Mayflor Cepeda is considered as an untiring woman who developed the food and coffee enterprise known today as MC Homemade Food Products, an acronym formed from her name.
MC carries the local coffee produced from the farms of Calinog, Iloilo, a landlocked first class municipality in central Panay.
“Coffee was not among the products that I have been known to sell among the employees who are working at the Iloilo Provincial Government,” said Cepeda. I am popular with food items like “puto” (rice cakes) and “kakanin” or those local foodies that the Ilonggos loves to eat for mid-morning or afternoon merienda.
“I am like an ambulant vendor who carries these food items around offices as part of my sideline,” she jokingly shared, “because we need to have extra or additional income to support the family.”
Driven by her passion as a Home Economics graduate, Cepeda became a trainer for livelihood activities among detained persons at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) of the Province of Iloilo,
She tried her hand in manually processing coffee beans for brewing at her home workplace in Calinog town, some 61-kilometers from Iloilo City. “It is unknown to many that Calinog has a potential for coffee production and I’m hoping that it will become popular through MC,” shared Cepeda.
The MC brand started to shape up after Cepeda attended the packaging and labeling training facilitated by the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions (LEDIP) of the Iloilo Provincial Government for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The training was conducted by the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) and an initial support services for packaging was also provided by the regional agency.
The training offered an opportunity for MSMEs like Cepeda to consider processing locally-grown coffee like Robusta and Arabica from her hometown and bring it on the market in an appropriate packaging.
Cepeda’s MC Products is considered among enterprises that we know today as MSMEs – a sector of the economy who brings economic development in rural and impoverished far-flung communities of the archipelago.
“Micro-enterprises thrives not only to earn a profit, but also to impart lessons to the young generation that hardwork and sacrifice are enduring values that will bring about success in life,” expressed Cepeda.
Cepeda has stirred MC Homemade Food Products as an enterprise that supplies to hotels, food outlets and caterers who outsources food items that are included in their menu.
“I’m happy that MC Homemade Food has inspired others to convert their passion into productive pursuits and bring their families out from poverty,” she said.
*This is an edited feature profile on MSMEs series done as a project of the Local Economic Development and Investments Promotions (LEDIP) of the Iloilo Provincial Government in January 2017.