Unrelenting passion and the need for financial betterment, is what drove the young Corazon D. Ong to establish his business empire. With the right amount of knowledge, skills, and liking for what she does, Corazon rose from a simple homemaker to a very successful businesswoman. Let us look at how she managed to flip the tables around!
Corazon D. Ong, was a simple homemaker then; a good wife to his husband Jose who is a professor at the very prestigious Ateneo de Manila University, and a loving mother to his three kids – Jerome, Jason & Sharmaine. Aside from that, she is also a licensed dietician. So, what she did then, as part of her daily routine is to prepare food for the fami8ly. Being a dietician, she keeps in mind the significance of a balanced healthy meal to the body, so to make sure that her family will be getting the best meals, she prepares them herself. Little did she knew, that this hobby of her will be the root of their success.
As mentioned, the production of food started out as a hobby. She prepares them tocino, longganisa, and other easy-to-make processed food. It was initially for the family only, but she noticed that many moms in their neighborhood also likes these products, she started to sell out. She saw the need of these moms to prepare a quick-fix yet healthy lunch for their kids, so to help them she started retailing small amounts of these products. It was highly praised, and Corazon received a lot of positive feedbacks. So, what she did was, borrow from a local bank a total amount of P60, 000 to put up an official business. It was in June 25, 1975 when she established CDO Food Products at the backyard of their humble home. The first product they released was longganisa and tocino among others.
In 1981, Foodsphere Inc. was duly registered and CDO was retained as the flagship name of its food products. Innovations and modernizations followed to ran after the growing industry. The company was converted into a family corporation. Her whole family worked together to make the business more successful. However, tragedies cannot be avoided. It was in 1987 when a fire broke out in the company’s processing area, destroying most of their advanced processing equipments. It was one of the incidents that really challenged the faith and dedication of Corazon. But she stood above it, nevertheless. Two days after the fire, Corazon called her staff to plan about what they will be doing next. Because of that, CDO Foodsphere Inc., was again back on its feet to serve the Filipino people.
Bouncing back from that, CDO became even more eager to expand their products horizon. From then on, different innovations of products were continuously being researched to satisfy the palates of the consumers especially Filipinos. From Longanizas to tocino, hotdogs and many others, the company tried to develop more and more products to cater the masses based on their consumption. In 2001, the company introduced carne norte which suited the Filipino taste at a very reasonable price and another innovation in the industry. CDO-Foodsphere has emerged as the number one producer of carne norte in the land. She was also the brain behind the San Marino Corned Tuna, which is now a hit in the market. CDO Foodsphere has established its success based on the needs of the consumers. Ong’s core vision came to reality that is to provide affordable food products to the most number of Filipino households.
Looking back, who would have thought that a simple desire to give the best meals to the family would became a very profitable and successful business? Yes, CDO’s Corazon really proved that there is more to being a simple homemaker. Because of her successes, he has received a lot of awards in her field of interest. These are: Most Outstanding Nutritionist of the Year in 1996, Agora Awardee for the Most Outstanding Medium-Scale Entrepreneur in 1997, Most Outstanding Professional in the Field of Dietetics in 1999, Most Outstanding Woman in Valenzuela in 2006, and Woman Entrepreneur Award in 2009. But above all these achievements, her most satisfying award is the way he has brought up their children.
Her son Jerome is now the corporate Vice-President who has a degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines; Jason, is now a nutritionist and head of the research department; and their only daughter, Sharmaine, a licensed physician but joined the family business as the one handling the financial aspect. This is what she considers her life’s best blessings.
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