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There’s no ‘right timing’; just face your fears – Karen Tricia Aquino

Karen Tricia Aquino was initially scared to start her business. But when she opened ‘Kreations by K’, she got ROI in less than a month. “There’s no ‘right timing’. You just have to face your fears, just take that leap of faith and work hard.”

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Karen Tricia Aquino grew up in a family of dentists, “and I have practically lived my whole life under their shadow. I never knew any other career aside from being a doctor and that made me quite unhappy.”

As outlet from the stress, she used to bake.

One day, “I just had enough of it and decided that it’s time to move past this and chase after what would make me truly happy and satisfied. After fervent prayers and an excruciating period of time to think about what I want to do with my life, I brainstormed things I was good at and passionate about. My only criterion was that it should be something I would never get tired of learning about and eventually got my answer.”

At this point, baking entered the picture for her.

“Those practice sessions started out as an escape until it became a part of me. When I realized that there was potential, it no longer became practice. Baking was more than just relieving stress and it definitely was more than showcasing skills. Eventually, my end goal was to satisfy, to please, and make people happy and so I shifted my concentration from the medical field to the culinary arts.”

Karen scouted for good culinary schools within the metro until a friend of hers recommended a good school just a few minutes away from her home.

“I wasted no time and enrolled in Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU) and finished my degree in Culinary Arts. What reeled me in is its partnership and standardization with Pearson College, London,” she recalled.

Of course she was scared of starting her own business.

“I was fully aware that food industry is a very daunting world and so I always stuck to cooking for myself, my family and my friends,” she said.

But one day, “my mom and I tried something we’ve never done before. We wanted to see what our food would look like as packages we could maybe sell. Our packaging looked pretty good so I decided to try posting it on an online group within our community and check out the response. I am thankful I did that experiment because from there everything just fell into place and I slowly started adding more items in my menu until I was open for business.”

So with a capital of only PhP6,000 to PhP7,000 (loaned from her parents), she started ‘Kreations by K’.

“The person who inspires me the most is my mother. Despite her busy schedule in her clinic, she still finds time and still has the energy to cook delicious meals for the family. Despite how tired she must be, she still glows when she’s in the kitchen. I guess I got it from her, and I’m thankful that she pushes me to do my own thing and practice more,” she said.

“You need to come in prepared. Before you start your business make a work flow system that would best fit you and this includes weekly order entries, inventories, expenses, etc.”

Karen’s capital was handily returned in a few weeks.

“So far, one my greatest challenges is that I am a one woman show. I do everything from start to finish, resulting to limited stocks every week. I’m constantly developing my own system that would propel the business further, efficiently producing quality output,” she said.

Aside from this, another challenge she faces is the delivery method.

“It is very difficult to find couriers that would actually take care of the products that you send. So most of the time, I deliver the more fragile products personally.”

However, “the greatest challenge of all is this pandemic. Since the situation is worsening in our country, I’m currently thinking of ways to avoid physically leaving my kitchen to buy stocks or deliver food items. Sometimes that would make price a little higher but I’d like to think of it as an investment instead of a loss because it helps me avoid any possible exposure to the virus. It’s more like investing on yourself and your personal safety.”

With her business continuing to boom, “I am now able to set aside money as profit from my products. Selling cookies and desserts is a profitable venture. As Filipinos, we love to have dessert after a meal and we also love merienda. When you create a treat that is delicious without compromising its quality, people will come back for more.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Karen give?

“You need to come in prepared. Before you start your business make a work flow system that would best fit you and this includes weekly order entries, inventories, expenses, etc,” she said. “There’s no ‘right timing’. You just have to face your fears, just take that leap of faith and work hard. Its honestly scary, but it’s your passion and your drive that will make you fly to greater heights.”

To try the tasty offerings of ‘Kreations by K’, head to its Facebook page or IG: @kreationsbykta.

BizWiz

Make time and go for it – Rankin Cailles

Like many, Rankin Cailles’ work was affected by Covid-19. This led to him opening By Chef Kin, an online bakery. He now says: “I say go for it even if you have a hectic schedule. It’s a continuous learning process.”

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By Chef Kin – an online bakery – was opened in May 2020, with a startup capital of approximately P100,000.

“I am a chef at an airline catering company,” said Rankin Cailles, who was ” used to (being) in the kitchen most of the time.” But then the lockdowns came, and “I was not used to being idle.” Itching to do something, “that’s when I started to bake breads and pastries at home.”

Cailles said that his family inspires him; ditto great chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Dominique Ansel and Gordon Ramsey.

But looking back now, “honestly, I was focused on being an employee for quite sometime,” said Cailles, who graduated from Enderun Colleges with a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospital Management major in Culinary Arts. But then “I had the time to bake and create new products.”

Here’s the thing, though: work re-started already for Cailles.

