Yummy homemade apple pie for the apple of your eye

Literary goddess Jane Austen was said to have uttered, “Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

I certainly cannot refute the truth behind Ms. Austen’s words.

Apple pies – good ones! – do bring about feelings of happiness and contentment.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

This much-loved dessert actually originated in England, influenced by culinary traditions from France, the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire from as early as the 1390s. It made its way to the New World thanks to the European settlers. It grew in popularity and was eventually included in America’s first cookbook, American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons in 1796.

Over the years, it has become ingrained into American culture, hence the saying “as American as apple pie.”

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

It has also made its way to this country, where dessert lovers can now enjoy it in the comforts of their own home by ordering from enterprising home bakers.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

One such entrepreneur is Mark David Antonio, who started baking apple pies at the start of this year to practice baking and earn a bit of money.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

As apple pie is his favorite dessert, he infused it with his favorite elements: a buttery and flaky crust, a sweetly-spiced apple filling and a crumbly streusel topping. Together, these made for an apple pie perfect for any occasion: a show-stopping contribution to a potluck, a delightful gift to a sweet tooth, or a satisfying cap to a wonderful meal.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

It’s best served warm from the oven. You will also be treated to the wonderful apple pie aroma wafting to your nostrils as the pie re-heats in the oven, giving you a heady sense anticipation.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

You may or may not choose to top it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream to have it ala mode (I didn’t because I couldn’t wait to bite into my slice).

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

It’s also quite affordable at just Php550, so no need to think twice in treating yourself and the apple of your eye to this decadent delight.

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Just order from Mark by texting +63 956 8674914 or +63 921 4813262. You can also send him a message via Facebook. Payments via GCash and BPI are accepted. This can be delivered to anywhere in the metro, with delivery fee shouldered by the buyer.

Let this sweet treat add to your domestic bliss today!

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Apple Pie (Mark David Antonio)

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Classic kakanin from Ka Mely’s Bibingka

So much of my childhood merienda memories involve kakanin – native delicacies usually made with glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk.

You would think that we would have run out of ideas on what to make with kakanin at some point, but, no. We Pinoys have a extensive plethora of snacks or desserts that fall under this category.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

After doing a bit of grocery shopping with Hubby, I happened upon a stand selling products from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp.

This Cainta-based food business got its start when the Alcantara family matriarch Amelia – also known as Ka Mely – decided to expand her Bibingka-selling business to include the production of native delicacies. Today, it is a well-established food manufacturer with three physical stores as well as regular resellers.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

I had the idea of introducing kakanin the kiddos for our afternoon snack, so I brought home:

Bibingka (Php180 for small). The rice cake made with sticky glutinous rice topped with caramelized sugar and coconut cream.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Ibos (Php10/pc). The most prevalent suman variant which is usually unsweetened and wrapped in palm leaves. I have two ways to enjoy this suman: one is at room temperature and dipped in sugar, another is lightly fried in vegetable oil until the outside is slightly crispy but the inside is still chewy, then slathered with butter and sprinkled with sugar.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Suman sa Lihiya (Php25/pc). A suman variant which is made with lye-treated glutinous rice which is usually served doused with latik, or caramelized coconut milk.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Sure these snacks are practically all carbs but they made for a good intro for my kids for the wonders of Filipino delicacies!

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

While I got my kakanin from a kiosk, you can have your kakanin delivered to your home by ordering from Ka Mely’s Bibingka, Atbp on Facebook or Instagram or calling +63 2 85155467, +63 917 8533766 or +63 908 8876992. Payments via BDO bank transfer, GCash or COD (via pabili service) are accepted. Ka Mely’s Bibingka Atbp products are delivered from Cainta, Rizal to anywhere in the metro.

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Ka Mely’s Bibingka

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Celebrate Carrot Cake Day with this treat from Inang Charing

Did you know that Carrot Cake Day falls on February 3?

