Rowena’s souvenir store grows big timeBy Ma. Esther Salcedo–Posadas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
She is now sought out to give talks about her business experience and success.
Rowena Mendoza, who started selling pansit under a big umbrella outside her home, has reached another major milestone in her entrepreneurial career.
Inspired mainly by her faith in God and street-smart ability, Rowena launched last December 2011 a 1,500 square meter expansion that includes a restaurant that can seat 80 to 100 people, a 30 square meter bedroom, swimming pool and of course, the chapel that she promised God in her prayers.
She says she started planning as early as 2009. The owner of the lot behind her store offered to sell the property to her. While she initially didn’t have the full amount to buy the lot, Rowena started praying for the funds and promised that she would build a chapel if the sale pushes through. And it did.
Rowena’s café, restaurant, and events place now offers wedding, birthday and baptismal packages. The bedroom and swimming pool are also available for day and night use.
She has also started offering weekend lunch buffets that include popular Filipino dishes such as beef caldereta, chicken pork adobo, pinakbet and bulalo. The ala carte menu that was available in her pasalubong store is likewise being offered to diners.
To date, Rowena has five stores including the main establishment along the Sta. Rosa—Tagaytay road. She is in charge of the new events place and talks about the enjoyment she gets from the enterprise. At the moment, she is quite content with what she has achieved.
When asked what else she has planned, Rowena simply states that perhaps she may look towards other personal endeavors such as seeing the world.
Recently, business students from UP Los Baños visited her at the restaurant and listened to her growth story that includes numerous faith-filled challenges.
For a woman who started with simple means and who has managed to accomplish so much, Rowena has a lot to share, indeed.
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