Starting a business during the pandemic is a huge gamble. But for the couple Christine Gablines and Jean Kevin Tubello, taking the risk was worth it.
From their savings of P40,000, their takoyaki business now earns over P170,000 monthly. With hardwork, they were able to expand it to 11 branches in just a year. They even opened a minimalist cafe to diversify their business. The couple shared their inspiring story of opening a successful business amid the challenges of a pandemic.
Christine and Jean Kevin had big dreams ahead, but their plans were affected by the pandemic like many others. Jean Kevin used to work on a cruise ship but, unfortunately, was sent home due to the lockdown. Christine was a freelancer who worked multiple jobs to help pay for law school.
They decided to venture into business and combined their savings of P40,000 for start-up capital. In March 2021, they opened their first takoyaki food cart named “Takoyummy.”
Like any start-up business, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. They were already satisfied earning P2,000 a day during their first few months. Things started turning in their favor when they opened for franchising. Within a year, they impressively opened 11 branches.
They also started another takoyaki branch in Christine’s hometown in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. And soon, they diversified their business by opening a minimalist coffee shop, Bean There Cafe.
Christine recalled how their humble experiences made them value their business more.
She shared, “Nakaka humble isipin how we started on our own, yung times na ako yung nag bbike ng food cart at yung partner ko nman nag luluto ng takoyaki or minsan nag momotor ako tas sya naman sa cart.”
“Mahirap tlaga s’ya at first especially na most people around you will doubt you about your business pag nagsisimula pa, minsan yung mga complete strangers pa yung may tiwala sayo kesa sa mga kakilala mo,” she added.
She said their grit and determination pushed them to persevere and face the challenges. Christine shared how proud they are that they didn’t give up and are now reaping the fruits of their labor.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
Christine advised aspiring entrepreneurs to keep on holding on to their dreams. She motivated them not to give up and work on finding ways to improve their business.
She said, “Message ko sa mga katulad naming mga start up entrepreneurs is that huwag kayo sumuko and always aim to improve your existing business. Yung success, hindi sya overnight, pero dadating talaga siya sayo pag hinigi mo siya kay Lord.”
There’s no “one-shoe-fits-all” strategy to success when starting a business. Like Christine’s Takoyummy, they went through many lessons before achieving success.
One of the reasons start-ups fail is a lack of research on the right target market. According to Erwan Huessaf’s five start-up business tips to success, it’s essential to gain wisdom and advice from experts and other successful entrepreneurs.