On this day, the world celebrates one of our favorite cakes which happens to have a lively and storied history.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Food historians posit that the carrot cake originated from the carrot puddings eaten by Europeans in the Middle Ages. During this time, sugar and sweeteners were quite expensive so bakers used carrots as substitutes for sugar.

In 1814, a recipe for “Gateau de Carrottes” was included first included in the book L’art du cuisinier by Antoine Beauvilliers, former chef to Louis XVI which was soon copied in competitor cookbooks until an English translation came out in 1824. Thanks to these written works, the recipe for this delectable was handed down through generations and traveled across continents so we foodies can enjoy it.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Here in the metro, the carrot cake remains a foodie favorite and many local bakers have put their own spin on it.

One such baker is Mylene Capili who operates the online bakeshop Inang Charing Cakes and Pastries. Having named her business as a tribute to her beloved grandmother, she applies modern takes to the classic dessert favorites that her store offers.

Her Carrot Cake (Php395 for sampler | Php545 for 8×8 square pan | Php1,245 for family-size 10×12 pan), for instance, like many modern iterations of the dessert, is made with freshly grated carrots incorporated into a moist and sweetly spiced cake topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting and beautifully garnished with grated carrots and chopped walnuts.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

It’s a showstopper of a dessert, definitely, and a perfect sweet treat for Carrot Cake Day.

Couple this with an order of premium Cookies (Php180 for box of three | Php355 for box of six) made with decadent Belgian chocolate. From the Classic Chocolate Chip (made with dark and semi-sweet Belgian chocolates) to the Aurum (made with white and golden Belgian chocolates topped with almond slices and Maldon sea salt flakes, these are tasty ways to indulge your sweet cravings anytime you want.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

So go ahead. Find reasons to celebrate such as Carrot Cake Day and treat your loved ones to lovingly crafted desserts from Inang Charing Cakes and Pastries.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Order now via Facebook or Instagram with a three-day lead time and pay via GCash or BPI bank deposit a day before your preferred pickup or delivery date.

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Inang Charing Cakes & Pastries

Disclosure: Items featured here were received as gifts.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Quarantine Party? Get some pizzas from Pizza X

And just like that: the year is almost over and we have already struggled through nine months under quarantine.

While the pandemic certainly is life-changing, there’s no denying that life certainly must and will go on. And with life comes all the milestones we use to mark the passage of time, such as birthdays.

Being a December baby, my son, #ExhibitB, also known as Gabe, is the last in the family to have a birthday this year. During the pre-pandemic period, the whole extended family – including grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on both sides – would usually gather at a restaurant of his choosing to enjoy good food together. These celebrations would invariably involve pizza, my son’s favorite food.

This kind of get-togethers are not possible for the meantime, so the challenge for us was: how can we have a shared pizza experience with our loved ones during #ExhibitB’s special day?

The answer: frozen pizzas from Pizza X.

PizzaX

PizzaX

This new online food business was developed by entrepreneur Cheryl Camungao during the quarantine as a way to drag her kids away from their gadgets and teach them about business and how to earn money.

Being pizza lovers themselves, her kiddos – thirteen-year-old Chase and ten-year-old Herc – set about crafting and promoting pizzas that their fellow kids would go crazy for and came up with six flavors for Pizza X which I was able to sample with the fam.

These include:

Xtra Cheesy. Made with four kinds of cheese – mozarella, cheddar, parmesan and cream cheese, this is – bar none – #ExhibitB’s favorite of the bunch!

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Pepperoni Xstasy. Hubby always goes for pepperoni pizza so this suited him quite well.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Pesto Xcellency. My daughter, #ExhibitA, was quite taken with this Italian-Pinoy fusion pizza made with basil and malunggay pesto and white sauce, topped with cream cheese and parmesan.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Tropical Xplosion. You know what: I never joined the clamor against pineapple on pizza. For me, the combination of sweet and tangy crushed pineapples with double smoked bacon, onions and bell peppers works just fine.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Angus Xtreme. Meat lovers will have much to love with this creation made with savory Angus beef, mushrooms, bell peppers and onions.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Mexican Fix. A meaty and cheesy taste of Mexico made with chili con carne, onions and bell peppers.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

All of Pizza X’s thin-crust pizzas are six inches of pizza goodness, frozen when sent to you to retain their freshness. They can be easily heated using a regular oven or an oven toaster. (Don’t worry; they come with instructions that even kids can follow!)

