The two-week Trade Fair ended last Friday and though I am still tired from playing full-time saleslady, cook and what-have-you, it was a success for the products that I launched. No, don’t ask about profits because I’m far from recouping the capital but the mere fact that the food items were well-received is compensation enough at this point. Plus, I have been asked almost daily if we had an outlet in San Fernando and/or in Metro Manila where customers could buy our products after the trade fair.

Of our three original products, the ampalaya-kangkong achara was the bestseller. Customers were surprised at how native and “western” vegetables mingled perfectly. I was amused at how during the first or second day, some college students dropped by the tent and curiously sampled the achara. One was on an adventure since according to her, she didn’t eat bitter melon nor achara yet she liked it enough to buy a bottle. On succeeding days, sales improved as more people got to know the product. There was even one couple who bought seven bottles in a single purchase. That made my day. :wow:

After the soft launch, I’m still tweaking the formula a bit based on the feedback. I’m a bit hesitant to modify the original recipe since this is what we grew up on at home and nobody has really complained. The obsessive-compulsive in me however would like to address two minor issues: 1. some find the achara too sour and 2. someone noticed that the syrup is turbid.

Hmmm… the first issue is a matter of taste and the second a matter of presentation and both have to do with our use of pure palm vinegar (sukang sasa or sukang Paombong) which is very sour but not synthetic and is a bit cloudy to begin with. We do not dilute the recipe with water, which is why it has a pure taste and a long shelf life. I know that no product can please everyone’s palate yet I… I’m OC, hehehe!

On the second issue, on turbidity, it also has to do with our use of a lot of finely crushed native garlic and ginger which makes the syrup quite flavourful on its own. And as soon as a jar is opened, one can already smell the fragrance. A lot of our buyers were ‘seduced’ this way.

I would love to talk about the other food items we launched, some of the food sold in other tents and my tragicomic moments during the fair but I must sleep.

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