Getting into the virgin coconut oil business was totally unexpected for me and my wife. i was trained as a physicist and worked in high technology companies. my wife was a seasoned banker and worked for top financial institutions. When i was newly married to my wife, i usually had a drink of beer with my father in law prior to dinner during our visits to her parents home.
Her father was once a leader in the Philippine coconut industry during its heydays. When the coconut farmers can buy at least a kilo of rice for ever kilo of copra sold. Vertical integration was the buzzword during their time, the farmers supported by the government was able to operate oil mills, buy a bank, operate an oleochemical plant (to produce industrial products) and do important research on coconuts.
He was obsessed with coconut research because a lot of negative publicity saying coconut oil was bad because it contained saturated fats was propagated by soybean oil lobby.
During our drink of beer, he talked about medium chain triglycerides, lauric acid, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, terms even as a scientist were foreign to me. He talked about coconut oil as containing good saturated fat which is heart healthy and has anti microbial properties and that a Harvard study that they had commissioned proved that indeed their hypotheses was correct.
Many years later in 2003 (3 years after my father in law passed away) , an uncle of mine who owns a famous brand of food sauces and mixes, told me and my wife to start producing what he calls virgin coconut oil, he said this will be the trend as Europeans are looking for coconut oil which is not made from copra but is made from fresh coconuts where the extracted meat is immediately extracted for oil. He said there will be a big market for clean and fresh coconut oil.
A New Venture to Adventure
As prices of copra continued to decline, my wife and i decided to put up a new venture that will be a win-win situation both for our farmer suppliers and for us. We provide jobs for the indigenous community and pay a premium for fresh coconuts to the farmers and they in turn guarantee us a quality coconut supply. We then built a coconut processing factory in Central Mindanao in the land of my brother in law Philip producing the best virgin coconut oil , at least from what our customers tell us.
Building from the ground
Starting a business in a remote area, which has a reputation as a hotbed of ethnic insurgency and economic backwardness, is to say the least not easy. we had to roll up our sleeves and put our money where our mouths are. We built an access road, put up an electricity line untouched by the local utility, construct a plant, install modern processing equipment and last but not least train and equip our workers who are grade school educated or who are high school level but did not finish.
It was important for them to learn the tools to enable us to run the business. At the same time it was a matter of pride for them that gave them the dignity of work which made them at par in terms of skills with their counterparts in the city.
COCOBODY from Coconut of the Body
We developed soaps, lotions, massage oils, lip balm etc. all based on virgin coconut oil as foundation ingredient. We registered Coconut of the Body as trademark as our brand for our bodycare products.
As we started to take our products to the mainstream to a top retail chain, the owner of this top retail chain strongly objected to the name Coconut of the Body. He told us "this name is too long hard to say especially by the store merchandisers, why not use the name COCOBODY !"
Immediately after my meeting with the owner, i registered COCOBODY locally and internationally and COCOBODY was born.
The realization of our vision is taking shape: the once lowly coconut is brought to the modern consumer world as affordable and high quality products, right at the consumers door steps!
For sales inquiries and bulk orders international and domestic,
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to delivering to you fresh virgin coconut products