Emma Ytol’s penchant for baking delicious ube treats began almost by accident. Coming from a family of ube lovers, she decided to experiment by trying ube halaya as filling in a regular chiffon cake. To her surprise, her family and friends love her creation, which led her to try her hand at starting a small cake business. She started selling to friends, relatives, and neighbors, personally baking her cakes from home. After years had passed, the demands for Emma’s ube cakes had increased tremendously, even outside her home town, so she decided to put up her own store, Emcy’s Sweet Things Cake Shop, with 10 employees to start. “Partnering with a mall like SM is one of the best marketing strategies we did since SM is well-known nationwide. We were able to expand our market”, shared Ytol. Because of their established customer base, operations weren’t hindered by the lockdown during the period of community quarantine.
Despite the success during the quarantine period, Emma Ytol place the health of her employees as a top priority. “Most of our employees are from Villanueva. So, instead of commuting everyday or renting a house in CDO, we offered them a free stay in our own home with free meals and free transportation everyday from Villanueva to other branches using our private vehicle”, she shared.
To Ytol and the rest of the team at Emcy’s Sweet Things Cake Shop, the pandemic served as an opportunity to strive for more in life. “If you want your business to continually grow, do not stop innovating products because more competitors are sprouting and your product might be left behind.” she shared.