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Freeman Cebu Business

ZenSen makes sense

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

When you meet Zen, you will immediately engage with her vivacity. Her passion for the things she does. Her drive to do more with what she has. Her zest for life is contagious, and even with her diabetes, she has not reduced her sweetness at all.

Zenaida del Castillo Seno is one of the recipients of the Sugbo Negosyo grant of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia through Board Member Glen Soco.

Zen is 53, single and diabetic. At this age, some people have chosen to take a sedentary life. Relaxing, and just lazing around, taking the back seat. 

“Dili ko ana. I do not want to just stop and stand still.” Zen quipped. “Not doing anything will make you feel old. And will render you useless.” She shared. “Dapat, maningkamot ta. Our age should not be a hindrance to what we want to pursue. Basta kaya pa, go!”

Zen started her peanut business five years ago. “I was out of job, and I found out I was diabetic. I needed to support my maintenance medicines.” She revealed. “Going into our family business was the best option I had.”

Zenaida used to work at Fairchild Semi-conductors when she was younger, and after 11 years of being employed there decided to try her luck in Riyadh Saudi Arabia as a tutor. After two years, she returned home to take care of her mother, being the only single sibling and was never able to leave for abroad again.

While in Mandaue City, she worked as a Lupon in the barangay and later on became the barangay clerk under the barangay treasurer, and was eventually moved to assist as clerk in the health center of the barangay. Being a casual employee, Zenaida did not hold on to her position.

Zenaida’s parents Crescencio and Eladia Seno raised their family with their earnings from making peneato, a sweet peanut delicacy that is a favorite dessert or snack.

“The recipe has been handed down from generations.  And we were taught at a young age how to prepare the peneato. So I started with what skill I had. Starting my own small business was easy in the sense that I already knew how to prepare the delicacy.” She said. “My first customers were also my friends so that facilitated my start-up.”

For Zen,  it is important to keep her customers happy and this can be done through adhering to her commitments. “When your customers ask you to deliver at a particular date that you agree on, you have to do it. Otherwise you will lose that customer, no matter how good your product is. Importante gyud ang mutuman sa sabot.” She said.

Another special talent Zen has is that she can customize her product based on the request of her customers. “Usahay ganahan sila ug murag basa-basa ang latik, medyo humok.  Ang uban ganahan ug uga.  Ang uban tinag-as, lapad, lignin, basta kaya, hala buhat!” (Some want their peanut base moist, others want it dry, shaped long or wide.  Others want it round.  Whatever, I just make them according to their specifications).

Aside from her peneato, Zen also prepares salted peanuts. She can do plain salted or spicy peanuts, with or without skin.  She has sugar-coated peanuts. For now Zenaida sells her products from her home in Maguikay, Mandaue City.  Orders are phoned-in through her cell number 09223906982.

Now, Zenaida’s customers vary from local to foreign. Her friends take her products with them when they go abroad, or gift them to other friends abroad.

When asked if she still has dreams for her business, Zen has this to say: “I want my products to be known. Kana bitawng ug maka huna-huna ka ug peneato, mo ingon ka nga ZenSen’s imong paliton. I want to set up an outlet with all my peanut products and hopefully become the peanut-product of choice. Murag, ZenSen’s peanuts, make sense ba.” She quipped.

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us, yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

SUGBO NEGOSYO
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