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‘Love what you’re doing; it shows in your offerings’ – Jenkin Daquil Reyes

Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts was established by Jenkin Daquil Reyes in 2016, with a startup capital of only PhP1,000. This has grown a lot… considering she just started selling ice candy.

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Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts was established by Jenkin Daquil Reyes in 2016, with a startup capital of only PhP1,000.

Yes, this business has grown big over time; particularly if you consider that when it started, “nagsimula lang ako magenta noon ng ice candy at mango Graham pastillas yema,” Jenkins said.

But growing was sort of expected.

Mabenta na noong panahon na yun ang ice candy ko so sa kakagawa ko naging lasang ice cream ang ice candy na ginagawa. Lalong naging mabenta,” Jenkin said. Eventually, “hinahanap-hanap na ng mga tao.”

The same thing happened to the mango Graham pastillas yema, which became an ice cream cake.

Admittedly, “sa simula, natuwa lang ako sa ginagawa ko; paubos oras at puros pagkakaperahan talaga ang iniisip ko. May mga times din na humihinto ako sa pag-gawa kasi may ‘pisonet’ din ako na binabantayan aside sa paggawa ng dessert. Pero lalong nagpahikayat sa akin na mag-aral pa ng mas malalim sa baking ay ang pinagdaanan ko na anxiety noong 2018 kasi nagka-problema ako sa anak ko na hindi na ipinakita sa akin ng biyenan at hipag ko. Dahil doon, naging malukungkutin ako; nagkaroon ako ng anxiety attacks at lagi akong umiiyak. Kaya ito ang naging daan para ubusin ko amg oras ko… sa pag-bi-bake.

Jenkin moved from cakes to also learn about baking bread.

Wala akong oras na hindi gumagawa; gusto kong mapagod sa pagkilos sa para malampasan ang kalungkutan na pinagdadaanan ko at masaya na din naman ako na ito ang naging outlet ko sa pinagdadaanan ko kasi kumikita pa ako at naalis sa isip ko ang mga bagay na nakakapagpalungkot sa akin.

Looking back, Jenkins said she never thought this would eventually be her line of making a living, having finished BS Biology.

Masaya lang ako noong una na nauubos ang mga ice candy na naging ice cream ice candy na may iba’t ibang flavors, hangggang sa naging cakes na nga,” she said. “Malayo ito sa course na kinuha ko.

There remain challenges.

To start, there was the nervousness with baking since it wasn’t her field at all.

At the start, “kapag natikman ko ang gawa ko at nasarapan ako, binebenta ko. Pero kapag di ko gusto ang lasa at need pa i-improve, pinapakain ko lang ito ng libre. Hindi lahat ng gawa ko ay perfect agad kasi noong una wala pa akong tiwala sa sarili ko.

There’s also the issue of pricing.

One time, “may isang nagtiwala na teacher ng anak ko na bumili sa akin.” She sold 50 pieces of cupcakes “at lugi ako kasi hindi ko pa alam kung magkano ang ipapatong ko. Basta sa sarili ko natuwa ako na may isang nagtiwala.”

Jenkin said that “sa mga pagkakamali… doon din ako natuto.

Looking back, “sa tingin ko nakuha ko naman na ang pinuhunan ko. Actually wala naman akong gaanong ginastos kasi ang oven ko ay bigay ng ate ko na nasa ibang bansa; nakikita niye kasi ang sipag at determinasyon ko kaya niregaluhan niya ako ng mga gamit.”

At times she also buys secondhand equipment.

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

Sa mga gusto mag-balak na magtayo ng business… siguraduhin nila na masaya at mahal nila ang ginagawa nila. Hindi kasi maganda ang outcome kung napipilitan ka lang gawin ang isang bagay,” Jenkin said. “Pag-aralan din ng mas malalim kahit sa sarili mo lang need lang magbasa nang magbasa para matuto. Harapin din ang mga panahon na may paglubog yun din naman ang magtutulak sa atin para umahon.

Keen to try the offerings of Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts? Head to FB.

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‘Don’t be afraid to take risks’ – Diana Abne

For Diana Abne, owner of Sugar Mommah PH – established in 2020 with a startup capital of only P5,000 – people should find their passion. “It is never too late to find new passions and goals in life. Find what your strengths are and what are your weaknesses … build your business from there.”

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To help ease the anxiety brought by COVID-19 (while augmenting income at that), Diana Abne established Sugar Mommah PH in June 2020 with a start-up capital of only around P5,000.

“It started as a passion project,” said the single mom, though “I have always loved cooking for my family (even if) I haven’t tried baking. But during the pandemic, I wanted to learn something new and add new skills, (so I started baking).”

It helped that people around her were supportive.

The oven she uses, for instance, “was a gift from my parents,” Diana said. And other family members and friends “became my first customers.”

These are also the very people who “inspire me to make good food.”

Looking back, it never occurred to Diana he’d go into this line of business.

“I always thought I do not have the patience nor the discipline to bake,” she said. “In cooking, I have always trusted my instincts in mixing spices and flavors. But in baking, everything has to be exact. I graduated Communication Arts in UST and is currently working as a Social Media Manager for a digital company. It is not aligned with my current business although it helps me in handling my social media pages.”

But yes, the decision to open Sugar Mommah PH was a good one.

“It is already profitable,” Diana smiled. “I was able to get my ROI within three months.”

Obviously, there are still challenges; as is normal for any business.

“The biggest challenge and struggle for me is handling my business, my work and being a mom. I live alone with my kid with no hired help so I am very much hands-on in everything – from cleaning the house to homestudy with my 7-year-old,” she said. “I get to adapt by following a very strict routine and schedule. I wake up at 5:00AM so I can have my me time and start cleaning and cooking. Baking time is scheduled every weekend since I only accept weekend orders, as of now.”

