The meat of her mettle


Tonette Leachon had no plans to run her own business. But in 2017, tired of working in a corporate setting and wanted a change in pace, she opened a small meat shop in a vacant spot at Farmers Market. 

The meat of her mettle
Tonette Leachon, meat shop owner and ‘madiskarteng’ boss. 

“As Leachon and her team focused on navigating the challenges brought by the pandemic, they considered how they could better leverage both their loyal customer base and technology.”

She never ran a business before then. 

The first-time business owner handed out fliers, gave out samples, made cold calls to restaurants, groceries, and hotels, and established a presence on social media in the hopes of enticing customers. 

With hard work and passion, she was soon able to reap the benefits. Les Aunor’s Meat Shop has become the go-to for all things meat, with a loyal customer base consisting of restaurants, groceries, and homemakers. 

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, like many other businesses, Les Aunor soon felt the effects.

Leachon shares how, one by one, her clients from different malls and restaurants slowly stopped placing orders as the pandemic took hold. Les Aunor’s Meat Shop’s workforce was also cut in half as staff members faced difficulties with public transportation.

As Leachon and her team focused on navigating the challenges brought by the pandemic, they considered how they could better leverage both their loyal customer base and technology. Luckily for the meat shop owner, she had onboarded the business with GrabExpress in January 2020. She had also joined its membership program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Madiskarteng Boss Club (MBC).

MBC is a rewards and loyalty program under GrabExpress, giving social sellers access to a wide range of perks, such as cashback, discounts on delivery fees, weekly rebates, and loans. Under the program, social sellers and local entrepreneurs are guaranteed to be supported by Grab, and are promised seamless delivery experiences.

“We saw that there was a lot of benefits such as special codes and discounts for merchants’ bookings, that’s why we joined. After onboarding, I had an easier time managing my personal bookings and bookings for my customers,” she relates.

She adds that the app’s offers and features allow her to talk easily with Grab’s fleet of delivery riders for easier deliveries for their customers.

Thanks to customers who helped with referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, and with GrabExpress supporting daily deliveries, Les Aunor was soon back on track.

“GrabExpress allowed me to give my customers lower delivery fees [thanks to the special vouchers from Madiskarteng Boss Club]. We also get cashback [from our orders],” Leachon shares. She adds that the platform’s Multi-Stop booking feature allows the business to deliver to multiple customers easily, lightening the burden and expenses for the shop, and enabling them to easily manage multiple orders.

Looking for more growth opportunities, Les Aunor also joined GrabMart in April, leading to dramatic growth in orders. 

“When we entered GrabMart, we got noticed [by more consumers],” Leachon says, adding that their usual shop customers have also since taken to ordering their products from GrabMart, allowing them to retain their original audience while continuously expanding their customer base. The meat shop’s orders grew significantly after just a few months on the platform. 

At present, 40 percent of the business’ total sales now come from GrabMart alone.

The meat of her mettle
Les Aunor’s Meat Shop’s kiosk at a fair.

Today, Les Aunor’s Meat Shop operates through its physical stall and its Facebook shop. Leachon is optimistic and enthusiastic about her business’ continuous expansion.

“If given the opportunity and resources, I would really love for us to have more branches,” she says.

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