Pandemic-sparked ‘Aha Moment’

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    When the government announced a lockdown in mid-March, Jennifer Jasita-Lim had around two months’ worth of supply of grocery and toiletries for her family of three. Being cooped up at home was far from her daily route. Never in her dreams did she think the lockdown would open a new door of opportunity for her and her family.

    Lim’s schedule was pretty much hectic being a full-time professor in a private university in Manila. She also has co-curricular activities such as research, tutorials and advisership, among others.

    She does training consultancy for private and government institutions through corporate seminars and workshops, as well as accepts editing jobs for academic outputs and corporate collaterals. Above all, together with her husband, is parent to a senior high school student.

    Lim loves pastries and cakes but has always been just a consumer. “I have been a consumer who was never once interested in the process,” she said.

    Then she found herself making the things she so loves. Her new-found interest is probably an appeal of her subconscious. She thinks she had been an expert in watching baking shows and a voracious reader of anything do-it-yourself on desserts she likes, but without ever thinking of doing those herself.

    Helping her in a son cookie-making activity was her “Aha!” moment.

    “I asked a good friend for a good cookie recipe and it became our first pandemic family activity,” she said. “We gave away some of those finished products to family and relatives with raving comments about how they like the cookie.”

    Lim came up with “Anything but Sweet by Sugarplum Chick,” selling freshly-baked goods which are made only from premium ingredients and delivered during Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    What she offers in her baked goods is not just the taste but the responsibility. Most of her buyers are almost her contemporaries, Gen X, millennials, and with very few baby boomers.

    With today’s pastries becoming more indulgent toward the mouthwatering gooeyness of chocolate over chocolate over chocolate, Lim tends to lean toward creating cookies that only use dark Belgian chocolate with very minimal sugar, and cakes and loaves that are on the tito and tita age group – the carrot cake, banana loaf, lemon bars, oatmeal cookies, and bars, etc.

    Most of the flavors are from what she likes, while some are from what her family and friends like. Nowadays, she also accommodates client requests. Lim is now working on various cream and meringue-based cakes; hoping she could do them confidently soon.