From Domestic Helper to Café Owner, Pinay Finds New Life in Denmark

She went to Denmark as a domestic helper in 2009, but Anjelli Requintina would soon live her dreams and become the owner of two cafés in the country!

As an au pair when she was younger, Requintina spent days cleaning the house and being a part-time domestic helper at her host parents’ home. But Requintina had bigger dreams and didn’t want to be a domestic helper forever.

With the full support of her host parents who readily agreed to become her co-maker, Requintina took a loan of 80,000 Danish krone (around Php611,000) from Nordea Bank. Through this loan, she built her first café, a vegan or plant-based restaurant in Denmark.

Knowing she needed all the help and knowledge she could get, Requintina used part of the loan proceeds to enroll in an intensive Bachelor course in Accounting and Finance at De Montfort University. A brilliant young student, she would later receive scholarship to study in Copenhagen Business School and Roskilde University, taking up further studies in Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration.

Photo credit: Rosemary Toledo-Menta / ABS-CBN News

Requintina used that knowledge to grow her café. Soon, she would open a second café – and both are located strategically in the heart of Valby and Frederiksberg in Denmark. Café on the Six and Café OHA both serve vegan options since Requintina is a staunch advocate of the vegan diet.

The former domestic helper now enjoys a much better life as café owner” but admitted that she met a lot of challenges along the way.

I have encountered lots of challenges. It takes a lot of personal management as well, personal discipline,” explained Requintina.

She also had wise words of advice for other OFWs.

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,” Requintina shared.

What is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet is based on plants. This advocates avoidance of animal products or processed animal-based products. This means that vegans don’t just abstain from eating meat products like pork and beef, they also refrain from eating food with eggs, milk, and other dairy products.