The cupcake revolution

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


A BAND of buddies doing some baking: that basically describes the idea from which this little home-based business was founded. Good friends ever since their freshmen years, the gang decided to go with the flow and allow their camaraderie to give birth to good-looking, great tasting cupcakes.

“Our mission is actually to bring a whole new appreciation for cupcakes in Cebu and eventually in the entire Philippines as it would become a famous treat that Cebu would be known for. That it is not just that ordinary cake in a simple baking cup frosted with sugar icing. We want to let the Cebuanos experience cupcakes as it has been in the United States and slowly in Manila,” shares Kim Pato, the company CEO.

Red velvet
RED VELVET. It's a red, lightly chocolate-flavored moist cake, topped with The Cupcakery's signature cream cheese frosting -- their trademark bestseller. (Contributed photo)

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” so they say. So for these college kids, the need to graduate from school (that’s by the way, every senior student’s “necessity” lest we forget), turned a sweet idea to reality.

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Their venture christened as The Cupcakery, started operations during the second quarter of this year. The company comprises of Deebejane Aguil, Ed Arguelles, Eyah Fernandez, Chary Pintor, Vanessa Sy, Richelle Yu, and Kim herself. They are all BS Business Administration Double Major: Marketing Management & Entrepreneurship students from the University of San Carlos.

Red velvet
CUPCAKES THROUGH CAMARADERIE. Friends came up with a plan: rule the city with sweets and graduate college on a high note. And the home-based dessert company was born. (Contributed photo)

“One of the final requirements in our program was to put up our own business which, we should register in the Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Internal Revenue, etc. and actually have our own business permits and the like, explains Kim.”

The Cupcakery first tested the waters during the latest Mandaue Chamber of Commerce Inc. (MCCI) general membership meeting. The group gave away 200 cupcakes for giveaways. However, it was not until a fair held recently where they would gain more attention.

“It was during the fourth University of San Carlos entrepreneur’s fair last month at Ayala Center Cebu, when we were widely exposed not just to students and businessmen, and had the highest sales. We sold over 1000 cupcakes in a span of three days,” Kim reveals.

Roughly doing the math, in a city mall that operates around 11 hours a day, this would mean that they easily sold around an average of 30 cupcakes an hour.

“(The feedback) was surprisingly overwhelming. The cupcakes sell out so fast that we can hardly catch up with the demand even if we tripled our production thinking that it was already more than enough. We baked 30-40 dozens for each day of the fair in Ayala and even it was held during the weekdays (Monday-Wednesday), they still got sold out hours before closing time. So we needed to rush back to the kitchen which was in Pardo to bake additional dozens,” shares Kim.

“I guess we are well accepted by the market. Considering that our prices may not be too friendly for some, we were able to prove that they get more than what they pay for.”

Best in Customer Service, Best in Packaging, and Best in Enterprise Uniform are the awards The Cupcakery bagged during the fair.

Funny thing is that the group doesn’t believe in “secret recipes” anymore since the advent of the internet. They rather would showcase the techniques they use in the preparation and the inculcating of unique ideas in their products.

If their cupcakes concepts could be described in a single line, the group tapped into the literal meaning of their products.

They sell, “downsized cakes.”

“Our cupcakes are small and convenient versions of classic cake flavors yet given a twist in either its frosting, crust or filling if there’s any,” simply states Kim.

Although they don’t have a fixed stall as of the moment, the group greatly relies on word of mouth, casual exchange of phone numbers, and online marketing through social networking sites, to drive their small enterprise further into success.

And looks like these guys have a good head start.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 05, 2011.

Lifestyle

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