Business-wise, a challenge is “making sure that I have something unique and new in my shop. With the pandemic ongoing, food business quadrupled, and my competitors have years of experience in baking and decorating. I used to envy them and feel bad about myself but I realized that like most in life, we are on different levels.”

“I always remind myself that I will be able to achieve their successes in time. I don’t need to rush things and I need to take it slowly. As long as someone still believes in me and as long as I don’t give up, I can achieve their successes too in my own time.”

DIANA ABNE
Owner, Sugar MommaH PH

Diana also eyes to succeed for her son. “I am a single mom and he inspires to do everything, so I can help him make his dream come true.”

To others who are looking at opening a business, Diana suggested facing their fears.

“Don’t be afraid to take risks. I firmly believe that if it scares you, it means that you are one step away in changing your life. It is in that moment of fear that you should jump and go for it,” she said.

Another advice would be to “find your passion. We are trained to believe that we can only have one passion in life but I learned that your passion can change in every stage in your life. It is never too late to find new passions and goals in life. Find what your strengths are and what are your weaknesses … build your business from there,” Diana ended.

Wanna try the savory offerings of Sugar Mommah PH? Head to Facebook or Instagram: @sugarmommahph; or send a message to Viber/WhatsApp 09177537804.

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Some people won’t understand your product, but they’d recognize quality – Chris Bezuidenhout

Chris Bezuidenhout started Braai Brothers Philippines in 2016 with a startup capital of only P10,000. That was a good move, since Braai Brothers Philippines made a mark.

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Braai Brothers Philippines was started in 2016 with a startup capital of only P10,000.

“My family has been in the food industry for many generations, and the love for quality South African food is a family tradition,” said Chris Bezuidenhout, adding that his late grandfather was a butcher in South Africa for many decades, and “his recipes are what I use for my products today. My father, Arnold; and my aunt, Marlene, are responsible for keeping the recipes safe all these years.”

In 2016, “I was making the(se) products for personal consumption and for occasions with friends. After a few people said that it was good enough that they would pay for it, I decided to turn my passion into a business.”

That was a good move, since Braai Brothers Philippines made a mark.

Looking back, and because of his family’s history, “anyone (who) pushes innovation while acknowledging and respecting the lessons of the past is who inspires me,” Chris said.

Chris actually came to the Philippines because of the BPO industry.

“I started my career in the catering industry and spent a decade learning the trade including training as a chef before switching to the BPO industry,” he said. But having worked with the BPO industry, he also learned “managing a successful business. Even though they are vastly different businesses, the BPO industry taught me how to manage the financial aspect as well as what world class customer service is.”

There are still challenges in running Braai Brothers Philippines.

“The biggest challenge I have (is) balancing my BPO career, the business and family life,” he said. “I am all about a balanced approach to life and always aim to ensure that each get their quality time to ensure all are successful.”

Braai Brothers Philippines already reached ROI; in fact, this was reached “within the first few months,” he said. This may be because “I had a low initial investment and have pushed profits back into the business in order to improve equipment and quality. It is profitable and continues to grow slowly but surely.”

For people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Chris give?

“Follow your passion. People may not understand your product at first but they will recognize your drive. If your market is limited in size then stand out by your quality, your customer service and your business values. By doing this, your market will grow organically,” Chris ended.

If you want to get in touch with Braai Brothers Philippines, visit their Facebook page @Braai Brothers Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/braaibrothersph), check out their website (https://braaibrothers.one/), or send them a message via mobile phone/WhatsApp/Viber at 09272588688.

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‘Don’t be scared to work hard’ – Paul Theunissen

Covid-19 pushed the establishment of The Bushveld Kitchen by husband and wife Paul and Mary Jane Theunissen in July 2020 with around PhP30,000 capital. “Don’t be scared to work hard,” Paul said. “A lot of time and effort will reap the benefits.”

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The Bushveld Kitchen was established by husband and wife Paul and Mary Jane Theunissen in July 2020 with around PhP30,000 capital. Covid-19 pushed them to start the business, actually, since Paul is a foreigner and relied on contracts abroad to earn income while here; and all contracts came to a stop due to Covid-19. They also had to make a living for their two sons, Joe Carlos and Paul Jr.

The business, said Paul, is “something that is unique that you don’t (commonly) find in the Philippines (since it offers) authentic South African delicacies.”

Looking back, Paul said they didn’t think they’d become business people. Yeah, they loved eating the dishes; but it never occurred to them “I’ll make it for an income,” he smiled.

There is continuous learning.

For instance, “getting the right meat for the product. Specific cuts are needed for each product. If you don’t get the right cut, it will not come out as the same product you find in South Africa. It will either be chewy when it comes to the Biltong and Droewors, or too dry and no taste when it comes to the wors.”

But they learned “to demand the right cuts from the butcher.”

Has the business reached ROI?

“If it was not for daily expenses to pay for the bills and buy food, it will be a profitable company. I’m sure in another year’s time I’ll reach my goal to have enough customers,” Paul said. But “slowly the company is growing… with new customers wanting to try the products. I have a lot of customers that return weekly to buy again. Some come back monthly.”

But yeah, this is a profitable venture, he smiled.

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

“Don’t be scared to work hard,” Paul said. “A lot of time and effort will reap the benefits.”

If you want to get in touch with The Bushveld Kitchen, contact them through WhatsApp or Viber 09062252996; Facebook account @thebushveldkitchen; or email thebushveldkitchen@gmail.com.

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