Most businesses have to close their physical store to comply with the lockdown measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. The closure should have only been temporary, as everyone expects to return to business after a month. However, the public health crisis did not improve after a month of community quarantine, so it has to be extended for another month. At this point, the majority of the businesses were not able to find a means to survive, so they had to shut down permanently.
Malagos Chocolate of Davao was not spared from the restrictions of the community quarantine. The demand for chocolates and cheese went, as their regular customers, composed of hotels and restaurants, also shut down during the lockdown. With a lot of workers at the brink of losing their jobs and a flock of birds and animals to maintain, matriarch Charita Puentespina felt that they have to do something.
Image: Facebook/Malagos Chocolate
They established a homegrown online grocery to help them tide over while the resort remained close and enable the continuous employment of their staff.
Support for the Community
They also noted an increase in the demand for farm-fresh goods as people could not go out of their houses. Since farmers in the village of Balutakay in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, could no longer sell their produce because of the lockdown, one of the employees inventoried all the unsold vegetables and sold them online.
The move allowed the company to widen its selection and help the small farmers, at the same time.
Their online grocery also offered a selection of frozen meals and do-it-yourself meal kits.
However, Charita does not think that the online grocery would not last, as proven by the dramatic decrease in sales after the lockdown. Nevertheless, it helped the family cope and continuously provide a source of livelihood for their displaced resort staff.