Madiskarte Moms PH

Know the latest
from the media room

In a saturated business landscape, start-ups carry the extra burden of being drowned out by more established brands that already gained their followings. 

Entrepreneurs Jazel T. Gallaza and Joelle Dianne F. Venegas, two women from the online community Madiskarte Moms PH, knew that it was already hard enough to start a business—and harder still to do so in a saturated market. They made the wise decision to start businesses in which there were only a few competitors, and they approached it diligently: first by identifying their consumers, and then deliberately positioning their product for growth. 

Dianne started Golden Pots Agriculture and Jazel started Kapekoh. Both businesses won Diskarteng May-Puso and Diskarteng Pasulong, respectively, at this year’s Gawad Madiskarte mounted by PLDT Home. Diskarteng May Puso, as the title implies, recognizes those who run their businesses with heart, compassion, and empowerment, while Diskarteng Pasulong honors mompreneurs who break ground and innovate with their businesses and products.


A green thumb leads to a red-hot business 

Like many people, Dianne took comfort in plants while locked down in her home during the pandemic. Her love affair with plants and the environment started when she was a young girl. Living in Bulacan, which experiences heavy flooding when strong typhoons make landfall in the area, she’s seen the worsening effects of environmental destruction firsthand through the years.   

We now have yearly floods in Bulacan, something that didn’t use to happen when I was a child,” she says. “I am passionate about the environment because if we do not do something, a lot of places are not going to be livable in a few more decades. People think they can’t contribute to helping the environment, and that there’s nothing they can do, but the truth is we only need to reconsider our daily habits. Small changes can make a difference.” 

Dianne started Golden Pots Agriculture with a specific market in mind: people who love plants and want to grow them by using environment-friendly fertilizers, which are free from chemicals that degrade the soil and contribute to pollution. 

At first, she sold only indoor plants because, during the pandemic, it was all that people had in terms of nature. “Everyone wanted one,” she says. “As we slowly went back to normal, status symbol plants became less popular. My core customer base is still the urban gardeners, homeschooling moms, and casual backyard farmers — people who are truly passionate about gardening. I now focus on them. I also expanded my product range by offering plastic alternatives and started with eco-friendly business models like thrifting and repurposing. I’m still trying to gain my footing, but I remain faithful to my advocacy.”

She also discovered that there was a better product with fewer competitors—organic fertilizers. For the first two years, she sold only one type of organic fertilizer but has since expanded and focused on seeds, herbs, and other organics. 

Dianne first learned to love plants when she started gardening in grade school. In 2018, she joined an urban gardening workshop, but it was only during the pandemic that she discovered she could actually grow plants in bigger volumes and make them a business.

While Golden Pots is very apt for today’s increasing awareness to protect the environment, she’s also doing this for the future of her daughter. “My daughter loves the outdoors. She enjoys swimming, biking, and playing under the sun. She always has little science experiments like growing plants from seeds.” 

Dianne’s advice to entrepreneurs is to “stay true to their advocacies first, and business success will follow.” She reasons that consumers are now more knowledgeable about the reality of our environmental problems, and they’re becoming more aware of which brands truly support the environment and which companies are merely greenwashing. The goal of every social enterprise is still to be an entrepreneurial success, so in five years’ time, she hopes to generate more jobs and make more than enough so she can fund her advocacy further and reach more people.” 

How you operate your business also makes an impact on the environment. Dianne advises to “prioritize streamlining your production to produce less waste, reconsider your packaging, support local suppliers to shorten the food chain, put in the time and effort to be truly sustainable and eco-friendly—and the right customers will find you.”


Differentiating your everyday product 

Speaking of saturated markets, instant coffee is perhaps one of the hardest to break into. All the big food manufacturers have their own brands; even foreign coffee shops now have theirs. Supermarket aisles devote multiple shelves to countless instant coffee variants and sizes.   

How can one possibly compete with that? Jazel T. Gallaza had the brilliant idea to differentiate her coffee by going to the core of the drink: the main ingredient. She would make Kapekoh not from coffee beans, but from corn. Yes, corn! 

The reason for this is a personal one. The former OFW who used to work on cruise ships before the pandemic loves coffee but is highly acidic. An acid reflux attack one day led her to think back to her grandfather, who used to make the kids drink corn coffee when their stomachs ached. 

“That gave me the idea to make corn coffee and we went to Bukidnon to source the corn. By God’s grace, our business is thriving and doing well especially after I won in Gawad Madiskarte. A lot of individuals have shown their interest in the product and expressed their desire to do business with me.”

Kapekoh is an excellent example of customizing your product to a specific set of people—in this case, those who suffer from acidity but can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. And because corn coffee is not so common in cities (it’s more common among older folks in the provinces), Jazel was able to position Kapekoh as an authority in alternative coffee. 

Even before COVID, we were facing challenges in life, and it got worse when the pandemic came. But during that down moment, a door of opportunity opened. My business today serves as our bread and butter, and we’re able to help other people by supporting our local farmers, helping charities, and supporting other moms who want to earn from the comfort of their own home.”

Jazel says one of her business goals is to help other moms who want to earn extra to provide for the needs of their families. “My dream is for this product to reach a lot of people not just nationwide, but worldwide.” 

And she’s on her way there, because what Jazel created is a product with a specific target market that’s willing to pay for it. “Don’t just plan, begin,” she says. “It may feel scary but have courage, keep the faith, and give it a shot. Remember that there’s a blessing amid adversity, you just need to seek it. The moment you feel you’re afraid to jump is the very moment to give all you’ve got and just go for it. Laban lang, God is always there for us.”  

She concludes, “All big and very successful businesses started small.” In this case, it started as small as a kernel of corn. 


Follow Golden Pots Agriculture and Kapekoh on Facebook, and be inspired by more entrepreneurial moms of the Madiskarte Moms PH community.