Mom tastes success by giving dried mangoes a caramel twist

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita September 02,2018 - 09:45 PM

Audrey Regis,owner of Audrey Confectioneries, shows her caramel flavored dried mango products./ Santino Bunachita PHOTO


When you say Cebu, what kind of pasalubong comes to mind? It’s always dried mangoes.

For 47-year-old Audrey Regis, she knew she had to set herself apart when she started her own line of delicacies in 2013.

“As I child, I loved caramel. And there are already existing mango chocolate products. So I thought to make it different and innovative. Something unique. So I started with Mango Caramel,” she shared.

Right now, Audrey’s Confectioneries has four different flavors for its dried mangoes.

These are the Mango Caramel Classic, Chocolate Mango Caramel, Mango Caramel Cashew, and Mango Caramel Pistachio.

Back in 2013, Regis started putting her product into the market through a friend who had a stall for pasalubong at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Just a month after her products went on display, she was contacted by representatives from SM Malls and Kultura which wanted to sign her up to supply them with the products for their branches in different parts of the country.

Rustan’s Supermarket also called her up and said they wanted her products displayed in their stores.

“Back then, I could not catch up with all the orders and stocks. When I started, I was doing it just in my kitchen,” she said.

Product’s from Audrey’s Confectioneries can also be found at Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila as well as other airports in different parts of the country.

Now, her products can be seen in stores from Baguio in the north to General Santos in the south.

Her house is located in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City. But now, she already has a separate building and kitchen for production beside their house.
From starting with two personnel, she now has nine.

Regis parents are from Cebu but she was born and raised in Manila. She eventually relocated and settled down back in Cebu in 2005 when she was reassigned here for her corporate job.

Until now, she does not have her own physical store, and she relies on the sales of her products from different distributors.

Career shift

Prior to focusing on the business, Regis spent 22 years in the corporate jungle.

She dedicated over two decades of her time in the banking industry which had her leave the house as early as 7 a.m. and come home as late as 7 p.m.

Eventually, she realized that her son, who is now seven years old, became much closer to his nanny. She would leave the house even before he wakes up and when she comes home, he’s already asleep.

This prompted her to look for a livelihood that will make her own her time. And that was to be a businesswoman.

She decided to retire in January 2014, a few months after she started Audrey’s Confectioneries.

Fortunately, by the time she retired, Regis already had retirement funds.

With a capital of P300,000, she started the business. She purchased boxes for packaging, some equipment, as well as the raw materials and ingredients for her products.

According to Regis, she originally wanted to open a bakeshop since she got interested in baking.

She already bought an oven, slicers, and trained two panaderos.

But she realized that running a bakeshop was very labor intensive and the market was already saturated.

“At that time, I said to myself that I needed a product that would sell on its own — no marketing, just word of mouth,” she said.

While looking for inspiration, she found herself in the groceries, specifically the pasalubong section.

There, she noticed how popular and in-demand dried mangoes were.

She didn’t want to be like everyone else so she decided to put her childhood favorite which is caramel into the product.

Right now, each box of her varieties of caramel mangoes cost P199.75. Each box is 72 grams.

Despite her experience in business for the past five years, Regis still wanted to learn more as a businesswoman.

Scaling up

This was why she joined the fourth batch of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMM) Program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu Provincial Office.

She was among the more than 20 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who graduated from the program, which lasts for three months, last week.

“I learned a lot. They teach you the evolving market, that our customers are evolving. If you won’t ride that wave, you will die a natural death,” she shared.

Another thing she said she learned is not to overly love your product. While it is important to take pride in one’s product, Regis pointed out that those in business should be open enough to listen to their customers on what they need to adjust.

Just recently, Regis also launcher her own Banana Chips.

Similar to her mango caramel, she also took inspiration from the grocery store for her banana chips.

Like the dried mangoes, she saw that banana chips were also a favorite.

Her version: sweet and salted, thinly-sliced banana chips.

“The inspiration behind this is my mom. She does not like thick banana chips. So I made mine thin and crispy,” she said.

An 85-gram pack of her banana chips is being sold by resellers at P59.75.

After launching her newest product, Regis said she also hopes to continue expanding Audrey’s Confectioneries.

She said she hopes to crack the international market and start exporting to other countries like Japan, Korea, and China.

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TAGS: giving, Mangoes, mom, success, twist
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