SLERS is one of the most well-known brands in Cagayan de Oro City. It is also one of the city’s homegrown brands, although not many people are aware of this fact, with some Kagay-anons thinking that SLERS is a national or even an international brand.
Just recently, SLERS gained national attention when Solenn Heussaff, Stephen Rey Tagud, and the whole Tripinas team visited the SLERS Country Store in Alae, Bukidnon last February 8, 2016 and featured SLERS in their April 23, 2016 episode. Tripinas is a travel show hosted by Heussaff and Tagud, airing every Saturday at 11AM on GMA News TV.
Inspired by the advocacy of 2GO Travel’s TRIP Magazine (Tagud is the Vice President of 2GO Travel), which is to bring travel adventures to everyone, Tripinas aims to feature interesting places, food, and adventures that can only be found in the Philippines. Heussaff once said in an interview that the show gives her the opportunity not only to travel around the country, “but to show Filipinos and the rest of the world how much more beautiful this country is.”
It is a source of pride for Cagayan de Oro and the company itself for SLERS to be counted among the most unique and interesting things the Philippines has to offer. The Tripinas episode featuring SLERs began with Stephen giving a brief background of the company. Solenn was then shown entering the SLERS Country Store in Alae, Bukidnon with SLERS Managing Director Mercedes Pelaez Mejia and checking out the various SLERS products.
Mercedes, or Litlit, as she is fondly called by family and friends, then brought Solenn to the factory where she shared the meaning of SLERS (an acronym that stands for Shirley, Litlit, Earl, Ray, and Sharon—the names of the five Pelaez children) and gave Solenn a background on how the business started. She then proceeded to show Solenn how all the products are processed, all the while sharing the story of how her mother, Fely Pelaez started making her own version of the American-style ham, which led to the inception of SLERS.
Solenn also learned what makes SLERS products different from similar products out on the market and how the brand manages to set itself apart from the competition. Furthermore, she learned how the company grew from a cottage industry into a diversified, multi-product business. Finally, they talked about the management’s plans for the company this year, particularly the plan to make SLERS products easily available to a wider customer base. Solenn even asked if they have plans of bringing SLERS to Manila and Litlit promptly answered, “Eventually, we’ll get there.”
Indeed, true success cannot be achieved overnight, regardless of what business you’re in. It requires hard work, smart decision-making, and dedication. The SLERS management has definitely shown all three traits in growing their business over the years. It is therefore easy to believe that what their managing director said is right: No matter how high the goal is, eventually, this favorite Cagayan de Oro brand will get there. Let’s join them in their journey!