When Journalist Herbie Gomez had to start working from home because of the Covid-19 lockdown early this year, he started looking for ways to constructively use all the time he now had in his hands.
Then the family thought of offering their family recipe for siomai, first offering it to friends of their kids in the neighborhood, friends in media, councilors, then strangers who saw their FB posts.
“We were overwhelmed by positive feedbacks from friends, and people we didn’t know started ordering. Home-based lang. Family was surprised kay usual man lang na sa amo ang taste kay naanad na mi.”
“But not to many who ordered who said it was the best siomai they ever tasted so far. Since March, daily ang orders namo. But we limit daily orders kay dili namo kaya kung sobra pod kadaghan. Besides, the secret is the freshness of the siomai. Ang among i-prepare based lang sa orders.
Dubbed Matteo’s Siomai after their first (and so far only) apo from their eldest daughter Bujie, their product sells for P300 per tub with 33 pieces of pork-shrimp siomai or 30 pieces of beef-shrimp siomai. However, these can also be ordered sans the shrimp for those who are allergic to it. Orders can be personally delivered to your home or office in the morning or afternoon up to 4PM. However, orders have to be placed a day before to enable Herbie to plan his delivery route.
Now Gomez, who cut and sharpened his teeth as one of Cagayan de Oro’s leading journalists, is learning a new trade in the kitchen.
“Di man ko anad sa kitchen. Di gani ko kabalo luto. But my wife (who provided the fundamentals) and my son (who enhanced the formula) taught me. Karon, akoy ga mix, galuto, ga package. Pati hugas plato, ako! Hehehe”
So far, production is limited to 10 tubs daily, it being a home-based enterprise.
“Basta sobra sa 10 tubs in a day, mo agay na ko, mobalibad na ko.”
The new enterprise has helped the tidy the family a lot with all the constraints on their usual income from the quarantine measurer as a result of the pandemic.
“Just enough for me not to touch my hard-earned savings. We did not save for covid baya. At least malibre na akong car and kitchen fuel, and daily needs,” Herbie admits.
However, the encouraging response to their initial efforts has got the family thinking.
“Kung mahuman ning covid, mag tukod na tingali ko tindahan,” the newsman turned kusinero mulls.