Philippines - COVID-19 Pandemic crippled the many day-to-day activities of human beings. People find it hard to access transportation and buy essentials. More people lost their jobs due to the stoppage of business operations. However, people have to find ways to make a living and sustain the daily needs of the family. Thus, TiTaStores (Tindahang Tapat) Neighborhood Food Market was conceptualized by Gintong Aral Pangkabuhayan Consumer Cooperative. TiTaStore business model was adopted and expanded in the Coops4Food Project. It aims to provide livelihood activities through the selling of rice, vegetable, fruits, and other essentials in the neighborhood at a cheaper price compared to public markets.
Supply of agricultural products come from producers cooperative such as indigenous people in the province of Rizal and Benguet farmers through the consolidation of Gintong Aral Pangkabuhayan Consumer Cooperative and coordinated under Coops4Food.
The TitaStore is one of the business models under the Coops4Food project led by AgriCOOPh under the USAID GROW-Coop Project being implemented by Agriterra. Through the TitaStore business model, it empowers women through market trading activities.
Lilibeth Baldisimo and Teresa Coronado, were both displaced from work because of the quarantine restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic. Both need alternative sources of income to provide for their family. After being oriented on the concept of TiTaStore, they embraced the idea of setting up a neighborhood food stall. Teresa set up a stall in front of their house, while Lilibeth install the store in front of the church in her municipality located in General Mariano Alvarez (GMA), Cavite.
Teresa Coronado in her shop
Within three weeks of operation, both earned an average income of around 1,300 pesos ($26). They even shell out an additional amount of capital to buy other goods requested by costumers. Later on, they included free delivery service of goods for their buyers. As of now, they have at least 10-15 regular clients.
Through this initiative, they learned to manage the operation themselves and developed their entrepreneurial skills. According to them, the opportunity given by the Coops4Food project urges them to dream big.
Lilibeth and Teresa are looking forward to expanding their TitaStore by adding more products to sell. They would also like to encourage other mothers to step up the TiTaStore neighborhood food market and discover their entrepreneurial skills. Selling is one way to survive.
Coops4Food is one of the initiatives under the USAID Generating Rural Opportunities by Working with Cooperatives (GROW-Coop) project implemented by Agriterra and their Local Resource Organization, AgriCOOPh, in response to the COVID 19 pandemic that badly affected the access of farmers and communities to markets and food supply.
For more information on Coops4Food, you may email: email@example.com.