Joyce Llanes was working as a nursing assistant at a clinic in SM Dasmariñas when she realized that she could and should do more to provide for her family especially her two sons. She wanted to spend more time with her family and at the same time ensure a better future for them. She thought of a venture which would click in the market.

“Naisip ko, ano kayang pwedeng tumubo sa Pilipinas na madali ibenta? Naisip ko ang mushroom farming. Unti-unti, inaral ko, nag-research ako kung paano siya gagawin. Lahat, self-taught,” Joyce recalls.

While her business was mushroom farming, she did not need acres of land. Joyce planted her white oyster mushrooms in her own backyard with the help of her husband. Her trial and error approach at the beginning also meant Joyce experienced several missteps. But she did not give up. In 2014, she started supplying mushrooms to restaurants in Southern Luzon. She then thought of ways to innovate her products and offering it to the public.

Developing different products made of mushroom such as mushroom chicharon, mushroom bagoong and mushroom polvoron, Joyce built her own brand Joyce Mushroom Kitchen and started joining bazaars. She was surprised by the reception from the market. “Nagulat ako kasi lahat ng tao, naging curious sa products. Maraming bumili.”

With her “dream big” mantra, she thought, why not offer her products in malls and reach a wider market? In 2019, She decided to enter into a partnership with SM Dasmariñas. It’s now full circle for Joyce, who, as nursing assistant before, only dreamed of having her own store in the mall.

Ang laki nang naitulong ng SM sa akin, para akong nakasandal sa pader. Tinulungan nila ako sa pagbebenta, sa marketing support. Kapag may tanong ako tungkol sa negosyo, handa sila to guide me,” Joyce says. 

Now, Joyce continues to dream big for her business and her family. She hopes to open her own restaurant that specializes in mushroom dishes. To know more about Joyce Mushroom Kitchen, follow their Facebook account @JOYCEMUSHROOMKITCHEN.