"TASTE of Home" at the Matina Town Square (MTS) strip, just like other businesses begun from humble beginnings. It started as a home-based bakeshop business in Manila in 1994, catering to office employees in Makati City.

A year after, couple Malou and Orly Mangcupang decided to move to Davao City upon the prodding of Malou's late father -- architect Roman Solitaria.

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They continued with the business with family and friends as their regular clients. After being exposed to several requests and increasing demand for their home-made ensaymada, empanada, cassava cake, Malou's brother, Obet, surprised her with a business opportunity -- a reserved stall at MTS where Malou could have a permanent and legitimate shop for her home-made goodies.

The opportunities were just there and they were already producing bulk orders so it was the time to create their own brand thus, the birth of "Taste of Home" on August 15, 2000. They are one of the pioneers of MTS and still going strong after 10 years.

Malou, a BS Nutrition graduate of St. Scholastica College in Manila, recalls how she acquired the passion for baking and cooking.

"Grade 3 palang ako nakabuntot na ako sa Mommy ko when she moves in the kitchen to bake and cook for the family," Malou said adding that they are a big family of nine siblings who loves to cook and eat.

Her dad, who loves to cook as well especially Japanese cuisine.

"Taste of Home" is Malou's mom dream realized. Her and Orly's passion for baking and cooking made it work.

The magic of taste of home is not about loud advertising or frantic promotions. Now on its 10th year, "Taste of Home" still capitalizes on uncompromised product quality above anything else. It is widely patronized for quality consistency.

That explains too why up to now Malou and Orly are still hands-on bakers. "I cannot afford to delegate the preparation of bakeshop products."

Malou admits she finds fulfillment and satisfaction in old clients who keep coming back to the shop and referred customers.

In managing business, Malou believes in good karma. It is not fate. If one sows goodness, then one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil.

Years from now, Malou hopes for one of her two sons involvement in the business. "Sana makuha ni Carlo (eldest son who is now a college freshman) and dedication and passion to keep 'Taste of Home' going," Malou added.

"Taste of Home" that has indeed grown from just a quaint shop. Not bad for a couple who took a lot of humble but confident steps that can spell long-term success.

"Taste of Home" is open Mondays-Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.