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Businesses are constantly evolving, but none more so than in the last couple of months.  Business shifts are happening at a rate the world has never seen before.  These shifts are not only essential, but are crucial to survival.   

COVID-19 is killing lives and businesses at an alarming rate.  But there are those who defy the odds, who evolve, who rise above it all.  One such man is Karl Joshue Barcenas.  He first joined the workforce via The Venetian Macao Hotel and Resort in 2007.  In 2010, he came back to the country and worked for Aegis People Support.  Itching for a side hustle in 2012, Karl and his wife Bing, started selling their co-workers’ favorite snack – chicharon, and named it after their first-born son.  “Juan’s Special Chicharon” eventually became their main source of income when he left his job in 2014.  They were the first to introduce “spicy” chicharon in the market, and the first chicharon brand to offer franchising.  Karl focused on operations and marketing while Bing did all the books.  From an initial capital of P48,000.00, their once side gig has now grown into a multi-million venture.  But they didn’t stop there. 

In 2016, they expanded into the bakery business.  Unlike their first business, this venture saw very little success.  So did this bump in the road make them stop?  No, they didn’t stop there.  In 2017, they took a detour to yet another food venture – “Eat All You Can ni Juan”.  The budget-friendly buffet peaked at 7 branches all over Cebu.  But they didn’t stop there.

In 2019, “Juan’s Food Park sa Naga” was born.  The business was then sold and profits from it used to invest in “Seafood Paradise” with their partners.  This SM Seaside buffet restaurant was a huge investment.  This restaurant was practically a baby when pandemonium hit.  So… Did they count their losses and just stop there?    

Like most of us, riding out the storm was their first strategy.  But it only took them a few weeks to realize what was now obvious – that things were about to take a turn for the worse; and it would take a while before things could get any better.  So, they took action.  You guessed it!  They didn’t stop there.

Another business was born.  The power couple ventured into e-commerce.  They bought fresh and frozen food and dry goods in bulk and sold the products online.  In just a few months, the business grew, and is continuing to grow exponentially. After eight years, Juan’s Special Chicharon is now being sold by the ton all over Cebu and beyond.   With easing quarantine protocols, Seafood Paradise in SM Seaside City Cebu has since re-opened.  This is where they are right now.  A far cry from where they were just a few months back.  You think this is where they’ll stop?  Think again!  

Mr. and Mrs. Barcenas have mastered the skill of turning problems into opportunity.

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Curchill

That’s Karl’s favorite quote…

And his message to budding entrepreneurs? 

“Diskarte ra jud daugon tanan.  Dapat abtik ka kaayo sa mga needs sa mga tao.  Stay positive!  Dili diploma ang maka-luwas nimo kundi imoha’ng diskarte.”

Karl and Bing, thank you for the inspiration…  May the odds be ever in your favor!

If you want to up your “diskarte” skills and be a reseller or business partner, just drop Karl a message –