How Josefina's Homemade Food, an SME, is enjoying success on TikTok Shop

May 29, 2024

Find out how a humble food business in Bicol called Josefina's Homemade Food is enjoying success on TikTok Shop.

When we hear about online selling or even live selling, we often think about tech-savvy sellers who are very conversant when it comes to e-commerce. TikTok Shop, most especially, is dominated by young customers and modern online sellers. However, that does not mean that the platform is exclusive to the youth. In fact, one humble food enterprise, Josefina’s Homemade Food, is enjoying success on TikTok Shop.

How Josefina's Homemade Food, an SME, is enjoying success on TikTok Shop
Josefina Barcela (left) and Abbie Ricohermoso

How Josefina's Homemade Food, an SME, is enjoying success on TikTok Shop

    A new era for SMEs

    The rise of e-commerce has ushered in a new era for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) worldwide, offering unprecedented opportunities for growth and expansion. Among these success stories is Josefina's Homemade Food, an unassuming carinderia based in Bicol that has now transformed into a nationwide sensation, thanks to its delectable offerings and strategic use of social media, particularly TikTok.

    Josefina's Homemade Food, known for its bottled ginataang products, has witnessed a remarkable surge in sales since joining TikTok Shop in 2023. Abbie Ricohermoso, the business owner, recalls a significant shift in their sales trajectory upon entering the platform."TikTok Shop has been a game-changer for us. What started as a small local business has now reached customers nationwide, all thanks to TikTok." Ricohermoso shared.

    Leveraging TikTok Shop for Business Growth

    TikTok Shop, with its innovative features like live selling, has emerged as a game-changer for SMEs like Josefina's Homemade Food. Ricohermoso attests to the platform's effectiveness in engaging customers directly and authentically. "Through live streaming and content creation, we've been able to connect with our customers in a way that feels authentic. TikTok allows us to share our story and our process, which really resonates with people," she explained.

    Josefina’s Homemade Food products
    Josefina’s Homemade Food products

    The success of Josefina's Homemade Food on TikTok Shop highlights both its popular products and the dedication of its founders. The business began as a small carinderia in Bicol, owned by Josefina Barcela, who focused on refining traditional recipes that became the cornerstone of the family business.

    Over the years, Barcela's recipes gained popularity, leading to the expansion of their offerings to include bottled ready-to-eat versions of Bicolano specialties like laing, ginataang santol, and Bicol express. Despite humble beginnings, the family's commitment to quality and authenticity propelled them to national recognition.

    Future Expansion and the Role of TikTok Shop

    From its modest beginnings, the business has grown to employ ten people, with Barcela and her husband actively involved in day-to-day operations. TikTok Shop has enabled the business to expand its reach and provide more jobs, reflecting its role in local community development.

    The success of Josefina's Homemade Food mirrors a broader trend observed on TikTok Shop, where over 2 million sellers, predominantly SMEs, have found a platform to showcase their products. Jonah Ople, TikTok Shop's category lead for fashion, highlights the platform's role in amplifying local Filipino goods and simplifying the process for small sellers to establish their presence.

    According to Ople, "Over 2 million local businesses, the majority of whom are SMEs, are on TikTok Shop. Because TikTok Shop is able to connect businesses of all sizes with consumers and the wider TikTok community, we significantly enable these SMEs, to create a holistic and seamless e-commerce experience and make real connections with new audiences, allowing them to reach a broader market."

    While major brands are also leveraging TikTok, the platform remains particularly beneficial for SMEs aiming to connect with a broader audience and achieve growth.


    Looking ahead, Josefina's Homemade Food plans to expand its operations internationally. The company is working on setting up a larger facility and obtaining regulatory approvals for global shipping. With TikTok Shop as a key platform, Josefina's Homemade Food aims to continue reaching new customers and maintaining its commitment to quality.

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