Even in bad situations, opportunity arises. The quarantine lifestyle forced upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic became a business opportunity for this mother to start her online food delivery business.

Gemma Noble, from Taytay, Rizal, started YENLUI Food Stuff, an online food business that offers popular Filipino dishes such as kare-kare and crispy pata, including flavored chicken wings, during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine).

Before the ECQ, Gemma ran a catering business that serviced employees of a company and a construction office. She also ran a small burger restaurant with some of her friends. But the pandemic forced these businesses to stop.

Running an online business wasn’t on Gemma’s mind, until a relative requested her to prepare pork barbecue and flavored chicken wings—products that were popular in her restaurant—to be delivered to the family of this relative’s girlfriend a month ago. The family liked the dishes so much they ordered for more.

“With this, my dad and uncle thought that maybe we could turn this into a business since both my parents’ businesses were greatly affected by the pandemic and our family has no source of income. We weren’t really sure how to get more customers since we are currently facing a pandemic which limited our options for marketing,” said Gemma’s daughter Juliene.

Juliene’s aunt volunteered to market the online business on Facebook and to take orders from there. Once the Facebook page was up, photos of the dishes (which were taken by Gemma’s husband) were posted.

“The response was overwhelming as my aunt gathered a lot of orders. We thought that maybe we could really do this. After that first wave of orders, we added more products to our menu. Basically, my aunt posts the pictures of the food, receives orders through private message, then my mom and I would cook the orders here in our home kitchen, then my aunt would pick them up from our home, and then she’d deliver them. My mom usually goes to the market at 5:30 in the morning almost every day just to get the resources that we need,” said Juliene.

According to Juliene, her mother Gemma is a great home cook who turned her love of cooking into a business. “My mom and her siblings are really into food as my lola is known to be a great home cook in the province and my lolo served as a cook in a ship.”

Through cooking, mom and daughter have established a strong bond. “My mom means the world to me. My relationship with my mom is something that I can’t describe but I can’t imagine my life without her presence and her cooking, of course. Cooking has always been our mother-daughter bonding; we’re partners in the kitchen. For me, she’s the most hardworking, generous, and kind person that I’ve ever known in my life. She’s doing everything that she can just to provide a good life for me and my brother,” said Juliene.

The name of the online food business was taken from the names of Gemma’s children Juliene and Luis. “My mom always believed that when you incorporate your children’s name to your business name, it will bring a different charm and luck to it.”

Of late, YENLUI Food Stuff has been receiving positive reviews from customers who now receive their orders through Lalamove and Angkas Padala. Orders too are constantly increasing every day.

So far, everything’s good as we are receiving positive reviews from our customers which they said that it tastes good and it is “swak sa budget.” We’re very glad that our previous customers are actually recommending our business to their friends and families by word-of-mouth,” said Juliene.

YENLUI Food Stuff offers the following dishes, all reasonably priced—kare-kare with crispy breaded liempo (P150), crispy pata (P495), crispy pork sisig (P110), pork ribs (P125), mixed seafood (P150), sizzling bopis with egg (P100), tokwa’t baboy (P100), tofu con lechon (P125), ensaladang talong (P40), homemade pork siomai (P55), crispy tenga (P20), pork barbecue (P25), grilled liempo (P110), and grilled stuffed squid (65).

Gemma’s famous flavored chicken wings come in buffalo, garlic butter, honey glazed, honey lemon glazed, soy garlic, and teriyaki flavors (P145).

To order, private message YENLUI Food Stuff on FB or contact 0916-2362687 or 0926-0888944.