DECK the halls with sugar and frosting this Christmas season. And what’s better than to top the holiday feast with delicious cakes.
It’s not that difficult to search for cakes in Cagayan de Oro City. Just recently, a cakes and pastries shop opened along Antonio Luna Street.
Established last November 11 this year, Sharmaine's Cakes and Pastries, owned by Sharmaine Limlosuy, is a shop that offers more than just cakes but "an experience in every slice."
Sharmaine guarantees its customers that they will receive cakes and pastries that are baked with love, made with passion and created using high-quality ingredients.
"We never compromise quality and we use the best ingredients and then we price our cake at an affordable price," Limlosuy said.
Sharmaine has 11 flavors of cakes, which includes: Carrot Cake, Dark Chocolate Cake, caramel Cheesecake, Oreo Sandwich cake, and its best-selling cakes, Caramel Tres Leches Cake and Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, among others.
They also offer cupcakes, brownies and other treats although it’s only available through pre-orders as the establishment only serves desserts fresh from the oven.
Apart from its tasty cakes, the shop also sells coffee and non-caffeinated drinks to go with the customers' preferred dessert such as Americano, frappes, smoothies, iced tea, hot tea, and others. Christmas drinks, Belgian Peppermint and Cheesecake Cookie, are also available this month.
They also have sandwiches for those who wanted something not sweet-related.
Limlosuy assures its clients not only the quality of her cakes but also the services of her staff as her baristas are well-trained and she personally trained her bakers.
"Our bakers and our baristas are very passionate at their job, in what they do. Love gyud nila ilang work," Limlosuy said.
Baking has been Limlosuy's passion and love ever since childhood when she kept on helping her grandmother in creating pastries and cakes for the latter's bakery.
"Passion gyud nako mag bake because my grandma before had a bakeshop, I kept helping her sa iyang bakery. Ganahan lang gyud ko mag bake," Limlosuy said.
She also enrolled in Monster Kitchen for cake decorating class during her six-month break.
"Because of that, I learned to love baking. After that, I started baking at home and I sold cakes to family and friends for fun during sembreaks and Christmas,” Limlosuy said.
She started selling her cakes when she was still studying entrepreneurship in Enderun Colleges in Manila, doing it during her free time with her family and friends as her loyal customers.
Then, through word of mouth, her order increased, more and more got interested in purchasing her cakes.
"When I graduated, a friend owning a coffee shop asked me nga 'Can you supply for my coffee shop' and then I was scared cause it was commitment nga consistent ang supply," Limlosuy said.
She added that she was hesitant also because she was the only one doing all the work in her baking business.
However, after several talks with her friend, she eventually agreed to supply cakes to her friend's coffee shop.
From one coffee shop, she began to receive a lot of proposals to supply to other shops. It was then she finally hired someone to help her in her business.
Sharmaine's Cakes and Pastries is located beside a soon-to-be opened restaurant, the Fat Chef, whose owner is a family friend of Limlosuy.
"The store started as a joke because of the owner of the Fat Chef said before nga 'himo ko og restaurant, then ikaw sa cake.' I thought it was a joke, so I agreed," Limlosuy said.
"I did not have any plans to put up a store because my parents wanted me to help in the family business," she added.
Sharmaine also shared how she encountered a lot of challenges when she started establishing her shop.
"Because I'm still new, I just graduated in 2016. Then I realized that the real world is totally different from school. So I had a hard time hiring people and setting up. It’s so easy to say na ‘let’s make a business’ but when you get there, daghan man kaayo og buhaton," Sharmaine said.
"So I never expected it to be so complicated but daghan diay problems mag-arise," she added.
Sharmaine shared that when they first opened the cafe last November 11, they experienced a lack of production as several people visited her shop and bought her cakes.
Another challenge for Sharmaine is hiring the right people for her business.
"We didn't learn that from school and there are still a lot of things to learn pa man gyud while doing this. That's why it became a challenge for me," Sharmaine said.
"I also learned a lot from my mistakes, example during the start, pirmi lang mi ma-short sa ingredients. So we learned to adjust to cater with the orders coming in," she added.
Despite all those, Sharmaine still feels lucky and grateful, particularly towards her family and friends for supporting and helping her through her journey in establishing Sharmaine's Cakes and Pastries.
"Thankful pud ko sa akong mga tao because wa ko nag problema sa ilaha. Blessed to have them cause they really love the company like their own," Sharmaine said.
With the season of Christmas being felt around the city, with all the Christmas parties and gatherings, Sharmaine's Cakes and Pastries offer its customers its Christmas Assorted Cupcakes which are available for pre-order staring December 12 until 31.