COPENHAGEN, Denmark—A former Filipina au pair has turned her dream into reality by owning not only one, but two sustainable plant-based or vegan restaurants in this country.
Anjelli Requintina said chasing her dream would not have been easy without any relatives or family in Denmark. She came to this country as au pair in 2009 and a year later she was granted a loan worth 80,000 Danish krone (approximately P611,000) by Nordea Bank with her host parents as co-maker.
“My journey was not easy. From living alone and juggling the student life and supporting myself all the way to owning the two cafes,” Requintina said.
She used the money to further her studies at De Montfort University for an intensive Bachelor course in Accounting and Finance. She was also granted a scholarship in Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration in Copenhagen Business School and Roskilde University.
As an advocate of vegan diet, she was inspired to put up Café on the Six and Café OHA, two sustainable plant-based cafés in the heart of Valby and Frederiksberg in Denmark.
“I have encountered lots of challenges. It takes a lot of personal management as well, personal discipline,” Requintina said.
The Philippine embassy also expressed its support for Pinoy entrepreneurs such as Requintina.
“Susubaybayan namin ’yung tagumpay ni Anjelli dahil sa ito ay pangalawang restaurant na niya sa maiksing panahon niya dito sa Denmark. Naipagbuti niya ’yung buhay niya at vision niya na itayo ang ating bandila dito sa Denmark at makilala tayo ng mga Danish,” Philippine ambassador to Denmark, Faroe Island & Greenland Leo Herrera-Lim said.
Requintina said workers who want to follow her journey should not limit themselves.
“Meet every kind of people, every kind of nationality. What happened to me happened because I have a lot of people supporting me and they come from different backgrounds and they’re still working with me,” she said.
With organic and vegan restaurants popular in Denmark, Requintina said she sees this as an opportunity to cultivate her business further in the next few years.