As a 15-year-old girl, I have never lived through such a critical situation similar to this pandemic. This health emergency has forced us all to reflect on and change how we live our day-to-day lives.
I personally will have to go through major changes in the method of learning for the next school year. I also needed to find a way to adapt to the changes that the world was undergoing in order for me to be able to make the most out of my time at home. I wanted to come up with a plan to save money for my online school needs and to earn my allowance despite shifting from traditional classes to distance learning. This was when I decided to start exploring the world of baking.
My mom, chef Jackie Ang Po, helped me in the process of starting my online business. She gave me her recipe, which she had already tested several times in the past. Although it was perfect, I adjusted the recipe to suit my taste. The next step was to innovate the caramel bars for them to be unique and stand out from the rest.
In the end, I decided to sell the two most popular flavors in the quarantine baking community — ube and cheese. After all these preparations, I posted my goods on Instagram and Facebook, and I started receiving a few orders. The orders in the first week of my business were mostly from my family and friends, but after a few days customers took interest in the ube caramel bars and cheese caramel bars.
“ I have learned a lot from this quarantine and from starting an online business. One of them is that it’s easy to create accounts on social media to start an online business, but managing one is very difficult. ”
This motivated me to formulate new recipes and creations that would appeal to possible customers. Now, I sell ube caramel bars, cheese caramel bars and two variants of bite-sized cookies.
I have learned a lot from this quarantine and from starting an online business. One of them is that it’s easy to create accounts on social media to start an online business, but managing one is very difficult.
Being organized and patient are the two most important traits I needed to develop to keep track of all the orders and to make sure the quality of food I am selling stays the same.
Buying ingredients during quarantine was also fairly difficult as some of them tended to be out of stock in groceries. I’m grateful that my mother owns a restaurant and cafe because then I’m able to check if she has them in stock.
This business started as a way to save money and purchase the gadgets or materials I will need for online distance learning, but I plan to continue running Sweetened Bakery in the future.
Having a business has taught me so many essential lessons that I may need in the real world. My home-based bakery encouraged me to acquire important life skills such as managing my time well and learning how to balance working on Sweetened Bakery along with my other activities as a high school student.
Above all this, I truly relish the feeling of being in the kitchen, for I am aware of the extraordinary magic that happens when I am baking and generating new ideas for recipes.
Edited by Tanya T. Lara