The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) named the NM Food Products, maker of traditional Bukidnon banana chips and taro crackers, as Outstanding Micro-Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) in Bukidnon.
In an interview, Nestor Manuel, owner of NM Food Products said the trade started with meager resources in 1988. The store offers only sweet banana chips and other delicacies ideal for “pasalubong” and gifts for “balikbayans.”
“But we now offer chips and crackers with flavors of cheese, hot and spicy, sweet and sour, cinnamon and sweet corn,” he said.
Manuel claims that DTI has helped much in his flourishing business. He said he always participates in trainings and seminars on food processing, packaging, product enhancement and marketing sponsored by the DTI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology and other organizations that give techniques and innovative ideas to entrepreneurs dealing with food industry.
“I am honored to the recognition of my products and I don’t think of any award but I admit that I’m a hands-on manager and checks the store from time to time,” he added.
He said he also complies with all legal registrations and obligations to the city and national government. He also makes sure that customers are always satisfied with their purchases and accepts ‘returned’ goods with no questions asked.
NM Food Products are available in all “pasalubong” centers in Bukidnon. Its main processing facilities are in Maramag and Manolo Fortich. Manuel employs some young people from Manolo Fortich, Maramag and environs. (PIA Bukidnon / Ruby Leonora Balistoy)