Spring roll maker rolls with the punches
It is said time and again that if you intend to enter the food venture, your family can be your most honest and harshest critics, yet staunchest supporters.
Nestor Sarmiento has proven this unwritten rule when he gifted his sister generous servings fresh vegetable lumpia or spring rolls on her birthday as a taste test of sort prior to finalizing his plan to go into the business of cooking and serving this well-loved delicacy. A retired recruitment agency evaluator, he had the resolve to pursue the plan after receiving very encouraging feedback from his sister and relatives.
With a P 5,000 loan, he put up the business in 2017 which he named after his late mother Silvestra, a market vendor who is gifted with the talent of cooking a wide array of dishes, including their favorite specialty. Exposed to preparing the lumpia since his childhood days, he knew it like the back of his hand where he will never go wrong.
It is interesting to note that this micro-enterprise sustained him financially while waiting for the start of his pension which only came in months later after his retirement.
Sarmiento would soon be a mainstay in the bazaars at the malls and at the Muntinlupa City Hall every payday, as well as catered events, with his sales starting from a modest 2 kgs and reached up to 15 kgs to meet the increasing demand. For only P 50 per piece, customers can sink their teeth into soft dough and vegetables which is like a hearty meal in itself.
But when the strict quarantine restrictions were imposed on people above 60 years old, his operations came to a halt and he had to pivot to a Plan B allowed under the circumstances. As an alternative, he set up a pop-up carinderia outside their house for take-away lunch packs, which included his specialty.
Having rolled with the punches brought about by the pandemic, this spring roll maker is poised to bounce back and let the good times roll again.