. That is why, in 2005 Ricardo approached ASKI and requested for a P20,000 loan.

His reliance and good business acumen brought him to success. The business gave him a handsome income to provide for the needs of his family.

During semestral breaks, Ricardo opened his business to students who want to earn additional income. The opportunity he is providing became a big help to many students especially in paying for their tuition. He also encouraged the mothers in the neighborhood to work for him and make themselves productive.

With the success that he is now enjoying, Ricardo knew that he needs to share his blessings to others. He was able to generate employment in the community.

Right now, there were 80 employees in his candy making business. A true-blue Bulakenyo, Ricardo is very happy with the result of his business. His products are now being delivered to nearby provinces of Bulacan and even in Palawan.

His contributions in the community and being a father-figure model did not go unrecognized, Ricardo was given the 'Ulirang Ama' (Model Father) award by the San Miguel Parish Church, in recognition of his commitment at raising a loving family and for his active participation in church activities and community affairs.

Earning an extraordinary monthly income, Ricardo continuously improve his products to provide good quality products for his customers.

"I believe that we all should have an entrepreneurial mind. For us to succeed, we should know how to survive a struggling business so that we could help not only our family but our fellow as well. Life's trials come only to make us even stronger and tougher. All we need to do is trust and pray," said Ricardo.

At Eleven Fourteen Sweet Candies, one can trust that people can have a wide range of products to satisfy oneís longing for sweets.
"Ito ang aking passion, ginusto ko itong business na ito, minahal ko at na- improve para magkaroon ng magandang kalidad ang aking mga produkto"
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