An Overseas Filipino worker in Canada earned the praise of his fellow ‘kababayans’ when he was able to build a successful food truck business even amid the pandemic.
Rhogie Reyes shared his inspiring story of being a small business owner in Edmonton, Canada. While many shops and stores were closing down due to pandemic restrictions, he and his wife bravely opened a food truck business. The road to their triumph was not without obstacles, but they persisted despite them.
Reyes recalled that he always dreamed of working abroad. He experienced the hardships of working as a service crew in a fast-food chain in the Philippines and wished he could achieve more. He tried many times to apply to work in different countries, but it looks like Canada was where he was really meant to be.
“Ilang beses nga po akong na-de-deny sa mga… abroad. Nag-try ako mag-Dubai, Qatar pero hindi po ata talaga para sa akin doon. Parang ang nangyari po laging nagkakaroon ng problema, nagkasakit tapos nagkaroon ako ng mga . . . nagkaproblema sa family,” he shared in an interview with Karen Davila on Kumu app.
With his employer’s help, Reyes was able to move to Canada to still work as a service crew in a restaurant in 2013. He was already a step forward towards his dream and continued to persevere. After four years, he was eventually able to bring his family to Canada.
From being an employee to a business owner
After working for seven years as an employee, Reyes took the step towards becoming a boss of his own business. At that time, they were already starting to gain popularity in their community for their delicious foods.
“Before pandemic kasi, we’re planning na with my wife talagang magkaroon na ng business kasi talagang susubok po talaga kami rito. Marami na rin pong nakakakilala sa amin kasi may mga nagpapaluto sa amin,” Reyes continued.
In 2019, Reyes and his wife first ventured into the food industry by opening a catering business. They easily earned a lot of Filipino loyal customers who missed the usual Pinoy homecooked meals.
Since events were limited due to the pandemic, Reyes transformed his catering business into a food truck. This way, he can easily move and reach more customers. His “ChowKeni” food truck is attractive even from afar with its bright pink color. Reyes brings OFWs close to home as they serve up Pinoy favorites such as pancit, leche flan, lugaw, halo-halo, sisig, and many more.
Despite their success, Reyes said he and his wife don’t forget to help their fellow ‘kababayans’ in the Philippines.
“Dati kami po ‘yung parang tinutulungan. Ngayon po meron po kaming community sa Pilipinas. Noong last na nagkaroon ng calamity sa San Mateo, so si wife po nag-outreach po siya.” he said.
Asked how he feels about his success, Reyes humbly admitted feeling blessed. “Hindi po namin masasabi na yumaman po kami. Blessed po kami,” he said.
Related: If you want more inspiring OFW-turned-business owner stories, you can read Filipino Food Truck ‘Señor Sisig’ Making Waves in California.