After losing her job due to the pandemic, 28-year-old teacher and bride-to-be Kath Vicente and her fiancé started their witty cookie business, Cookie N' Amo, during the pandemic. Ahead, she shares her story with Female Network:
I'm Kath, a professional teacher, and a soon-to-be Mrs. Before the pandemic, I was teaching pre-kinder students at a private school in Quezon City. I'm also planning my wedding this coming December and that's what kept me busy at the start of 2020.
Other than being a teacher, I bake occasionally, usually for family and friends but most of the time for myself because I love to munch on snacks, cookies in particular. Most of the time, my friends would always request me to bake.
Why I started my business
Unfortunately, the school I was teaching at decided to make retrenchments. This gave me more time to plan my wedding and to make my baking fantasies a reality. It drove me to legitimize my cookie business.
I've been baking since college, starting with pastries like cupcakes, brownies, and cookies and I used to post them on my Instagram. I constantly improved my product by trying out a variety of cookies and recipes until I found exactly how and what I wanted my own to taste like.
Starting with a P5,000 capital
I just started my business recently, the last week of May to be exact. When my fiancé Jovie and I sat down to conceptualize a name, sobrang dami naming naisip. I really wanted my business to show my personality. Lo and behold, the word cookinamo came to mind. My fiancé just tweaked it and said why not Cookie N' Amo since it means "cookies and love?"
Utilizing a portion of our wedding funds, our starting capital was 5,000 pesos. Since lockdown at mahirap kumuha ng supplies, I had to source my materials through the internet. From my baking tools to my packaging, it's all sourced online.
Dealing with business hiccups
I really am very thankful that I have supportive friends. Sila talaga yung mga una kong suki. Especially because the competition is tough na parang The Voice Philippines. No hate though, I'm happy to see people exploring their baking skills and thriving to earn despite the pandemic. Yung small business community naman, we support each other and I also buy from them, too. Support support lang!
How we're keeping the business alive
Right now, the business is doing okay, but just like other businesses, we encounter ups and downs at times but nakakabawi din naman kami. One good thing I was able to secure is a trusted baking supplier. Also, as we grow, our pool of customers would also ask for special requests, like other flavors and cookie sizes.
Since hindi ako talaga mahilig sa math, we encountered a slight mishap once with the expenses but we were able to correct it along the way. There was also feedback about the consistency of our cookies. We worked on it right away. Importante kasi sa amin yung voice ng customers namin so that we can make our product better for our craving customers.
Staying positive during uncertain times
As cliché as it sounds, I guess it's true what they say that when one door closes, another one opens. Tough times will really squeeze the best out of you. Also, I learned to be prepared especially in these uncertain times. One thing I'm sure of now though: masarap ang cookies namin!
For more information about Cookie N' Amo, visit their page on Instagram.
* As told to Nicole Arcano. This interview was condensed for clarity.
*This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.