When Reynante and Raquel Manimtim first started out as a couple, they were mere workers at a restaurant. At the time, they lived in a ‘barong barong’.
Even though they didn’t have a lot of money, they used their earnings to pay for a lot on installment so they can have a home to call their own; when they completed the payments, they moved to the lot despite their house being just a garage-like structure that didn’t even have doors and windows.
They quit their jobs to start a business.
With just Php1,000 left, the couple started a small business selling fishball, then banana cue. Raquel would cook and Reynante would walk around Batangas to sell these. He walked at least 3km each day, selling the banana cue and earning Php100-150 a day.
But because they had a lot of bills to pay, there came a time when they only had Php100 left. Trying to find a way to grow their money, they added more items to the ones they are selling. But they hit the jackpot with siomai.
People loved Reynante’s homemade siomai.
Slowly, the couple began to earn more money. From walking around town, they were able to buy a bicycle. Reynante fitted a bamboo cart to the bike and they were able to sell more siomai.
As the business grew, the couple earned more money but they also spent more money as they rolled their capital and used the profit to grow their business.
But their big break came when a customer who works at the bank taught them how to grow their business. With leverage through a loan they got from the bank, the two were able to buy a motorcycle they fitted with a stainless steel cart.
Thanks to this new motorcycle cart, they had a better way of selling their siomai; this brought them more customers. After paying up the loan, they took another one to buy another cart.
Soon, the couple had 6 carts that sold more siomai around town. Within just a year, their business grew from selling 1,000 siomai pieces to 9,000!
Who would have thought that from earning Php100-150 a day, they are now earning Php50k per day? According to Reynante, people often asked them if they won the lotto but his answer had always been the same, they won in siomai!