As the old saying goes: When life gives you limes, what do you do? For Bea Ocampo and Japee Baldonado it meant an opportunity to start up an online shop called Lemonlime Manila. Trained at an early age by their parents in their respective family businesses, the food brand’s two-man team are no strangers to the world of entrepreneurship. Currently, Bea takes the helm when it comes to baking, while Japee spearheads the management side of the business—from accounting to logistics.
Through word-of-mouth marketing and a limited but high-quality menu, their Instagram page’s small flock of 50 followers eventually flourished to 2500. Mind you, their page only started last March of this year. What a feat! We’re not surprised with their success either because we can vouch for how scrumptious their two-pie menu is!
If you’re into out-of-the-ordinary desserts that are far from your usual saccharine flavors, we highly recommend this store’s Key Lime Pie. When consumed, you’ll be met with refreshing citrusy notes of lime that’s paired with a perfectly layered sweet graham crust to temper the zing.
Know more about the success of this small business through our interview with owners Bea and Japee below.
Where did the idea of starting Lemonlime Manila come from?
“Japee and I are both on the same page when it comes to business. Pre-pandemic, we were thinking of putting up a new business together, but nothing concrete was established yet. We thought of getting a food franchise, carts and even a car wash place! Then we thought ‘Why not key lime pie instead?’ Our families loved it so much that on almost every birthday or during simple family gatherings, we had to have our special key lime pie. We even got a stamp of approval from a relative who is a chef, ‘This is so good! Why are you not selling this already?’—and that's all we needed to hear.
"You know when a bulb just lights up in your mind and it just feels right? That's what we felt when we realized that key lime pie is the business we want to put up. Luckily, for us, we found that key lime pie is a niche that only a few have tapped into. More often than not, you'll only find key lime pies in a handful of restaurants. Life threw us limes, so we made key lime pie!”
What is it about your Key Lime Pie that makes it a bestseller?
“I personally find key lime pies elegant and classic yet so surprisingly new to a lot of people. This makes it one hell of a unique dessert for first-timers. People are surprised how a sour fruit can be turned into an enjoyable dessert. As they say, you will never know it’s what you wanted until you’re halfway done eating it. This pie is perfect for any time of day when you want a nice, cool, and citrusy end to your meal. Unlike most key lime pies out there, our homemade crust is not the usual bland Graham cracker off-the-shelf. It is rich with buttery notes of caramel-ish goodness which gives the perfect crunch and balance to the tangy key lime pie filling. If you're a dessert lover, just reading this description already makes you want to order ASAP!”
Was there a specific point in time where you guys knew the business was starting to gain traction?
“Yes. We actually started Lemonlime Manila two years ago, catering to close-knit family and friends. So, when we officially launched the business in March this year, on Instagram to be specific, we only had about 50 followers. Most, if not all, were our ever supportive family and friends. We were slowly getting traction when we noticed that a lot of celebrities and personalities such as Liz Uy, Bing Loyzaga, Karen Davila, Bella Padilla and others, were directly sending us DMs—wanting to order our Signature Key Lime Pie. The best part was when they would mention and tag us in their IG stories and even posts just because they can't get over how delicious it was. It was incredible!”
Any future plans for Lemonlime Manila you can share with us?
“We love the bright, cheery notes that citrus brings to our products. Lemonlime Manila’s product pipeline focus is to offer citrus-related goodies all the way. If you hear that we have something coming up, expect that it has something to do with citrus flavours! We recently launched our Fresh Lemon Cheesecake which was equally met with positive feedback like our Signature Key Lime Pie.”
You can get their Key Lime Pie in two sizes. The bigger one at nine inches is best for parties or special occasions, while the three-inch variant is perfect for solo binging. A mixed mini box is also available for P785. Check out their Lemonlime Manila's full menu here!
You can place your order from 9am to 6pm everyday by sending a DM to their Instagram page.
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