Maricris B. Huit and husband Calixto used to have three manually operated incubators for their balut processing business in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay which they call Marc’s Balut Processing Facility.
Balut is a local street food – fertilized duck egg with a developing duck embryo inside – eaten right from the eggshell.
Being manually operated, the machines worked slowly and the products were not 100% balut sa puti.
Which was a pity because balut sa puti is what the locals crave for. Balut sa puti is a 17-day-old cooked egg. It is called balut sa puti because it is balut wrapped in white.
Thus, in 2012, the couple received assistance from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program’s (SETUP). SETUP assists the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises in the adoption of technology innovations to improve their operations and expand their business reach.
With a grant of P 349,000 from the program, the Huits were able to purchase an automated 18-rack bay egg incubator with a digital thermostat control system and a load capacity of 80,000 per cycle.
Aside from equipment acquisition, DOST’s technology interventions also included manpower development training, process improvement, and system improvement for mechanized production.
After benefiting from this assistance package, Maricris’ and Calixto’s “balut worries” have now gone kaput.
The facility used to produce between 1,000-2,000 eggs a day. Now, it can churn out 5,000 quality balut sa puti eggs every day.
Sales have skyrocketed. Before, they merely posted average sales of 216,000 balut eggs per year and annual earnings of P 2.16M. Now, Marc’s Balut Processing Facility has sold 360,000 eggs on the first quarter of 2014 alone, translating to a whopping P 3.24M in gross sales.
According to Maricris, orders come from Zamboanga City, Basilan, Dipolog, and Cagayan de Oro. “Through word of mouth, our customers increased, especially those in Zamboanga,” she said.
In terms of manpower, from six workers, the business has grown to hire additional workers. Now, the facility has 22 regular personnel under its employ.
Despite the success, the Huits are not stopping at this point. They plan to buy another incubator to keep up with the demand, and to have their own poultry in order to have a continuous supply of fresh eggs. They have a few ducklings but during summer, the excessive heat prevents them from hatching a lot of eggs, which affects production. To augment their supply, they buy fresh duck eggs from Manila, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija, said Maricris.
But for now, the family is certainly enjoying the fruits of their hard work and the DOST interventions.
“My husband and I were able to buy a car and we can now send our two boys to better schools.” The Huit boys are 10-year-old Marc Alexi and 3-year-old Marc Audei. Their parents’ balut business was named after them. “We also get to go on family outings more often now,” Maricris shared. Their last family outing was in Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon which has the longest zipline in Asia.
“I feel that the business is more stable now,” Maricris revealed.
A stable family business combined with a stable family life equals nothing less than happiness.
Maricris Huit and the automated 18-rack bay egg incubator with a digital thermostat control system.
Inside the egg incubator
Quality balut sa puti
Guests sample Marc’s Balut Processing Facility’s delectable treats.