The big, popular brands frequently seen in the grocery are probably innovations owned by the same huge conglomerates wherein success in the market seem to be a default thing.
Or at least, that’s what most of us think.
Did you know that there are some of our widely-patronized labels that actually started small?
Yes, even as humble as a small home-based business.
Take the brand ‘CDO’ for example.
Indeed, it is a familiar name. After all, it’s home to a wide range of meat products such as canned tuna, corned beef, hotdogs, and staple holiday entrée, Christmas ham.
CDO Foodsphere may be one of the established companies in the local food industry but it traces its roots back to a mother’s humble kitchen.
And it all started with longganisa-filled siopao.
Dietitian Corazon Dayro Ong was being a full-time mom to her first and second child when she learned
how to make skinless longganisa and siopao from the cooking lessons she took.
To veer away from the usual, Corazon created an original recipe: longganisa-filled siopao, which she said “was a hit among friends and neighbors”.
Soon though, she discontinued this creation of hers as making siopao dough, which she makes by hand, was tiring for her.
However, business did not stop there. Instead, she decided to make and sell tocino.
In 1975, CDO Foodsphere became a registered enterprise.
In her small business back then, Corazon was very much hands-on, doing all the needed tasks aided by only two helpers. Her husband Jose Ong then joined in and also lent a hand in their functions.
Eventually, in 1977, they began investing in manufacturing machinery.
From there, with the right mix of hard work, creativity, passion, support from peers, as well applications of Corazon’s knowledge as a dietitian, CDO flourished and grew to become one of the prominent food companies in the Philippines.
With more than 40 years since its establishment, the business gave birth to other lines such as Highlands, San Marino, Bibbo, and Holiday Ham, and has over 3,000 employees. In addition, CDO is also a known meat supplier of several quick service restaurants (QSR) in the country.
“It’s because of luck, divine providence, and passion for what I do. I love my work,” credited the businesswoman in a report by the Philippine Star.
Featured photo from CDO’s official website