In 2013, I started a cake shop that specialized in making customized cakes, cupcakes, and sugar cookies. It was a novel idea then. At that time, there were only a handful of people who were into the craft and the business. A friend introduced me to cake decorating, and I took a liking to it. So even if I had zero interest and experience in the kitchen, I liked how it challenged my creativity and dexterity that I encouraged myself to learn it. I didn’t take any formal baking or decorating lessons at all. At that time, YouTube was still a bit new but already very useful, so I watched tons of tutorials, bought lots of cake decorating and baking books, and baked every recipe that caught my fancy, and fed my friends lots of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies.
Soon enough I learned enough to start a business, and I started getting customers. Backed by my experience in customer service and my natural interest with the internet, I was able to build a following through Facebook. People started finding me through the social media site, not only by word of mouth. I started getting inquiries from people living outside the city and even those living outside the country. An OFW mom who could not be home for her child’s birthday, a foreigner boyfriend who wants to send his girlfriend a surprise gift, a son based out of the country whose parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary — these were mostly the type of clients who reached out to me through Facebook.
At first I only offered cakes (and other desserts), but soon clients started requesting dishes for small parties, balloons, stuffed toys, a bouquet of roses, or some random items that they would want to give to their loved ones. This inspired me to specifically reach out to people who are living outside Dumaguete City but who would like to join in the celebrations back here at home. I created a Facebook page that I called Dumaguete Gifts For You for this purpose.
Whenever I deliver our products to the recipients and see the look of surprise and happiness on their faces, I feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. It makes me happy to be part of my client’s celebrations and memorable events.
I thought that the pandemic would greatly affect my business. But as people got trapped in foreign countries due to lockdowns, more and more people reached out to me to send their love to family, friends, and lovers for every occasion that they missed. I realized that my job of keeping people connected mattered and that I should make the whole process quick and easy. Recently, I established a webstore to make ordering quicker, and I started offering online payment methods for my clients’ convenience.
My main goal in opening Dumaguete Gifts For You is to bridge the physical distance between friends, loved ones, and families through gifts. Clients can still be a part of celebrations even if they are miles away. Dumaguete Gifts For You aims to connect people and preserve relationships and keep feelings alive.