I’m happy for all of you who were able to stuff yourselves with lechon over the holidays. I can’t even begin to tell you how euphoric the crackling sound makes me each time I sink my teeth into the amber-hued skin of perfectly roasted pork. I did have my share—abundantly, to be completely honest.
I’m not sure if you feel the same way, though, but each time I consume copious amounts of meat, I almost always have the urge to make up for my “sins” by scurrying to the “glow” chamber of the food pyramid. Ditto? Here’s a convenient way to surrender to your vegetable cravings.
Isabel’s Dewy Morning Greens is a meal delivery service that offers salads and wraps made of naturally grown vegetables and organic meats. If you are skeptical about yet another healthy repast that just might leave you hangry, the portions are flavorful and superbly satisfying. Quite delish, if you ask me.
Owner Isabel Bacarro gives us the lowdown below. Read on!
What sparked the idea to start your own meal delivery service?
“After my husband and I retired, we decided to put up a farm in Alfonso, Cavite. We saw this as a fun project that we could work on together as we head into our retirement. Initially, we were just enjoying the fruits of our labor with our new farm. As we learned more about the benefits of having a regular intake of natural and pesticide-free vegetables, we started sharing this with our family. Every week, I would pack the week's harvest and even make my own salad dressing for my children to come pick up at our house. My children loved it so much that they started sharing our salads with their friends and other members of our extended family.
“As a mother, it was fulfilling to provide my children with healthy and nutritious food on a weekly basis. They all live on their own and knowing that they were getting the daily benefits of nutritious vegetables was very comforting. They kept insisting that pesticide-free vegetables and having a healthy diet would sometimes be last on their list of priorities especially with their stressful work environment and schedules. So, my husband and I thought that it would be nice to share the same experience with more people. We wanted to provide healthy and delicious meals to people in the most convenient way possible.”
Did you have to attend culinary school?
“Our partner, Chinky Tanseco, is a trained chef who attended culinary school and went to Maine, USA, for her training.”
Tell us about your menu? How did you come up with the items on your menu?
“Salads are our initial offering. We believe that everyone should have their daily vegetable requirement without compromising deliciousness and convenience. Therefore, when we built our menu, flavor and deliciousness were essential. We conducted FGDs and various surveys to see what people wanted to have as salads then built our menu from there.”
Where do you source your ingredients?
“All our ingredients come from our farm in Alfonso, Cavite. We guarantee that all our ingredients are all-natural and pesticide-free.”
What's your favorite item in your menu?
“My personal favorite is the Salmon Pecan salad wrap paired with our Laksa soup.”
Which ones are your best sellers?
“Currently, our best-selling salads are the Isabel’s Caesar Salad, Salmon Pecan and Kani Mango Salad. For the salad wraps, the meatier options such as Meaty Taco salad wrap and Korean Beef Bulgogi salad wrap are the best-sellers. We also just released soups that have now also become a staple for our current customers.”
What are some of the biggest struggles in starting your own small business?
“One of the biggest struggles is the lack of resources. The daily grind of operations for a start-up can be very tedious and discouraging if one is not passionate about his or her own business. A great vision and efficient execution are required. I’m glad that my partners are young family members who have taken on the daily tasks. Our nephew Butch Tanseco, an experienced entrepreneur, has handled the operational side of our new venture. My sister Charie Sarmiento and my niece Chinky Tanseco lead the kitchen and development of our offerings. Our son, Jim Bacarro, is handling the marketing side of the business.”
Do you have any advice for other people with aspirations to start their own businesses?
“Passion is the most important requirement for a business to thrive. If you are passionate and surround yourself with people with the same rigor, then you are headed the right direction.”
What's your take on living a healthy lifestyle?
“I consider a healthy lifestyle is healthy when it is sustainable. Whether its dieting or working out, one must enjoy the process. That’s why for Isabel’s, our goal is to make delicious salads so being healthy is made easier and sets you up for the long haul.”
How would you convince a person who dislikes vegetables to eat vegetables?
“Taste is key. No matter how much information is out there regarding the benefits of vegetables, as long as one does not like the taste, they won’t eat it. If I know this person is into a certain dish or flavor profile, I will create a dish with vegetables that would cater to this preference. It has to be delicious.
To make things simpler, I’d just tell them to go to www.isabels.ph.”