An Opportunity with So MUSHROOM to Grow

When we talk about business, we simply talk about how much money one can make or how many products one can launch in a span of time. However, we tend to forget the thought of how someone has started his or her own business. And that is why sharing the hardest part, which is the beginning of one’s business journey, becomes interesting and fun.

Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a burst of new business ventures anywhere in the country and even abroad such as online selling of clothes, garage “ukay-ukay”, and most especially pastries and other food items. Most of these have started as merely hobbies. But for Ms. Chiddy Mugar, her business was born as one fantastic opportunity.

Ms. Chiddy Mugar is a former Overseas Filipino Worker who at an early age have already taken a leap of faith to thrive abroad. According to her, working abroad for almost half of her life has taught her a lot of things, especially how to cook and prepare a delightful dish.

In 2019, she started as an online entrepreneur by promoting high quality Filipino products. Unexpectedly, the pandemic quickly came the next year. As operations in business establishments and other industries were badly shut down, Ms. Chiddy then became more obsessed with figuring out how to scale up her business.

One day, a friend of hers introduced the idea of growing mushrooms. Realizing the concerns of people in terms of their health and well-being during a challenging period, Ms. Chiddy got amazed and interested into looking further the significant health components that mushrooms have and how can she turn it into something that will benefit the people.

As the adage goes, “turn the negative things into something positive,” the pandemic eventually became the catalyst of her business’ vision – a privilege. She started growing a massive 20,000 bags of mushrooms at their place in Silang, Cavite. Just like the usual problems of startups, she experienced trouble with the market demands while her mushroom harvest was continuously increasing each day. With this situation, she doubtlessly decided to process the mushrooms as Mushroom Chips.

Through her perseverance and passion, she joined various skills seminars on how to process a variety of mushroom products effectively and efficiently. In 2021, CLB Consumer Goods Trading unlocked its doors as a participant in several programs and activities such as food fairs, and mall exhibits.

As a mother who acts as a warrior for her two children, Ms. Chiddy became more persistent in bringing her mushroom business into the limelight of the food industry. In 2022, she entered the science and technology community through DOST’s Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines or iFWD PH Program.

Through the innovation fund she acquired from the iFWD PH Program, she was able to procure production equipment turning her manual operations to semi-automated; she was also able to acquire expert’s advise on her product packaging and labelling, and product development. Through science, technology, and innovation-based interventions, CLB Consumer Goods Trading was able to elevate her business plans by developing new and unique products such as Mushroom Ice Cream, Fried Mushroom Noodles, Mushroom Paste (Bagoong), Mushroom Soup Powder, Mushroom Polvoron, Mushroom Patty, Mushroom Siomai, and Mushroom Pandesal.

As it conquers the world of food business industry by having re-sellers and penetrating large and well-known sponsored events and bazaars, the business has also gotten its way to a marvelous increase in sales and production three (3) times its previous figures. To date, CLB Consumer Goods Trading’s timeline continues to thrive in the business sector and its vision of sustainable and healthy living propels. Her story was featured during the 2022 OFW Summit, hoping to also inspire more OFWs to turn their passion into an enterprise.

Ms. Chiddy is one empowered woman, and her story of success is a flourishing testament that even the unprecedented global health crisis had the power to unveil a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her to grow and succeed through her passion – geared with assertiveness and faith in herself.

By: Shaira P. Rapisora, SCCU

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