PizzaX

PizzaX

These pizzas can keep in the refrigerator for up to fifteen days or six months if kept in the freezer. (But if you’ve got a Pizza Monster like I do, I bet that they won’t last that long!)

You can get a taste of all these pizza flavors by getting a Xampler for Php499.

PizzaX

PizzaX

Want to make your quarantine birthday pizza party extra special? Get customized pizzas spelling out the celebrant’s name like I did! I distributed sets of frozen pizzas spelling my boy’s name to our extended family along with cheesecakes for dessert so they can all share in his favorite food.

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

Well, I do believe this quarantine pizza party is a hit!

PizzaX

PizzaX

PizzaX

To get your own Pizza X frozen pizzas, fill out this order form. An order confirmation will be sent to you via Viber or SMS along with payment instructions. Pizza X accepts payments via GCash, PayMaya, Cash on Pickup, or bank transfers via Metrobank and BDO. Pickup via delivery services will be shouldered by the buyer.

Disclosure: Samples of the six-inch pizzas were provided.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Grab helps Filipino merchant-partners grow with fresh insights, tools, and tech-solutions through Grab Unlocked 2020

Furthering its commitment to support the success of its merchant-partners, Grab Philippines launched its 2020 Grab merchant conference GRAB UNLOCKED: Opening Doors to Uplifting Your Business this New Normal. With insightful talks from Grab and industry experts, merchant-partner attendees learned about digital trends and tools to help grow their business resiliently and sustainably through digitalization.

Virtually held last November 19 and attended by Grab merchant-partners, GRAB UNLOCKED featured updates and insights from Grab’s Head of Deliveries EJ Dela Vega, Head of GrabFood and Grab Financial Group Marketing Daniel Anore, Head of GrabFood Greg Camacho, Head of GrabAds Martin Luchangco, and Grab Philippines Country Head Grace Vera Cruz. To give attendees an informative and inspiring learning session, aside from Grab Philippines representatives, GRAB UNLOCKED also featured industry experts and successful entrepreneurs to share their stories and provide meaningful insights that Grab Merchant partners can be inspired on to grow their businesses, namely Chef Margarita Forés, CloudEats co-founder and CEO Kimberly Yao, 24 Chicken co-founders Mark Ong and Jeff Sy, DITO-CME COO and Udenna Corporation CIO Donald Lim, and Unilever Sr. Omniretail Customer Manager Joselle Dela Rosa.

Embracing change to effectively adapt

Donald Lim, the Chief Operating Officer of DITO CME and the Chief Innovation Officer of the Udenna Corporation also joined the virtual conference to share how businesses can prepare for a post-pandemic world. With insights on how businesses can adapt their strategic response and the secret behind mastering a business pivot, Lim ended his talk remarking “We do not know when COVID will really be gone, but the more that we accept the reality this year, the more we can make adjustments to our business, and [sic] prepare our business, and future-proof our business for other challenges to come,” he said.

To prepare for the challenges to come, Head of GrabFood Greg Camacho unveiled the many upcoming features and upgrades to help businesses effectively adapt to the new normal. “We know that running a business is never a smooth process, and we want to be there with you every step of the way,” he shared.

