Mandaue barbecue owner heeds pa’s business advice
In pursuing her home-based barbecue business, 42-year-old Catherine Borres Calleno heeded her father’s advice: You can always choose your career but you earn more if you do business on your own.
One of the top 23 women entrepreneurs in Mandaue City shortlisted during the Search for WINNERS or Women In Need Now Entrepreneurs and Role models in Mandaue City, Calleno ventured into her business 16 years ago.
“As a young girl, I was already exposed to business selling flowers in Busay, Cebu City, and even travelled to Manila in the past to also sell flowers,” said Calleno, a resident of barangay Alang-Alang, Mandaue City.
An early marriage cut into her traveling and flower business and Calleno had to spend more time raising a family.
Her husband Regner’s income from working in a balloon store owned by his sibling was then their only source of livelihood.
Calleno had to make the tough decision to start a small business while also taking care of her kids.
She invested P1,000 for a small barbecue stand near her home. She had regular customers coming in for her barbecue.
Calleno said she marinates the meat overnight to ready it in the morning.
“By doing that, it makes my barbecue more flavorful, which most of my customers like,” Calleno said.
Soon the business grew enough that her husband joined her in the business.
Calleno oversees everything while her husband roasts all the barbecue ordered by their buyers.
Her three sons also help out during their free time making the business a family affair.
Calleno said she’s imparting valuable lessons to her sons through the family business.
“Like what my father did, I want them to learn how to make a living by doing a business. While I value their education, I think knowing some things about business will help them in the future,” Calleno said.
Calleno said it wasn’t smooth sailing for their business.
One of her sons got sick and she had to attend to him at the hospital.
“The barbecue business was always closed, earning nothing. We lost a lot of our money and savings to pay for his bills but still we pursued and borrowed money to start over again,” she said.
Calleno said her customers proved loyal and she easily rebounded, earning as much before her son’s medical emergency.
Despite competition, Calleno said it helps to have established a loyal customer base.
She said the secret to her success is good management of income and the business as a whole.
“We don’t mix business with pleasure and always focus so that we don’t lose the business,” Calleno said.
As one of the WINNERS finalist, Calleno attended seminars sponsored by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Calleno said she learned a lot and will apply the lessons learned to grow her business.
She said she and her husband are currently saving money to branch out to other locations.
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