A Crunching Journey: The ChichaLett Story of CasaGrasya


A Crunching Journey: The ChichaLett Story of CasaGrasya

Mr. Berbiel Apundar’s transformation from teacher to agripreneur showcases the power of curiosity and persistence. In 2022, he launched CasaGrasya, inspired by online content about hydroponics. Immersing himself in the science, he learned from YouTube videos and online communities. Starting small with four planting boxes, he focused on growing lettuce to sell to neighbors.

As demand for fresh lettuce surged, particularly local “Samgyupsal Places,” Mr. Berbiel expanded by building a bamboo greenhouse on his farm. His effort paid off, leading to CasaGrasya’s growth.

The turning point came in 2023 when Mr. Berbiel introduced ChichaLett, crispy lettuce chips in six flavors: Original with Himalayan Salt, Barbeque, Cheese, Sour Cream, Garlic Parmesan, and Salted Egg. Priced at Php120.00 for a 90-gram pack, ChichaLett quickly gained traction in the local snack market. His teaching background and childhood passion for agriculture drove this innovative leap. Participation in the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) with his sister further boosted his progress.

Before joining the DOST-PCAARRD-LSPU Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubator (ATBI) and ISSI’s GABAY program, CasaGrasya faced challenges such as limited finances, market access, and manpower. However, partnering with these support agencies and offices proved transformative. These collaborations facilitated his attendance at training and seminars, enabling him to utilize online platforms effectively to expand his customer base. Additionally, his work with the UP College of Fine Arts-–Department of Visual Communication through the ISSI’s GABAY program aimed to enhance his packaging and labeling, strengthening his brand. Support from his Local Government Unit (LGU) also provided grants for essential farm upgrades.

The insights from the ATBI and GABAY Programs on strategic use of social media, especially Facebook Ads, significantly expanded his customer reach. An appearance on GMA 7-GTV Channel’s “Dapat Alam Mo!” increased ChichaLett’s visibility. Investments in product photography and engaging social media content yielded positive outcomes, enhancing CasaGrasya’s market presence.

What began as a solo venture evolved into a promising enterprise with a growing network of resellers and distributors nationwide. Looking ahead, Mr. Berbiel aims to take ChichaLett to international markets, targeting overseas Filipino workers and the global audience. His future goals include diversifying product lines and establishing a sustainable local and global presence.

The lessons from his journey are clear: persistence and innovation are crucial. His advice to fellow MSME owners is to keep advancing, innovating, and persevering. Any progress, no matter how slow, is progress.

Mr. Berbiel Apundar’s dedication to agriculture and entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond lettuce farming, focusing on achieving food sufficiency. CasaGrasya stands as a testament to the power of persistence and continuous learning. To enjoy their delectable lettuce chips, visit their Facebook page, ChichaLett Original by CasaGrasya, at https://www.facebook.com/chichalett. You can also place orders through their Shopee store at https://shp.ee/ldzwy17 or on TikTok shop https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSFJMX1Qy/. Additionally, you may contact them at 0936-8690-056 or via email at bielapundar@gmail.com

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