Mga payo ni Dina Lava, successful food entrepreneur and caterer

dina lavaDina Lava, who owns a restaurant and a catering business in Cabanatuan City, has been cited as outstanding entrepreneur by the Nueva Ecija Chamber of Commerce and the Department of  Trade. She has also been similarly recognized by Alalay sa Kaunlaran (ASKI), a micro finance institution that has supported her entrepreneurial growth through the years.

Dina’s Food and Pastries is famous for her relyenong bangus, embutido, siomai, leche flan, halayang ube, peanut butter and peanut brittle, pastillas and polvoron.

Her advice to prospective food entrepreneurs:

“In business, the customer is always right.”

Dina treats customers with mababang loob (humility).  She tries to do things from the position of the customer.  She gives a customer her best, whether the order is for 20 or for 200.

“Quality is important.”

She makes sure her dishes and other products are of good quality for the price.  What she sells must always be masarap at gustong balik-balikan.

“Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.” (Do your best and God will do the rest)

Even as she invokes divine help, she works very hard and gives every task her best.  Her prayer goes beyond lip service as she follows the Christian precept of taking care of one’s brothers.  She does this by employing out-of-school youth and giving them benefits.  She also gives scholarships to selected students.

This is how she sums up the most valuable business lessons she can share with other entrepreneurs:

“Pagdalangin sa Diyos; sipag at tiyaga; kababaang-loob, masarap na produkto at maayos na serbisyo.”

From: Dreamers, Doers, Risk-takers, Part 3: The Micros that Roared (published by the SERDEF and UP ISSI)

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