Peanut flavored-polvoron was the only product of the company when it was established in 1996. With an initial capital of Php 500.00, they didn’t know how far BEAKRIS would go. But because of the unity and contributions of four Santos sisters during the early years of the business, BEAKRIS had been known as producer of quality Pinoy delicacies in Bataan since then.
Pamela G. Santos, proprietor of BEAKRIS and the second of the four sisters, now operates the business. But it was her younger sister, Claire, who developed the polvoron and her youngest sister, Charina, who sold it to schools. The company name, BEAKRIS, was named after her nieces– Beatrice and Kristine – to her eldest sister, Sonia.
Before they established the business, they’ve have gone through several challenges that tested their persistence. The business of their parents, who were fish dealer, failed. Pamela,then, was a graduating BS Architecture student at Far Eastern University in Manila. Due to financial constraints she had to stop.
To support the studies of her other sisters, they were urged to start their own business which was registered under Claire’s name. Eventually, they developed another product, the creamy yema. Market pick-up for this product was good which inspired the sisters to expand their business. However, Claire and her other sisters became busy with studies and other work hence Pamela took over the management of the business since 1999.
Being a young and dynamic entrepreneur, Pamela was open to modern ideas. She started to formulate different variants of polvoron and other products. Being an Architecture undergraduate had helped in developing her creativity and innovativeness. While her product lines are surging, she wanted to develop their packaging and label design.
Timely, in 2005, the Provincial Government launched the “Galing! Bataan Brand Development Program” and BEAKRIS’ House of Goodies was chosen as one of the project beneficiaries. As part of the project, the Packaging Technology Division of Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) -Department of Science and Technology (DOST), formerly known as the Packaging R&D Center (PRDC), developed appropriate packaging and label design for BEAKRIS’ tamarind candy products.
Meeting satisfaction in the output of the packaging and label design of their tamarind candy, Pamela had the initiative to seek for the services of ITDI again for the development of label design and appropriate packaging material this time for their polvoron products.
The original packaging material of polvoron of BEAKRIS was just a plain box which was not properly labeled. Since the creation of new packaging and label design of the product, its marketability had improved. This also gives Pamela the confidence to participate in different local trade fairs such as in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan during the APEC Finance Ministerial meeting in 2015.
The Provincial S&T Center in Bataan of DOST noticed the persistence of Pamela. DOST-Bataan introduced to Pamela the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (SETUP) Program which assists micro, small and medium enterprises to adopt technological interventions to improve their products and production procedures. Because of technological needs of the company, Pamela was encouraged to enroll to the program and became a 2008 SETUP Firm-beneficiary.
Pamela shared that before the SETUP interventions, BEAKRIS was manually cooking the tamarind ball candies while being cooked under low fire. That time, they only use carajay and ladle. That procedure of continuous mixing takes two hours. Thus, only one batch of cooking was being done in a day. Similarly, toasting of flour in producing polvoron was being toasted manually. Continuous toasting over low fire took 45 minutes to one hour. This practice sometimes produced uneven toasting which resultedto poor quality in terms of appearance and taste of polvoron.
DOST approved in 2008 the project with total cost of Php 300,000.00 for the acquisition of a double jacketed cooking mixer and refractometer. Double jacketed kettle facilitated cooking of polvoron and tamarind candies since this automated mixer manages everything from cooking, heating, mixing, tilting and lifting process. Using this equipment, they can now cook four (4) batches or more per day with assured quality of finished products, unlike before that only one batch of cooking is being done in a day. The refractometer, meanwhile, is being used in measuring the concentration of sugar of tamarind mixture thus standardizing the sweetness of their products.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng SETUP sa tulad naming maliliit na negosyante. Hindi madali sa amin ang makapag-acquire ng equipment, lalo na kung hundred thousand ang halaga. ‘Pag nangutang kami sa iba may interest pa. Dito [SETUP], walang interest. Bukod sa naka-acquire na kami ng equipment [through] DOST, naituro din sa amin kung ano ang naaangkop na dapat naming gamiting equipment or technology…” 46-year old Pamela narrated.
Yet, the product quality of BEAKRIS’ polvoron could still be improved. In the production of polvoron, one of the main ingredients that they are using is sugar. Sugar is being mixed with flour. Flour is too refined while sugar is available in granules. When the polvoron is tasted, the granules of sugar can still be distinguished from the flour, providing gritty texture.
Meanwhile, in the production of cakes and pastries, BEAKRIS was using their La Germania oven which they bought in 1997. The said equipment was not appropriate for commercial production. Also, the use of this small size oven sometimes yielded uneven cooked cakes and pastries, and over roasted peanuts. Besides, it could not facilitate the commercial production of their cakes, pastry products and roasted peanuts.
For these reasons, Pamela again applied to SETUP. The second phase SETUP project was approved in 2012 with total project cost amounting to Php 205,000.00. Through the project, BEAKRIS was able to acquire industrial oven, sugar pulverizer and food processor. Industrial oven is being used in baking of cakes and roasting of peanuts. Sugar pulverizer grinds sugar into powder-like form while food processor cuts or grinds spices.
Moreover, BEAKRIS benefited from other DOST consultancy services such as: Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) and 5S and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
With the assistance of DOST, BEAKRIS had surged their production volume of roasted peanuts by about 150%. With all of these, Pamela is very grateful to DOST for all the assistance that it had extended to her company.
“Very thankful ako sa DOST. Kung wala ang SETUP, siguro hanggang ngayon manu-mano pa rin kami nagluluto ng tamarind [candies]. May [malalaking] orders siguro kami na hindi namin mai-seserve kasi limited lang ang capacity namin noon. [So] may impact magmula sa production hanggang sa sales. Kung hindi kami nabigyan ng intervention [ng DOST-SETUP], hindi rin namin maiimprove ang quality [ng products],” Pamela shared, highlighting the impact of DOST interventions to her company.
Indeed, BEAKRIS has gone so far. From a backyard enterprise selling polvoron, it now has built a House of Goodies that offers different Pinoy delicacies.