Model-turned-entrepreneur Kenn Bosch, 24, has had an entrepreneurial streak since he was young. At the age of 18, he was encouraged by his family to run his own business, selling construction supplies while juggling modeling and school. He also opened a cleaning service company.Eventually he let go of modeling and focused on his construction supplies store, which has eight branches now in Laguna and Rizal. But when the pandemic and lockdown came, his businesses ground to a halt.
Wanting to be productive and not just stay idle, Bosch noticed that people were going into the food business during the lockdown. He then remembered one of his trips to Sagada, where he met a farming community raising livestock. He created his own brand called Norte Food Co., which distributes smoked meat products.
“I love traveling to Sagada! It has always been the place I would visit if I wanted to clear my mind and get away from Manila,” Bosch recalls. It was during his last trip early this year that he was presented with the idea of distributing meat products in Metro Manila. He didn’t give it much serious thought until the lockdown, when he focused on fully developing the brand.
“We support Sagada’s local community farmers,” Bosch says. He aims to support independent farming families and remain a small-batch brand, producing only what is needed today.
Ways to improve
Bosch further explains how the livestock is humanely raised by community farmers in Sagada, and the hogs used are never kept in small crates. They have a quality vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Spices like cloves, bay leaves, black pepper, juniper berries, garlic and ginger are used to cure the meats for five to eight days, after which they are slow smoked for six to eight hours.
“Sustainability is another factor we considered,” Bosch says. The hog raisers they choose are close to their processing facility to cut down on transportation, “We have a long way to go, but we are committed to looking for more ways to improve.”
Eventually, Bosch loves to see his new company venture into new channels such as e-commerce and select groceries, and to produce more products to cater to a larger market.
But Bosch admits he never imagined himself in an industry completely different from his original business venture in construction supplies. “I realized that there’s something to learn every time you go to work. And one specific thing I learned when I started Norte was not to limit yourself.” —CONTRIBUTED