A ‘flan’ for success: Home-based baking business thrives amid the pandemic

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    The health pandemic tested the capacity of business owners to be flexible and adaptable to drastic changes amid the new normal way of doing business. Fortunately for Princess San Diego, being a graduate of the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila (CCA Manila), the country’s pioneer and top culinary education institution, gave her the confidence in handling her business, What’s Your FLAN?

    “The main adjustment that we had to work around with would be the availability of ingredients and had to put some products on hold,” Princess said. With the limitations in cargo deliveries and transportation, a lot of production had to be put on hold. As for their workers, even before ECQ was imposed, they were encouraged to work from home.

    To attract more customers now that we are relying on the digital platform, owners need to be more creative in introducing their products. With a load of new emerging establishments, presenting the unique qualities of your business and what sets you apart from the others is a huge help in boosting and attracting more consumers.

    Princess San Diego

    Princess shared some lessons from her school experience in CCA, Manila that she was able to apply in the real world.

    “Food business comes with safety and proper preparations to maintain its quality. Taste is subjective so as a food entrepreneur, you must be able to come up with a ‘flavor’ or product that would satisfy everyone, or at least the majority of the customers’ palate.”

    Creating a menu that is different from your signature style is a risk that What’s Your FLAN? was able to conquer. All of their recently developed products were a success and two were even featured in a digital food magazine.

    Another difficulty they were able to overcome was adapting to the no-transportation policy.

    Even before the quarantine, they have been operating through door-to-door deliveries.

    Since their line of work is in the food industry, they were not one of those businesses who were greatly affected because meals are an essential need. Food deliveries are more in demand now and since they are familiar with the process, they were able to keep up.

    Her experiences in CCA were the root of her success in the kitchen and a beneficial guide in surviving throughout these crucial times. “Being organized and knowing every detail step by step is a big learning curve for me as it saved us time, resources and effort, resulting in productivity,” she said. Her mastery on kitchen ethics was applied, not only in preparing the food, but also in micromanaging her business.

    Being a certified CCA graduate helped Princess establish a name for her business. It gave the impression that their products are professionally made and delivered in top-quality condition. Add to that, she was able to attain her dream to be called “Chef Princess”.

    Business operation in these critical times requires a lot of attention and coming up with new ideas to avoid being overthrown in the game. Princess shared a piece of advice she learned throughout her endeavor in the culinary industry: ”Never stop creating new things. Be innovative. Be humble, kind, and appreciate every chef’s work. It’s time to support local businesses in these hard times.”

    She added: “There is always room for improvement. Always. Business is never better.” As everyone is still struggling with the new normal way of living, supporting one another is essential. Simple sharing of local businesses posts would be a great help in reaching the right market.