Friday, March 28, 2014

A’s Pure Water: It all Began with a Dream

By: James Limar


(Yap SBDC)


Jeffrey Adalbai always dreamt of owning a business. His passion was to provide a service to the people and he managed to do so in business and customer-related fields for over 26 years. Since 7th grade, Jeffrey worked as a store clerk for a local and family owned business. With a lot of hard-work and commitment, Jeffrey worked his way up to become a cashier, book keeper, and on to a sales executive in handling sales on vehicles, communication equipment, and various others. He was fortunate enough to receive sale training from Tele-Mobile Inc. in Torrance, California. Then, in 2002, he quotes, “with God’s grace, mercies, and leadings, I was offered a managerial position for an agency” which he still holds today.
A's Enterprise founders, Jeff and Marzy Adalbai, with their children: Mike, Jemmy, Chelley, and Jemboy.

In February 2004, Jeffrey and his wife, Marzy, along with their four children Mike, Jemmy, Chelley, and Jemboy the Adalbai’s opened Adalbai’s Enterprise as a home based business providing various items, equipment, used automobiles, and products at their customer’s request. Jeffrey went to the Yap SBDC in 2006 for technical assistance. Though his first project never materialized, he was determined to open a water bottling company. In May 2013, his plans started to form with the guidance and encouragement of the Yap SBDC. The Yap SBDC assisted with the critical role of granting him a space at its facilities in downtown Colonia to launch his sales and bottling operations.

“Starting up the business was very challenging,” Jeffrey stated. He also mentions, “Dreams can always be a dream and can remain a dream for the rest of your life. Forming that dream and steering it to reality is a different story. It takes commitment, perseverance, faithfulness, and of course with lots of prayer.” The biggest challenge during the start-up process was the lack of funding, being impatient, and creating trustful relations with his customers. Jeffrey’s funding came from money saved and invested back into the business. In his recent ventures, he thanks God for wonderful friends and family who trusted in him and his wife and invested their time and money to make their dreams a reality.

Jeffrey talks about how the opening of a water bottling company discouraged him to open his own. He thought that because of the small market, opening another bottling company would not be viable. However, a good trusted friend of his who is now part of his family encouraged him to pursue his dream. The day that they opened their doors for business was frightening yet their most memorable triumph.

The Aldalbai’s plans are to seek for ways to increase their supplies so that they can boost their inventory. They hope that someday when they have earned the trust of their customers, they would like to seek the opportunity to reduce the importation of bottled water in Yap. The imported water could be a hazard for consumption as no one knows how long it may have been in transit and if it may have been exposed to extreme heat. He parts the interview by saying, “Starting a business may be a bit more challenging nowadays. However, don’t let it stop you from turning your dreams into a reality. Don’t give up when others criticize you and say all sorts of things to distract or discourage you. Save and invest back into your business.”

Aldabai’s Enterprises is a water bottling, laundry service, and electronic sales/services. Logistics with freight forwarding and door-to-door service will soon open. It is located in the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Room #102 in Worwoo’, Rull & Yinuf, Rull. For their bottling services they are open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday and on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 12noon. Their laundry service is from Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.; Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.; Saturday from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. For more information, you can contact Jeffrey Adalbai at 691-350-4381 or by e-mail at You can visit their FaceBook page  

For more information on how the Yap SBDC can assist you, please contact James Limar at 691-350-4801or e-mail them at or You can visit our website at to learn more about our services.

Friday, March 21, 2014

In the business of...Urban Farming and Happiness

By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet
WIB Program Coordinator/Senior Business Counselor

Every year, I look forward to my pilgrimage to the Mecca of Happiness. I will just tell you now that it is not a place, but rather, it is a people. The annual BALLE conferences are hosted by different cities in the United States that have Local First! Organizations. And every year, I meet inspiring people from many backgrounds that all have one thing in common. They genuinely believe that the formula to a sustainable and happy life is “people, profit, and planet” and that we need to move away from “me” to “we.” So, it was on this trip that I learned about how urban farms help to encourage happy and sustainable communities.

The Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) farm stand located in Buffalo.

Agriculture is New York State’s number one economic driver, with apples, grapes, milk, beef, corn and hay being the largest sources of income. The city of Buffalo is located within Erie County, which is occupied by approximately 1,500 traditional farms. Agriculture has been an integral part of the Western New York landscape over the past two hundred years, however, farming has been decreasing the past fifty years and fertile land is going unused. Organizations like the Farmer Pirates, The Green Entrepreneurial Center and the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) have been instrumental in promoting healthy eating and lifestyles in the city of Buffalo through the development of Urban Farms.
The Wilson Street Farm’s sign is pictured here in Buffalo, New York’s East Side.
The Wilson Street Farm is a member of the Farmer Pirates, an urban farm cooperative that works together to share information, buy seeds and purchase equipment. The farm is located on Buffalo’s East Side and occupies a two-acre plot that was once occupied by twenty-five small, dilapidated homes. Mark and Janice Stevens and their eight children are the first business urban farm in the city, and fought through many challenges by the city, but with a rally of public support, the family was able to transform unused land into a lush, sustainable family farm. More importantly, it is a beacon in the poverty-stricken community and has helped to develop a sense of neighborhood, with most of its customers living within a one-mile radius.

The Green Entrepreneurial Center provides affordable, fresh food to the city’s food deserts by creating urban farms. Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of grocery stores, they may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that don’t offer healthy, affordable food. One of GEC’s urban farms consists of three greenhouses and 6,000 square feet of outdoor growing space. Annually, this system is capable of growing over 35,000 pounds of fresh food.

The Green Entrepreneurial Center is shown here showcasing their 6,000 square foot urban farm.

The Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) is a non-profit organization that has a variety of local economic programs, including a one-acre urban farm located on Buffalo’s emerging West Side. MAP staff work with local youth groups to grow fresh food, maintain chickens, and operate a multiple closed-loop aquaponics system capable of raising a total of over 50,000 pounds of fish. They have received awards for their unique mobile vegetable market, youth enterprise program and farm education. Most notably, they boast that 95% of their high school seniors graduated and went on to college.

Unlike New York State, where growing food can be challenging due to their four seasons, Guam is ideal for growing fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, and in our back yards. So, why are we still importing most of our fresh produce?

If you are interested in learning how to start a small agriculture business, contact the Guam Small Business Development Center at 671-735-2594 or

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: From Farm to Marketplace Community Outreach UPDATE

As part of our efforts to promote the consumption of local produce, fish and livestock; to  support the production of value-added products; and to create a sustainable export industry, the University of Guam Pacific Center for Economic Initiatives “One Village, One Product” and the UOG - Guam Small Business Development Center,  in collaboration with USDA Rural Development, NRCS, USDA Farm Services Agency, the UOG Cooperative Extension Program, and Guam Department of Agriculture, invites all local producers to attend “From Farm to Marketplace” Community Outreach sessions.

The outreach sessions have been re-scheduled for Monday, March 24th, 4:00pm-7:00pm at the Dededo Senior Citizens Center; and Monday, March 31st, 3:00pm-6:00pm at the Talofofo Youth Center.

Current and prospective producers in the agriculture and aquaculture industries are invited to learn more about current grant, loan, and technical assistance programs available to assist the creation and/or expansion of agri-businesses.

 For more information, please contact Denise Mendiola-Hertslet, Guam SBDC Senior Business Counselor and Outreach Coordinator, at 735-2594 or