business owner 56 years old
Bellende first started out in the food service industry in 1993 together with Mr. Antonio Mapa in setting up Ship Shops Inc., a chain of retail convenience stores on board Negros NavigationVessels. Upon seeing the business established on a captured market, two corporations; Anchor Food Ventures, and Negros Galleon were organized to service the restaurants on board the 11 vessels of Negros Navigation Inc.
After Negros Navigation turned over the management of their restaurants to Anchor Food Ventures and Negros Galleon, it was the thrust of the two companies to upgrade the level of service of the current food service on board their ships and so, Mrs Gonzaga took over the management and supervision and did extensive cleaning up of facilities and at the same time modernizing the food service equipment, implementing a total change in kitchen operations.
At the peak of her business, she was feeding a thousand people on board these ships round the clock, 24 hours. She envisioned these restaurants and cafeterias to be hotel-type and world class and started working towards her goal.
After she resigned from Negros Navigation she organized Executive Ventures, Inc. With Mrs. Gonzaga’s passion for the food service industry their company was able to get the contract as Outsource dietary operator of The Doctors’ Hospital Inc., with the same vision of upgrading the level of service in the hospital to be like a hospitel. Their operation started on December 2012, using her experience gained in the management of NNC vessels’ restaurants, she implemented improvements in the existing hospital dietary facilities.
During that time Josephine Locsin – then the current president of ANP to OURFOOD and the first members of the Negrense Food Consultancy group introduced her to NFCG which was so timely for her renovation work in the hospital. Mrs Gonzaga enlisted the services of NFCG who helped her with the layout design and renovation for her facilities. Together with the very first Members of the NFCG, they created a new kitchen and base of food operations in accordance to local and international food safety standards.
Under the guidance of NFCG and OurFood, Mrs Gonzaga and her staff underwent training on documentation, food safety, personal hygiene and many more trainings offered by the NFCG.
Mrs Gonzaga highly values the information she learned due to the trainings. Even though she had experience in running several food businesses she still discovered that there still was a gap in her knowledge. Due to her desire to increase her knowledge and constant drive for improvement she was formally invited to join the second batch of NFCG and become a food safety consultant.
For her, trainings are indispensable, a must for food handlers and food business owners.
For Mrs Gonzaga the importance of Food safety is something to be pursued by Food Establishment and manufacturers because to her it is a big responsibility to provide healthy food, safe food and delicious food to all her clients. Even up to now she maintains strict product standards to ensure she is worthy of the trust that her customers placed in her.