Here's how these Filipina Girl Bosses started their own online food business

Dec 28, 2021 0 comments

Online food businesses are all the rage these days, especially with seemingly never ending community quarantine being enforced due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more than a year now, we’ve had to refrain from eating in public places as much as we could and just enjoyed food in the comforts of our homes. 

It’s really no surprise that there has been a boom in online food businesses ever since the pandemic happened. These businesses operate mostly on Facebook and Instagram and have been started by people from different ages and for reasons. 

We talked to three young online food business owners to get to know their stories. They also shared their tips and tricks to starting their online food business to inspire those who are hoping to begin their own. 

Claudine Hidalgo (Whipped Confections)

Claudine, 26, whips up some of the best snowballs you can find in town ever since she started her business last year. As a freelance event organizer, the pandemic put an abrupt halt to her work and she turned her attention to looking for another means of income. She began making her own version of the snowballs she had in Baguio and started with just a mango flavor. As her menu grew, so did the number of customers ordering from her. 

How she came up with her branding: After many taste tests from friends and family, the one ingredient that they adore so much is our sweet cream filling, which is whipped cream and a few other ingredients. Hence, why we branded our business as Whipped Confections. As for the logo and color scheme, we wanted it to be simple and eye-catching. But not too simple and with a pop of color (yellow).

What she keeps in mind when choosing her ingredients: The secret behind why our customers love our mochis is because of our sweet cream filling. It's not the usual consistency of an ice cream since our mochis aren't ice cream mochis. They are really whipped cream and best enjoyed when chilled. Our menu also is inspired by our favorite snack combinations growing up and the different flavors give our customers a feeling of nostalgia because it's a taste that they enjoyed when they were young.

What she considered when she chose her packaging: At the beginning, it was hard for us to find a perfect box for our mochis since we chose to sell them in boxes of 6 and 12. They were also relatively larger than other mochis, and packaging suppliers usually label their boxes as either cake boxes or cupcake boxes only. It took us 3 packaging sizes to find the perfect box for our mochis and it is now our signature yellow box.

What, for her, is the best thing about having an online food business: The best thing about having our business is really when we receive raving feedback from our customers. It's not particularly easy to make our mochis and it takes almost 1 hour for us to make just 1 dozen. So when our customers say that they can almost finish the entire box in one sitting, it really warms our hearts knowing that our hard work has paid off. We also feel humbled when our customers gift our mochis to their friends and family, just to help us with growing our customer base - and this has worked countless times.

You can order Claudine’s fruit-flavored mochis via Facebook or Instagram

Read: Here are 5 ice cream shops that will deliver homemade treats to your doorstep

Rox Mabunga (BaekedBox)

Rox, 27, started baking back in 2016 and she eventually went on to experiment with different recipes and desserts. She eventually came across royal icing cookies, which became the heart and soul of her online food business, which she started after the pandemic hit and affected her work. 

How she came up with her branding: The branding BaekedBox was born through consultations with family and friends. The name is a wordplay for the words "Baek" (Baekhyun)—South Korean singer, song-writer and actor, and a member of the boygroup EXO— and "baked". As a K-pop fan myself, Baekhyun has been one of my inspirations, plus one of my first commissioned work was a chibi version of him. He is a genius with wordplay and we believed it was only befitting to use wordplay in our name. The box logo was designed and created by my dear friend, Lala Guevarra and we chose the pastel color scheme because it is easy on the eyes and reminds us of candies and strawberries. 

What she keeps in mind when choosing her ingredients: Royal icing cookies, both the cookie component and the icing component, are made from really simple recipes that it is important to make sure that the ingredients are of the best quality. We make sure to buy fresh ingredients from our trusted sellers, and we only use brands that are known for their good reputation. After all, receiving feedback that our cookies taste delicious despite the simplicity of the recipe is a great recognition for the hard work we put in ensuring that we deliver our customer's money's worth.

What she considered when she chose her packaging: While royal icing cookies are easier to deliver through same-day delivery couriers without the worry of them getting completely damaged compared to cakes, it is a different discussion when clients request to have them shipped through regular couriers. One of my first ever commissioned work was placed months prior to the event and was supposed to be delivered from Metro Manila to Iligan. This meant the order was going to need to take a plane to be able to reach the destination. This meant I had to consider precautions to make sure the cookies arrive fresh and intact, despite them going through several shipping facilities and the possibility of being thrown around in the process. 

I invested in a heat sealing machine to make sure the cookies stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in this packaging. Aside from this I invested in different sizes of boxes to keep it within the shop's branding. Implements (like bubble wraps) to keep the cookies snug inside the boxes were also procured. Then, it was only a matter of fitting the cookies in the appropriate boxes to make sure that they will be received fresh, whole, and still as pretty as you imagined your designs to be.

What, for her, is the best thing about having an online food business: Aside from the fact that it is a great source of income, having BaekedBox has provided me with a great creative outlet. It has been a great opportunity to earn while doing something I love, and I recognize that not everyone has that luxury and for that I'm very grateful that I am given this chance. Owning BaekedBox has also pushed me to my limits and to be in constant search to improve my skills and myself.

Order Rox’s royal icing cookies via Facebook and Instagram. Please take note, however, that BaekedBox is on hiatus from August 15 to October 11 as Rox prepares for her board exams (We wish you the best of luck!). 

Angel, 26, started her online ice cream shop in August 2020. She initially wanted to surprise her friends with homemade ice cream and they eventually convinced her to sell. 

How she came up with her branding: I just wanted a simple logo with pastel color scheme, and to incorporate the word ‘Cream’ in the name since my close friends told me that my ice cream is creamier than the usual ice cream.

What she keeps in mind when choosing her ingredients: Ice cream is a comfort food to most people so I tend to stick to the most popular flavors. Then, I innovate. Non-traditional ingredient pairings may work, but if it does not, it will just turn people off. I believe that there is a time and place for unusual ingredients. I also try not to repeat ingredients. If chocolate chips are used in one item, I keep it that way. 

What she considered when she chose her packaging: As an environmentalist myself, I made sure that sustainability is the key factor I considered when I chose my packaging. I looked for a packaging that is recyclable and durable. I also kept it small. I wanted to have my customers wishing for a “little bit more.”

What, for her, is the best thing about having an online food business: What started as a passion project became a financial gain. As a breadwinner, I’m happy that Dream Cream helps pay the bills. Another best thing about having my own online ice cream shop is when someone asks, “Who made this? It’s so yummy!” I can answer, “I did.” I also love the fact that my business was able to contribute to the local community.

Order from Dream Cream through their Facebook or Instagram accounts. 

Read: Here are 5 ice cream shops that will deliver homemade treats to your doorstep

━━ Written By Bella Javier 
━━  Art By Metroscene Mag 

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