Growing My Rice Cake Business
October 2017

“Growing My Rice Cake Business,” Ensign, October 2017

Latter-day Saint Voices

Growing My Rice Cake Business

rice cakes

Illustration by Carolyn Vibbert

I wanted to send my son on a mission, but selling one kilo (2 lbs.) of bibingka (rice cakes) a week wasn’t enough to be able to support him on a mission.

My son helped the family financially and was too worried about our financial condition to feel comfortable leaving. It was a constant struggle for our family to make money. I was proud of my 25-year-old son for his righteous desire to serve the Lord, but I realized that we would need some kind of miracle to make his dream of serving a mission come true.

I joined a self-reliance group. By being proactive and exercising my faith, I knew that my family would be blessed. During one meeting, I was prompted to go to a public market. There, I saw many women selling native snacks. I made a deal with one woman. I told her I would leave my products in the morning for her to sell and collect the profits at the end of the day. The arrangement was beneficial to both of us. I soon found more sellers. My business grew to 10 sellers during my time in the self-reliance group.

I learned to separate my personal money from my business money and pay myself a salary. I learned to stop spending time making products that didn’t sell and focus instead on what was profitable. I also learned about marketing with social media. My action partner from the self-reliance group helped me create a Facebook account. From there, we learned about branding and packaging. My business eventually grew to the point that my husband could quit his physically demanding job and work with me.

Someone recently asked me how my sales were going. I proudly told him I am now selling 12 kilos (26 lbs.) of rice cakes.

“12 kilos a week is great!” he said.

“No, brother,” I said. “I sell 12 kilos per day.

My son later told me he was happy that my business could now provide for our needs.

“Looks like I can serve a full-time mission now,” he said.

He is now serving in the Philippines San Pablo Mission. I am so grateful for the self-reliance initiative. The Lord truly meant it when He said, “It is my purpose to provide for my saints” (D&C 104:15).