The recipe for cakes and pastries is changing, as bakers produce delicacies that are a feast for both the taste buds and eyes of their customers.

This story of a local baker from Occidental Mindoro is the kind that hits close to home to entrepreneurs who found themselves shifting from their professional careers.

From healthcare to baking, Rojani Abeleda, owner of Honey’s Homebakes in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, found herself in a rather unexpected direction. After finishing college with a degree in Nursing, Rojani’s first job was as a cashier at a grab-and-go coffee shop in a five-star hotel. She fell head over heels in love with baking that she took pastry classes after her shifts. In 2015, Rojani left her job and from this, she pursued baking, and later in 2019, Honey’s Homebakes was born.

The company sells different flavors of cake such as fruit cake, yema cake, cheesecake, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and decorative personalized cakes for any occasion and other desserts like leche flan, brownies, and cookies.

If you are guilty of spending the majority of your time drooling over Pinterest-ish cakes online, then Honey’s Homebakes’ decorative cakes will surely satisfy your sweet cravings. Some of their cake designs include animated characters, pop-culture references, florals, and many more.

And she hasn’t looked back ever since. “Do not forget to add love in everything you do, because it will revert back to you through the loyalty of your customers,” says Rojani.

What started as a mere hobby, Rojani just needed P5,000 initial capital and passion for baking to lead the business to success. Since then, with the Department of Trade and Industry’s interventions, their sales grew significantly.

Moreover, they were able to employ two more additional full-time employees and four part-time employees to assist in their growing operations. The bakeshop was a way for Rojani to hire students as part-time employees and support them with their financial expenses.

Rojani connects with and learns from other entrepreneurs in the province as one of the trainers on baking through the Negosyo Center Program. And thanks to DTI, she was able to attend seminars on Food Safety Management and be one of the graduates of the SGS Kaagapay sa Negosyo Program. The SGS Kaagapay sa Negosyo Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Program equip MSMEs in the food sector with the necessary knowledge in assessing risk and biosecurity protocols that fit their respective businesses with the implementation of the Philippine Traceability System (PTrace) and Food Safety Implementation Workshop. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company. They have been the partner of DTI in testing requirements for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application and equipping MSMEs in MIMAROPA through training and workshops. This led Rojani to the construction of a processing center and the creation of a system in production.

Moreover, DTI-MIMAROPA has assisted the enterprise through trademark registration with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), One Town One Product (OTOP) Next Gen Free Laboratory Analysis (Nutrition Facts), on top of the product development, various business development training and seminars, market promotion, and facilitation services financing. The business is in the process of securing a License to Operate from the FDA and expanding its market reach by establishing outlets in the other parts of the province.

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Date of Release: 12 March 2021