By Kate Nan Tang.
“My dream is to have my own land and my own store.”
Eda told us her dream when we met her at her rented fruit stand in the second week in Guimaras, Philippines. The name of the small store is Edmar, a combination of her and her husband’s first names. On our first meeting, her daughter smiled coyly and greeted us with big mangoes filled with sweet juice. The store is selling fresh mangoes, cashew nuts and other mango processed goods. Various goods are displayed in a neat way.
Eda once was a maid in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. Several years ago, she came back to Guimaras, which is her hometown, and began to do mango business.
The job of my partner William and I is to help her find out some management problems and hopefully earn more profits. During our interview, I noticed that there was one customer placing orders from Manila and the customer would pay for the freight. It means the price of mangoes in Guimaras is acceptable even after adding the transportation fee compared with that in Manila. Eda also told us in pride that mangoes of Guimaras are regarded as the best mangoes in Philippines. So we have been thinking to export could be a way for Eda to expand the number of her customers.
We helped her create a Facebook page. In order to make the page more worthwhile, we plan to make a billboard with the store’s phone numbers and Facebook account on it and place the board outside the store to attract the attention of passers-by. Customers, especially those from other places with easy access to Internet, will be possible to follow Eda on Facebook. If the customer thinks Guimaras mangoes are extremely sweet, which is usually the case, he or she could order on the page. Thus it is likely that Eda can have more customers apart from just passers-by and friends and relatives. Currently FB only seems to function as a complement of the telephone. But we believe that at the Internet age, it is possible that having a FB can make Eda’s business precede other mango businesses in Guimaras who won’t appear on the search results page of Google or Bing.
Her store is currently rented at the cost of 2000 pesos per month (about 106 US dollars). She pointed at the sand floor and said if she could afford to buy her own land, she would make the floor more beautiful with some ceramic tiles. When she talked about her dream, she was carrying a big, toothy smile. The smile was so optimistic and powerful that I fell into silence for a second and told her with confidence from nowhere that her dream would come true for sure if we kept going on together.
Remember to take a look at Eda’s FB page if you would to try the most natural and the best mango!