Polvoron in a Jar:
A Sweet Family Tradition
Growing up in a family business and starting your own later on can be an asset or liability, depending on how you navigate the market on your own.
For Christian Caliwara, one of the brains behind the most popular polvoron brand in the country, it is an asset and great advantage of learning the ropes of the enterprise during his teenage years. In 2018, he split from the family business with the guidance of his parents and registered his own venture, Polvoron in a Jar, as a sole proprietorship.
With his new entity, he brought with him decades of experience and passion in producing and marketing the classic Filipino dessert which is like a crumbled shortbread cookie. He also took with him some of the equipment acquired from the Department of Science and Technology under their family brand, as well as a list of loyal clientele whose relationships they have cultivated over the years.
With a smaller production scale and leaner manpower, he was able to reduce operational costs significantly, and thus sell his products cheaper by about 30 percent.
Caliwara also infused a fresh P 200,000 capital so it can flex its muscle in the tight market, where he now counts their family enterprise as a competitor. It a short period of time, he has managed to create his own following and has become a regular participant in both government-run and privately-organized bazaars, Rowena’s Pasalubong and Restaurant in Tagaytay City, Amkor Anam Philippines canteen in Sucat, mall kiosks, and several outlets in southern metropolis.
As an innovation, he placed his polvoron in a jar which can be spooned and placed in a saucer. The trendy bottle has enhanced the packaging, making it a trendy gift for special occasions, particularly during Christmas. In keeping with tradition, he also maintained the usual plastic-wrapped smaller individual servings.
With the gradual reboot of the economy and the Holiday Season just around the corner, he is confident that the sweet family tradition he helped nurture will be met by a sweeter and warmer reception by people who find simple joys in sweets in good and bad times.