We go through various events in our lifetime, some are just passing through but others will stick to your memories forever.
Celebrating these moments is where couples, Jun and Jacqueline Estela put their core talent into. They cater from the heart and aims to fill your memories, more than just your tummies. They value every details of each event and commit to giving their best just like how they give their best to one higher being.
The Estela couple started their catering venture out of a steady requirement from their patrons from their other venture- IJ Executive Suites, a bed and breakfast that caters to corporate accounts.
While their B&B venture slows down during holiday season, they needed something to fill the gap, hence, the food business idea came up. One of their corporate clients asked if they can cater some packed meals for a series of trainings, one who never says no to challenges, Jacqueline signed up for it , this is how they started their food business journey – Blue Plate Exalt Food Corporation.
They initially offered elegantly packed meal which comes in bento boxes, this became a hit with their corporate clients and when the demand ballooned, they soon offered disposable bento. When the request for buffet catering presented itself, Blue Plate as expected, rose to the challenge and heed the call to diversify.
The couple believes that going the extra mile will earn you loyalty points from your clients. While other caterers automatically turn down an engagement that does not reach the minimum quantity or does not fit into the allowable lead time, Blue Plate is always ready to forego these terms for their valued clients.
More than investing in equipments, Blue Plate invests heavily in relationships which for them is more important than any material things. Jacqueline added “If the customer requested for 25pax and our minimum is for 30pax, I wouldn’t turn it down. In the end, all these requirements adds up and will suffice”
In a query on how they are able to bring down the price given such an elegant set-up and premium dishes, the Estela couple credits it to their entrepreneurial mindset of serving more customer at an affordable price gives you the advantage of pooling your resources in achieving cost-efficiency.
Blue Plate cuts its costs not by scrimping on ingredients but by going straight to the source. Their commissary is equipped with cold storage that can last up to 1 week of full operations running full capacity.
They invested in a state-of-the art technology for their commissary and ready to serve 3,000 meals at any given time. With over 600 menu to choose from, the company is geared towards serving people using only the freshest ingredients at the most-affordable price with a service that is committed to extending the extra mile
Relationships and External Mission
Jun and Jacqueline also shared their advocacy in the aim to inspire more people to look into their inner call. Jacqueline started out with this mission out of her desire to serve amidst her own adversity. From an early age, their son IJ is suffering from low blood platelet which requires him to undergo blood transfusion every week at Philippine General Hospital(PGH) during that time, the couple were both working for BDO.
Jacqueline’s heart melted seeing other parents who she meets at PGH, these were the ones whose kids needed procedures but they literally have no single pennies in their pockets. She knew right then and there that she needed to do something.
This was when she asked God for a wager, she committed 10% every month from their sinking fund (a fund they set aside for IJ’s medical procedures) to help these families from PGH. In return, she asked God to keep IJ’s health stable.
Trials are not measure of God’s providence
Trying times came when their sinking fund needed to be used for IJs health, but during this time, Jacqueline still managed to worry about her commitment to other kids in the hospital. With this, her advocacy “Dugo Mo, Buhay Ko” started.
She went to her former HR from BDO and asked for pledges of blood donation. Ecstatic to learn that the company is looking into such program, she happily announced that she will supply the meals needed for the activity.
The foundation regularly conducts blood-letting activities with cooperation from CSR departments of several corporations.
You can be the best caterer, you can serve the best food but you don’t have what it takes for people to trust you then you have no business to be in this industry.
By Inspire PH Team