“Staying Healthy is the Key”
The phrase above is the maxim that Brent John Pollito, a beneficiary of the DTI Livelihood Seeding Program, believed in order to survive the challenges of life.
It was in 2016 when Mr. Brent John Pollito decided to change and shift to a healthier lifestyle - being a vegetarian. Influenced by his belief and supported by his wife, who is also a vegan, he started to replace meat with soya products as his dietary source of protein. His knowledge of soya processing came from his mother, who also manufactures “taho” and “tofu”.
During the pandemic, Brent, who is a financial adviser at an insurance company, struggled as he couldn’t go to work due to the lockdown. In order to feed his family, he began making “tofu” for their consumption. He also started selling selling “tofu”, “taho” and soya milk products through Facebook to earn income for the family and promote a healthy lifestyle.
It was a rough start as he was still in the process of establishing his market. Though he was a one-man team, his persistence and determination were rewarded when the sales of his products started to get traction. He coined the word “Soyamatez” to serve as his trademark.
Like most entrepreneurs, Brent struggled in funding his business. He even borrowed money from his cousin to buy additional raw materials and sustain production. He was also in need of upgraded cooking equipment to produce better-quality products.
In 2021, he became one of the beneficiaries of the DTI Livelihood Seeding Program, a program that aims to help micro-enterprises to recover and bounce back from the effects of the pandemic. Through the program, he was provided with cooking cauldrons to improve the existing ones. He was also invited to several Negosyo Center trainings, which made his skills more developed.
Currently, Brent is active in joining the Department of Trade and Industry Baguio-Benguet activities for entrepreneurs. He was able to display his products at one of the local trade fairs organized by the agency. He is also enrolled as one of the mentees in the 2022 Kapatid Mentor Me Program.