From pastry hobbyist to rising entrepreneur

From pastry hobbyist to rising entrepreneur
Photos from Miggy Melendrez

Starting a business has never been easy, with uncertainties and challenges making it more demanding than ever. 

However, 25-year-old Miggy Melendrez has overcome these difficulties and strives to be an efficient and successful entrepreneur in a competitive landscape. 

Her relationships with God and her family keep her grounded, and she finds ways to be unique, kind, and humble within her community and among her peers.

It all began in college when she started selling homemade pastries. Baking had been a hobby since high school. "I took a liking to it during my TLE class. I love the art of baking and realized I could make a living from it," she said.

After graduating from Ateneo de Davao University with a bachelor's degree in Business Management, she applied her knowledge to her business, building her brand 'Cookiephile.' The company specializes in soft and chewy freshly baked cookies, known for their visual appeal and delicious taste, earning praise for their uniqueness.

However, Miggy’s journey wasn't all happiness and success. She faced her fair share of struggles. 

"The unbearable responsibility of managing a business became bearable. I am humbled by my journey as an entrepreneur—I was pushed to my limits countless times," she shared. Despite anticipating more struggles in the future, she looks forward to many breakthroughs.

Miggy has two secret weapons for facing setbacks and challenges: talking to someone she trusts and talking to God. She always has her supportive family, partner, and co-managing directors to help her, reminding her that it’s okay to ask for help.

“As a strong and independent woman, I find it hard to ask for help because I feel like a nuisance. But these people told and showed me otherwise. For them, I am forever grateful. Talking to God has been my natural medicine for my anxieties in life. I always find it relieving to lift all my problems to him. Using these two methods has helped me proceed and succeed in life many times,” she added.

When asked about her most noteworthy experience, Miggy said, “I think the real breakthrough began after the pandemic. We were invited by a prestigious mall in 2022 to put up a temporary kiosk in their premium space for five months. This allowed us to build brand awareness and expand our business.”

They opened their first cafe in Obrero. Fast forward to 2024, they decided to step away from the cafe concept and embrace a new business model. “My team and I have been working silently for months on this new concept, and we’re excited to launch it in June 2024,” she said.

Looking towards the future, Miggy Melendrez aims to expand her business internationally, steadily working towards this goal. Praised for the uniqueness of their cookies by foreign customers, she shared, “We (the Cookiephile team) are optimistic that our upcoming project launch will open doors towards it.”

Miggy advises fellow entrepreneurs in Davao City to treat their business like a baby—if you can't care for it properly, don't start it. This is particularly relevant for those aiming to make their business their main source of income in the long term. 

She acknowledges that this might sound discouraging, but it's a reality that many successful entrepreneurs don't publicly share. While starting a business may initially seem like a blessing, real challenges bring a different kind of stress. Starting small is easy, but growing a business is challenging yet achievable if done correctly.

Miggy encourages entrepreneurs to start by finding something they enjoy and can profit from, as this provides a long-term purpose. This sense of purpose will sustain them through the inevitable challenges. A clear vision and mission are crucial for maintaining business stability. 

Additionally, she said the right environment is vital—surround yourself with people who are smarter and share the same vision and mission. Though there's no guaranteed path to business success, it is attainable through consistent hard and smart work. NRO

For more details, check her social media accounts: FB: 

fb.com/cookiephiledvo

IG and TikTok: @cookiephiledvo 

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