There’s this saying that the “Success of your friends is your success,” and I couldn’t agree more. That is why I am so excited to share this post. This time around, it will not be about my story or experience, I want to talk about the story of a forty something mom of two who turned her passion for something where she wants to excitedly get up every day.
Catherine Pangilinan-Vallesteros, who is fondly called as Cathy was my high school classmate, after we became very busy in building our own family and we were all occupied with our adulting responsibilities, we lost touch. Thanks to Facebook Messenger and Viber, we realized that it is never too late for us to catch up, technology truly helped us to make up for the lost times. Since 2017, along with all our other high school friends, it has been part of our daily routine to check and update each other.
When I came to Philippines to attend our high school reunion, Cathy and I were both working on to become good financial advisors, but when lock down started in March 2020, she can’t go out to do business, that is when she had more time to spend in her kitchen to try some new recipes to cook and bake. And because she loves baking, she started to bake something different outside the usual cookies or banana bread that moms like me will usually think of making for her kids.
The ube-cheese pandesal made rounds in the social media way before the pandemic, but when lockdown started it became a trend as many have hopped on the bandwagon and started producing and selling their own versions of this pandesal. Being the passionate and creative person that she is, Cathy came out with her own version of the delectable Ube Cheese Pandesal. Little did she know this will open the door for her baking creations.
After her Ube Cheese Pandesal and her other versions of pandesal made a big hit not just in her neighborhood but to other people who saw her baked-goods in Facebook and Instagram she cooked up the idea of taking her skills in baking into another level. While everyone are staying at home during the lockdown, Cathy did some serious research about the pastries that she have tried when she will go on a work-related trip or a family trip to Europe and Asia. With the help from her husband to figure how much she needed to charge based on how much the ingredients cost, encouragement and support from her siblings and 2 kids plus the great feedback and tips from her friends who are expert bakers and who have tons of experience in food business, a spark was lit, she became more determined to bake and to create.
A decision was made and Cathy went for it – Cathy’s Homemade Creations was born.
As Covid-19 virus spread around the world and just when the time when other would say that it seems to be the worst time to start a business, this woman took it differently. She proved that “necessity is really the mother of invention.”
One year later, Cathy’s Homemade Creation is not just known for Ube Cheese Pandesal but it is now more popularly known for various pastries like kopi buns, cookies, khachapuri, pork floss, Japanese milk buns, anpans tarts and cheesecake but of all the ones that she created, she is best known (not just in her neighborhood but all over Metro Manila) for her babkas, kolaches and Korean Cream cheese Garlic Buns (KCGB).
Food always bring happiness and togetherness in a family, and that’s exactly what I want to give to every person who will try my pastries”.
The past one year, wasn’t smooth sailing, when she first started, she also had dissatisfied customers and she also received discouragements. But for Cathy, dreams are achievable and doable. She believes that, “the only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”
And when I asked her, what does she want to share to anyone who will read this story, this is what she told me, “I wouldn’t not have gotten this far into baking if it weren’t for the pandemic. But I always try to make the best in every situation, in one way or another, everyone was affected by this pandemic. This kind of situation challenged us to find the good out of it. Food always bring happiness and togetherness in a family, and that’s exactly what I want to give to every person who will try my pastries”.
You can find her in Facebook: Cathy’s Home Made Creations and Instagram: @cathys_homemadecreations
1 thought on “Baking Her Way Through Pandemic”
Great story Cristina. Looking forward to reading more stories from you. Happy anniversary to you Cleng! Congrats and keep it up