By Nikky F. Necessario

Crispy mushroom chips are widespread in today’s market; however, Mom’s Haus of Mushroom (MHM) is said to pioneer them all. Aurora Sumulong, or “Mommy Au,” started the brand, but behind its commercial success is Romeo Martin Jr., its managing director.

Martin Jr, or ‘Sir Jay,’ as MHM employees call him, is a BS Mechanical Engineer graduate who used to work as an engineer in various industrial plants, and as an Operations and Supply-Chain Analyst in a multinational company in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). He shared that he had a midlife crisis at one point in his life – he grew tired of the corporate world and wanted to make a change, a change that would make an impact to the society. Soon after he decided to leave his job in Taguig, he volunteered in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm’s social entrepreneurship activities, and from there, he made a vision of having his own social enterprise.

A lot of people find him absurd for leaving such a stable job, and one which offered a lot of incentives for him to stay; however, Martin was already firm with his decision. He then started to plant cassava in Amadeo, Cavite where he lives, and started to produce his own cassava chips.

It was back in November 2013 when he got to taste Mom’s Haus of Mushroom during a global business summit for entrepreneurs. From then on, he had the intuition to meet the person behind MHM. To make the long story short, by the New Year's Eve of 2014, Martin Jr. and Mommy Au closed a deal. From that same year, he used his corporate expertise to help MHM prosper commercially. He initially changed the packaging of MHM from just a simple plastic container to vacuum pouch. Two years later, they were able to build a factory in Amadeo, and they are now also exporting their products globally.

Today, as the managing director of MHM, Martin Jr. has been very happy in seeing the changes in the lives of the people that MHM has reached out to. It’s not the money, but the impact, he said, that keeps him going.

Read more about the story of Mom’s Haus of Mushroom in this month’s issue of Agriculture magazine.