Life isn’t a piece of cake, but Melany Carcamo’s revolves around these sweet slices.  

Melany found her niche through her love for baking and pastries. Not long after leaving her corporate job and her husband’s retrenchment, she started selling her homemade cakes. She and her husband handled everything, from operations to marketing. Customer after customer, her business grew and Not Just Sweet became their family’s ‘bread and butter’.

Not Just Sweet is unlike any other cake shop. It offers nontraditional cakes, each carefully crafted from homemade signature ingredients for creamier and more flavorful cakes with just the right amount of sweetness. Opting for cream cheese frosting and moist pound cake instead of the typical choices for base cakes and icing, their cakes are perfect for those looking for less sugary confections. Her cake recipes are more pleasures than guilty pleasures, even for diabetics, coming from a family with a history of diabetes.

Melany kicked off her cake shop in 2017 with only a 5000-peso capital and a bunch of hand-me-down baking equipment. She opened her business with her kids in mind, thinking she could never let them suffer the same fate as she did, growing up in poverty. She wanted to guarantee a life of comfort and security for her children especially since her childhood was no fairytale. While other kids would play outside, Melany was at home running errands or taking care of her cousin’s children. She lived apart from her parents and instead resided with her Aunt, with a promise of food, shelter, and education. The circumstances surrounding her early life honed her into the person she grew up to be. “This situation made me stronger, persevering, and enduring. That I know I can surpass whatever challenges life would give me.”  

To ascertain success in realizing her long-term plans for her cake shop, Melany decided to join the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program as she and her husband knew little about running a business. Through this mentorship, she learned about the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset, keeping the business sustainable, and coming up with a business development plan. This greatly elevated her business in terms of process flow, marketing innovations, legalities, costing, and even the right attitude.

According to Melany, the skills and knowledge that she acquired from the KMME program have helped her sustain her business despite the toughest times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. She now knows enough to be confident in managing a business and to never give up. She says her main takeaway from the program is to “let FEAR—Face Everything And Rise—guide you in taking your business to the next level. Learn to adapt to change and be the solution.”