And so, he said, “right now, my biggest challenge is time. Since work resumed, I usually bake when I get home.” His wife – who also looks after their kid – helps out, along with her brother who is also studying culinary.

Rankin Cailles with his wife
The sous chef of Rankin Cailles

Cailles said that “in our less than a year operation, I can say it’s a profitable venture.” In fact, “yes, we already reached ROI; but we’re planning to purchase new equipment for efficiency.”

This is why – he stressed – going into business should be considered by people.

“I say go for it even if you have a hectic schedule. Make time because I learned a lot from starting By Chef Kin,” Cailles said. “It’s a continuous learning process for me.”

Interested to try the offerings of By Chef Kin? Head to FB: https://www.facebook.com/bychefkin or IG: https://www.instagram.com/bychefkin/.

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Explore things aligned to your passion – Lloyd Jeremy Matias

“Find your passion. Try exploring things aligned to your passion. Seek for business opportunities that is linked to that passion because nothing beats the feeling of doing what you really love and gaining something from it than doing things just for the sake of money,” said Lloyd Jeremy Matias of Mad Pastry PH.

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Mad Pastry PH – a small and local food brand located at Santa Rosa City, Laguna – was started in the last quarter of 2020, with initial capital of around PhP70,000 to PhP100,000 to cover the equipment, baking tools, kitchen renovation and packaging materials.

It may just be new (since the business started selling on December 10), but Lloyd Jeremy Matias can say in hindsight that “during this time of pandemic, I discovered a lot of things about myself, and that includes the talent of baking. At first, it was just a hobby – baking cookies and brownies – and then sharing them only to my family and friends.” 

Lloyd is a graduate of Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering, which is really not aligned with baking; and “I came from a typical Filipino family, raised by parents who always inspires us to study, do well in school in order to find good paying jobs and the thought of business was really not taught,” he said. So “I was afraid to take risks.”

But then “there were a lot of positive feedbacks about my cookies.” It helped that his sister started giving out cookies – without Lloyd knowing of this – and these random people like what they got.

“I realized (that) maybe I should start trying online business, since it is trending nowadays. That is my trigger point on why I started this business,” Lloyd said.

Choosing this industry in particular, he added, was easy. “Food is essential and everyone loves food,” Lloyd said.

It’s only been weeks since the business started, so ROI has yet to be attained.

But “I am really hoping that this will be profitable. The reception of people is really overwhelming and I hope this continues since we will also continue improving our products and services,” Lloyd said.

So far, the only challenge for Lloyd is time. 

“I didn’t quite expect the number of orders coming our way on our first week of selling. We are overwhelmed by the acceptance of our customers and we do not have the right system and the right approach yet,” he said. “But of course, with extra brain and extra hands, nothing is impossible. I will commend my family for really helping me overcome… challenges.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Lloyd give?

“Find your passion. Try exploring things aligned to your passion. Seek for business opportunities that is linked to that passion because nothing beats the feeling of doing what you really love and gaining something from it than doing things just for the sake of money,” Lloyd said. “Do whatever makes you happy.”

For more information or to order from Mad Pastry PH, head to Facebook or Instagram @madpastryph; call/text 09338649797; or email madpastry.ph@gmail.com.

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Love and be confident about your products – Marianne Rose Valera

Marianne Rose Valera established Yuna’s in 2019; and the biz has been growing. “Focus on something that you are passionate about when starting a business,” she said. “You’ve got to love and be confident about your products.”

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Yuna’s was started around October 2019, with an initial capital of around PhP2,000, and only with baked mac and Korean chicken wings in the menu, recalled Marianne Rose Valera. 

But it was a field she was bound to enter. 

Marianne Rose noted that online businesses have been trending, and “I’ve been wanting to have a business but can’t think of a product to sell… until I got the idea of selling comfort foods.”

It helps, of course, that “aside from cooking, I love feeding people. I grew up cooking with my mom (who) taught me the basics of cooking. And I am a housewife with a two year old daughter. I am a nurse by profession but chose to be a hands-on mom, putting aside my career for a moment. I thought of using my extra time on this food business,” she said.

Now, her family inspires her to do good. “In this time of crisis, I thought I’m still lucky having this business. My husband works abroad but due to the pandemic, work has been temporarily halted leaving him with no salary for three months. This business helped us through financially.”

There remain challenges.

For instance, “I am running my business alone. Prep work and cooking are tiring especially if you work alone,” she said. 

Also, “I have a two-year-old daughter who’s being looked after by my older sister if I have to cook or go to the grocery store to get supplies.”

All the same, “it is just a matter of time management.”

But yes, Marianne Rose already reached ROI; and she said this is a “profitable venture.”

And for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Marianne Rose give?

“Focus on something that you are passionate about when starting a business,” she said. “You’ve got to love and be confident about your products.”

Wanna grab the offerings of Yuna’s? Head to Yuna’s Facebook page.

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