JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 520

Luzvimin Vocalan of Balaw-Balaw Foods Incorporated initially opened her business as an eatery in 1982. With her and her husband's passion for art and good food, the company has since expanded into a full-scale restaurant and art gallery in Angono, Rizal. Designed to cater to food lovers' selective taste for ethnic foods, the company serves dishes such as balaw balaw or fermented fish, ginataang kuhol (snails cooked in coconut cream), fried itik (duck), and kinilaw na puso ng saging (banana flowers in vinegar sauce). However, to continue to do this, the company needed to expand production to fill a rapidly growing market.

In support, the Provincial S&T Center of Rizal facilitated provision of financial assistance to Balaw-Balaw. The company received PhP0.63M from the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), a banner project of the science and technology department. From this, Balaw-Balaw acquired an-line filling machine, deep fryer, and vacuum packaging machine, among others. In addition, PSTC-Rizal, in coordination with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), provided packaging and labeling design assistance. DOST-ITDI also conducted shelf life analysis, commercial sterility study, and nutritional analysis of the company's unique food products.

Equipped with the new knowledge and supported by the new technologies, Balaw-Balaw has since joined PHILFOODEX, a food exporters' association. It was able also to introduce ethnic foods to a wider market segment. From a humble eatery, Balaw-Balaw has since entered into contracts with Robinson's Supermarket and Binalot Fiesta Foods as outlets of its ethnic food products. In 2009, it netted nearly PhP1M.