Putting up a business is not as easy as dancing and singing. It takes hard work and perseverance to succeed. One must create something different, something special.
In the case of Mrs. Cecilia Fernandez-Plotena, a simple prayer made it all. Mrs. Plotena prayed to have a business that she can do in her own backyard. She never thought that the answer to her prayer will grow big and made its name not only in Negros, but also in places like Cebu, Iligan, Tagaytay, Manila and Cagayan.
The business started on January 1, 1987 with a P 3,000.00 capital and started with 4 products such as Baniadas, Rosquillos, Piaya and Meringue. She only had 2 people helping her during that time. Though it was hard at the start, she really gave focus on it and strived to create more products. Plotena also mentioned that she find ways to keep up with the growing business and be at par with other competitors. DOST and DTI are those she mentioned that helped her as she went along. When asked about her Philosophy in life, she humbly answered that her only Philosophy is Trusting God. She experienced many hurdles but she never gave up. It was a long trip for her until she found one place she considers to be the other home for her products, and that is ANP.
Being part of the ANP is a blessing for her because ANP is helping producers to be more creative and come up with new products. Bulawan Awards encourages every producer to create a new design, recipe and packaging according to its focus materials. Like any other individual, Mrs. Plotena also experienced stress but she handles it very well by saying a prayer and venting out with people close to her. She believes that there’s no problem that you can’t solve. We asked her if she can give an advice to the young entrepreneurs, “Be hard working, couple it with determination, integrity and trust. Always give your best so you can give quality products to your customers.” She replied. Mrs. Plotena is now a proud member of ANP for 18 years, an officer of the Association of Negros Food Producers (2002-2011) and a BACNOBA member.
Clara’s Food Products is now a name to reckon with in the food industry. Featured in Manila Bulletin as the “Original” in Flavoured Barquillos (Goats milk, Choco, Mango, Coco, Mocha, Strawberry, Ube and Pandan) in year 2005.
Clara’s, a name which she used for her business as a tribute to the woman she admired most, her mother Mrs. Clarita “Clara” Fernandez. Clara’s is also the business that sent her children to college and built her home in the City of Smiles, Bacolod.