Sheryl Barrozo: The hand behind Sendang’s Cakes market success

SHE wants to be a full-time mother but has to help augment the family income so she thought of establishing her own business.

With a limited capital and no idea of what business to put up with, Saint Paul’s University Quezon City alumna Sheryl Barrozo, the hand behind Sendang’s Cakes, drew inspiration from her late mother’s mamon recipe that she used to bake for her children’s afternoon snack.

Barrozo recalled that the idea started when she accidentally discovered her mom’s old oven in their house at the Provident Village in Marikina City. She brought the oven for repair and her aunt e-mailed her the mamon recipe of her mother, which she found in one of her notebooks.

Skills wise, it was not difficult for Barrozo to perform baking chores because she worked as her mother’s assistant during her past baking sessions. And so, Sendang’s Cakes was launched in 2013.

“It’s simply nostalgic. I wanted to recreate the mamon she made so my kids could also taste it, but I don’t know how and she was not able to pass it on to me. So, I took short baking courses here and there but to no avail. I just kept learning, posting photos and earning at the same time. Fortunately, a cousin of mine had the recipe written in index cards which was really a great help to develop a better quality,” Barrozo told the BusinessMirror in a recent interview.

Barrozo adopted a cautious attitude in building the business. She also made sure that the products that she sells are really delicious and has value for money. Furthermore, she beefed up her techniques of the trade to become more competitive by taking baking courses. She admitted it was not easy because 80 percent of studying was based on actual baking chores.

Although it was financially challenging because she was just starting, Barrozo took additional courses from Sylvia Reynoso Gala to hone her baking skills. To manage her funds efficiently, Barrozo had to maintain the quality of her cakes and mamon to ensure the money keeps on coming so she can pursue additional baking courses.

Barrozo admitted being an entrepreneur involves blood, sweat and tears. With limited capital, Barrozo admitted it was not a walk in the park for Sendang’s in its fledgling years. Nevertheless, she was determined not to ask additional assistance from her husband in building the business. “I slowly made my way in acquiring the right equipment through profit. I chose the bigger equipment because it provides bigger output in a shorter span of time,” she said.

During her first year, Barrozo worked on a lighter pace having just one or two orders per month with only December as the peak month. Later, it became incremental, especially in her third year and fourth and fifth years, when orders came on a weekly basis. “Since I am still building the business, Sendang’s is on a start-up basis,” she said.

Marketing Sendang’s cakes and mamon was another challenge for Barrozo. Since she had very limited resources, Barrozo utilized a marketing strategy based on posting products online at appropriate times. “I sold my products  after dinner or before midnight where a lot of people will crave for sweets,” she recalled.   

She also tapped her showbiz connection by selling products initially to former beauty queen and actress Alma Concepcion. Moreover, her products get exposure and promotion on It’s Showtime when one of the hosts is celebrating his birthday and she is the cake sponsor.

 

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Rizal Raoul S. Reyes has covered technology, science, business, property and special reports. He had working stints with the Business Star, Manila Bulletin and Independent Daily News.