Grace Pascual-Holganza, a corporate accountant by trade, is the owner of MUMshroom, a company that sells products such as chips, patties, and sisig made from white oyster mushrooms cultivated on her family farm in Nueva Ecija.
Though she technically started MUMshroom in 2018, just two months after being inspired by the street food in Taiwan, it wasn’t until 2020–during the pandemic–that she was able to turn her hobby into a successful side business.
Part of MUMshroom’s success lies in its professionalism, characterized by Pascual-Holganza’s systematic approach to growing both her farm and her business. Her journey will be featured in the Agriculture section of Manila Bulletin but she also shared five tips on professionalizing a business:
Utilize your network. Today’s market has become extra competitive, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or collaborate with people whose expertise or talents will be of help to your business in different aspects that include conceptualization, production, and marketing. “ You have to deal with professionals, Pascual-Holganza said. “You should have a lot of contacts to market your products.”
Patience is a must. Starting a venture can be lonely and frustrating. If one wants to succeed, they must resist the urge to give up. “Being patient, being persistent,” Pascual-Holganza enumerates. “The challenges will always be there,” she adds in Taglish. “[Trust in the] trial and error [process]. Don’t get frustrated.”
Secure your funds. There are many success stories that involve business owners struggling to find funds in the beginning. However, Pascual-Holganza advises having enough funds allows the budding entrepreneur room for experimentation in order to perfect their product. “[You] should be ready for some costs that will be incurred for doing a certain project.”
Have a support group. A wife, a mother, and a corporate accountant, Pascual-Holganza would not have had the time to develop MUMshroom without the support and understanding of her family, friends, and colleagues. “You cannot do it unless you have friends or family who support you because this is a passion project,” she said in Taglish.
Continue to innovate. Pascual-Holganza didn’t stop with mushroom chips. She also developed mushroom patties and sisig, and continues to develop products and collaborate with experts to this day. “People want novelty. When I introduced chips, everyone wanted chips, but there will come a time when they’ll want something else. The constant is change for improvements [and] product innovation… [Customers] want to try new things.”