Four months after resigning from her job as Kitchen Supervisor in June 2012, Lourdes started her baking journey and has not looked back ever since.
She started Sweet Mom Cakes and Pastries as a home-based business following her early retirement from her corporate job. Now, her love for baking is a full-time business since 2019.
Tell us about your business and why you started it?
At first, I was hesitant to bake and sell my products, but my best friend convinced me to make use of my skill in baking. My business was put on hold [for a while] when I entered the corporate world and became a Technical Manager of a food ingredient manufacturing plant in Calauan, Laguna aside from my freelance consultancy and trainings in Metro Manila.
My youngest daughter Ara also took the path of taking a food related course and is now helping me run my business. We make homemade cakes and pastries using the finest and freshest ingredients. Our main goal is to create cakes & pastries that will compliment every special occasion. Aside from cakes and pastries, we also sell different kinds of breads since this pandemic started.
Who is your target audience?
At first our target clients were only my family and friends who occasionally order cakes for their celebrations. For almost five years now, we have been supplying baked goodies to a private school here in Los Banos. When this pandemic hit us in March 2020, I was able to grab the opportunity to sell my products online to our neighbors and to residents of adjacent barangays.
What 3 professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
- Since I started my homebased baking business, I was eventually able to handle also livelihood training courses on baking, aside from being a trainor/resource speaker on food processing courses
- Being a Food Technologist, I was able to work as a Technical Manager in a food ingredient company wherein I ensure compliance of products and processes to corporate and regulatory requirements.
- I am now a certified baker. I took TESDA’s Bread and Pastry Production course in 2019 and eventually passed the Baking and Pastry Production National Competency Assessment. I am currently taking the Trainer’s Methodology Course (Level I) also of TESDA as a scholar with the goal of being a TESDA Trainor and Assessor in the near future.
What makes your business story unique?
I started my home-based business as a hobby and to share my baked products to family and friends. It really warms my heart every time I am able to let everyone experience my baking. I am happy that I am able to satisfy people’s sweet tooth and cravings. Getting positive feedback from customers builds my confidence.
I am really grateful to God that my baking skill gave me the opportunity to eventually start a business. It was during the pandemic that I got the biggest break on my homebased baking business.
When I bake, I don’t really feel like I am running a business but personally fulfilling my love for baking.
How did you know when you had the right idea?
I did a lot of research, like what recipe to use, and raw material sourcing, product development and market research before I decide what product to sell.
I need to get the approval of my family before I can finally decide to sell a certain baked product.
What are some of the mistakes you wished you could’ve avoided?
- Having too small profit margins. Proper costing should be done to be able to determine the correct selling price.
- Don’t price too high, but don’t price too low. There are a lot of factors to consider in pricing your product.
- Being incapacitated by fear of “what if’s.” I should be brave enough to take calculated risk.
What are the things that help you stay organized throughout the day and get time for everyone and everything?
I have a daily task list, things that I need to do. I [also set] a schedule to follow everyday.
To what do you attribute your success?
- My being organized. It helps keep me on top of things [while still] being able to [set time to] relax.
- I love what I do. It was in August 2018 when I resigned from my corporate job, when I went back to what I love to do which is baking.
- I decide on what I want to do. I strongly believe I am responsible for who I am and what I want to be.
- My determination.
Can you recollect any funny kid-work balancing stories?
My two daughters are already grown up but my grandson is staying with us. As for my grandson Lucho, who is turning eight years old is very honest in telling me if the product that I baked is delicious. I am so happy and proud that he would always tell me “Wowa you are the best baker!” He is now showing his interest on baking. Every time I am baking he is always trying to get my attention. Nagpapapansin ba! So what I normally do is to set aside some cupcakes for him. And he would ask me to allow him to put the sprinkles on the cupcakes. Definitely, may magmamana na ng KitchenAid mixer and baking tools ko!
Any recommendations to Moms who dream about being entrepreneurs, but just can’t get started.
- Take the risk. We never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it.
- Believe in yourself. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.
- Ask guidance from God. He has good plans for you.
Contact Sweet Mom Cakes and Pastries:
We are located at 2088B Mariposa Street, Pleasant Village, Tuntungin Putho, Los Banos, Laguna