Gourmet tuyo, sardines provide livelihood for housewives in Davao

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By Anna Valmero

DAVAO CITY, DAVAO DEL SUR— For Tayna Miclat, empowering fellow mothers in poor communities is a personal crusade. So when she established her gourmet tuyo and sardines business, she tapped stay-at-home housewives in the area to give them a source of livelihood during their spare time.

The mothers, who are aged 40-years-old and above, were previously employed as factory workers in a garments business that shut down after clients preferred cheap China imports. At their age, the mothers had a hard time finding work so they just stayed at home.

Most of the housewives here are not earning money, simply because they are left at home to care for the children and do the house chores,” says Tayna, proprietess of Southern Taste, manufacturer of Tuyo ni Gus gourmet sardines and tuyo products.

“These days, when their husbands who are either farmers or fishermen have difficulty earning, it would be very difficult for the family to make ends meet. This is why when I started to turn my cooking hobby into a business, I decided to tap them.”

Tayna proudly displayed Davao-made Southern Taste products during the recent “One Town, One Product” expo.

Ten years ago, Tayna and her husband Augusto started being avid givers of gourmet fish products to relatives and friends every Christmas season. Instead of buying traditional gifts, they say it is more meaningful and personal to give the gourmet tuyo and sardines that they cook at home.

Soon after that, friends of the family urged them to turn their gourmet products into a business so they can sell it year-round. With just her helper, she started the home business, which would later carry the brand name Tuyo ni Gus, in honor of her husband who invented the recipes.

When she expanded her business, she invested about P30,000, most of it spent on production equipment.

After starting her home business, she decided to stay at home to spend more time with her family after working for 12 straight years as a corporate executive in a local business.

Now, she employs three mothers as regular employees and taps other mothers in the community for production of bulk orders or to meet demand during peak months, particularly during the Christmas season. The mothers are paid daily and are offered free lunch and snacks.

The precision and care needed to remove the bones and scales of the fishes made mothers ideal for the gourmet tuyo business. After deboning, the fish are fried and flavored using olive oil or corn oil before sealing in bottles. Prices go from P130 to P150 for a bottle of gourmet tuyo.

To date, Tayna imports the gourmet tuyo to her friends in Canada and locally, it is featured in the shelves of high-end cafes in Davao,

“I hope that we can penetrate the global market because this is an authentic Filipino product improved in taste and quality. It will allow us to share our exotic dishes and give more jobs to mothers in Davao.”

Get more information about Southern Taste (Tuyo ni Gus)

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