How celebrity-mompreneur Nene Tamayo bounced back from losing more than P1 million to building a successful food business

How celebrity-mompreneur Nene Tamayo bounced back from losing more than P1 million to building a successful food business

SME Inspirations

Airamae Guerrero

Airamae Guerrero

21 Aug 2020, 12:30 — 5 min read

Founder: Nene Tamayo - Plamio
Enterprise: Nene Prime Foods
Year founded: 2014
Industry: Fresh, processed and packaged food
Location: Quezon City, Philippines


Losing more than P1 million from several failed ventures did not stop celebrity-mompreneur Nene Tamayo - Plamio to pursue her desire to become a successful business owner.


After all, she knew that losing money and failing are all part of the process.


From running a convenience store to managing a comedy bar and restaurant, Nene had to close down all of her businesses to stop from bleeding money.


Despite being in a distressing situation, she didn’t lose the right perspective and embraced all learning from her failures to slowly rebuild herself and come out even stronger.


Bouncing back from failures

Years later, she established Nene Prime Foods that was born out of her love for Spanish sardines and her interest in cooking.


Before Nene Prime Foods, the celebrity-mompreneur had to slow down after losing a lot of money. She started all over again and participated in different bazaars and trade fairs with her buy and sell products.


“I didn’t stop because I really wanted to have a business,” she shares.


Encouraged by her husband, she started cooking Spanish style milkfish sardines. “There’s no harm in trying anyway, so I tried cooking and ordered 10 kilos of milkfish to make my own recipe.”


She asked her aunt to teach her the recipe, but she later found out that her aunt’s recipe contains a lot of msg (monosodium glutamate). This caused her to experiment for less than a month using different kinds of spices and herbs to offer a recipe without msg. She then started giving it to her friends and neighbors and sought their feedback for improvement. 


At this time of pandemic, we have to be a navigator and not a survivor. If you’re just a survivor, you will just wait for this pandemic to be over. Being an entrepreneur, we have to be the navigator so we can still continue our operations


Starting again and conquering self-doubt

With orders coming in, she decided to turn her recipe into a product. Although she wasn’t 100 percent confident with her product at first, she didn’t want to lose the opportunity given to her. She took a leap of faith and registered her business in 2014.


Fast forward today, from being a one-man team, Nene already has staffs to help her with the production and delivery. She was also able to expand her offerings into 5 products catering to different markets.


Nene Prime Foods women employees


“Before our offering is only for the high-end market, but now, we already created products for retailers so that everyone can afford and taste our products,” she explains. They also have resellers nationwide from Metro Manila to Mindanao.


Navigating the new normal

With Nene’s mind set to achieving growth and profitability, there’s no sign of her slowing down even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, there was a spike in demand for her products during the lockdown.


“One of the recovered COVID-19 patients even messaged us that she’s happy to be able to order our product even in her isolation.”


However, with limited movement and restrictions, they’re having a difficult time keeping up with the demand. Deliveries for their supplies that they are sourcing outside Metro Manila and limited manpower has been a challenge for them.


But with Nene’s entrepreneurial spirit, they managed to find an alternative solution: providing other food products like chorizo.


“At this time of pandemic, we have to be a navigator and not a survivor. If you’re just a survivor, you will just wait for this pandemic to be over. Being an entrepreneur, we have to be the navigator so we can still continue our operations,” she explains.

Also read: Survive and thrive: Scenario planning through business challenges


Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

“Business is not just about money; it’s not just about having enough capital. You should have the knowledge of running a business as well. You should have a market study and thorough research,” she shares.


Nene encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to start small and to focus their energy with one business so they can manage it well.


To find out more about Nene’s products, you can visit her online store here (neneprimefoods.linker.store). Buy local; support women-led enterprises!

Nene Prime Foods products

Also read: Create your own online store on UnionBank GlobalLinker for free!


To explore business opportunities, link with Nene T. Plamio by clicking on the 'Connect' button on her profile.

Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members

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Airamae Algentera Guerrero

I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME Inspirations' series. Connect with me and share...

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