Taking merchant-partners’ feedback into consideration, Camacho announced a range of features and upgrades to be launched in the coming months:

In the GrabMerchant App, merchant-partners can look forward to upgrades that will give a more seamless operations process through several new features:

  • The improved GrabMerchant Owner Profile gives access to the full suite of tools, allows easy management of employee roles, and provides a seamless shift for store profiles through multi-owner access
  • With communication upgrades integrated in the app, merchant-partners will also be able to quickly make order changes and have access to an in-app live chat for real time feedback from Grab’s support team

Outside the GrabMerchant App, merchant-partners will be able to get ample support through new platforms:

  • To give an even more efficient work process, Grab will be launching the GrabMerchant Portal, a web-based interface where merchant-partners can view and download analytics and reports on sales, operations, and campaigns. Businesses will be able to operate smarter and faster once the GrabMerchant portal starts rolling out in phases by December 2020.
  • Starting early next year, Grab will be launching the Ad Manager, where merchant-partners will be able to build and launch GrabFood ads from the GrabMerchant app in just a few minutes
  • This December, Grab will also be launching the GrabAcademy, a one-stop learning center where merchant-partners can easily access Grab merchant tutorials and courses. As Grab continues to innovate and provide new solutions for more efficient processes, the new GrabAcademy for merchants is sure to make learning much easier for its employees.
Putting safety at the core of your business

As businesses learn to adapt to the so-called “new normal,” addressing the demand for deliveries and prioritizing safety become key factors every business owner must take into consideration.

Unilever, a key partner of GrabFood in its commitment to providing safer meals, shared tips and tricks on how food businesses can ensure protection and good health of its employees and customers. With the goal of raising the bar for safety and hygiene in the food and delivery industry, Unilever Philippines’ Manager Joselle Dela Rosa talked about talked about all the cleaning and hygiene must-haves to maintain a safe kitchen— from surface sanitizer sprays like CIF to hand sanitizers like its new product Lifebuoy.

After a whole afternoon of insightful talks, Grab made sure merchant-partner attendees not only got learnings to help them with their businesses, but also a chance to win from hundreds of exciting raffle prizes. With the support of GRAB UNLOCKED’s co-presenter Unilever and sponsor Coca-Cola, some of the prizes given out were 500,000 GrabReward Points, Samsung S10 phones, Cebu Pacific round trip flight tickets to a local destination, Coca-Cola branded LED watches and cooler bags, Knorr Seasoning, and so much more!

Despite living in these unprecedented times, Grab Philippines’ Country Head Grace Vera Cruz assured its merchants that Grab will continue to be their partner in leveraging technology that can be utilized to further grow their businesses. “While we have a long road to recovery ahead of us, I am confident that by working together, we can build a stronger and more resilient economy; and it starts with every one of us fully embracing digitalization and unlocking its many opportunities,” she said.

Although today’s circumstances remain unprecedented, Grab is committed to working together with its merchant-partners to find the most effective solutions to better reach and serve their consumers. Through technology and digitalization, Grab will continue to provide its merchant-partners with various platforms that will help grow their business, such as the 2020 Grab merchant conference GRAB UNLOCKED.

To learn more about how you can grow your business with Grab, sign up to be a Grab merchant through https://www.grab.com/ph/merchant/food/

Bon Appetea Milagrosa Katipunan celebrates first year

There was a time, before the pandemic struck the metro, when I anticipated visits to milk tea cafes. I find these places quote relaxing to hang out in while sipping my chosen drink.

One such place was the Bon Appetea branch in Barangay Milagrosa along Katipunan.

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Located at the crux of Quezon City, Pasig and Marikina, it offers the metro’s denizens a haven where they can de-stress and enjoy their milk tea of choice as well as nourishing servings of comfort food.

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Before the pandemic, I dropped by to enjoy a cup of Salt & Cheese Foam Wintermelon (Php135). I’ve long been a fan of salted cheese topping on my drinks and I was glad I was able to get a taste. I also brought home a pair of Nirvana Milk Tea (Php80 regular | Php100 medium | Php110 large | Php140 extra large) for the kiddos. This refreshing combination of assam black tea and wintermelon already came with chewy black pearls.

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

A few weeks after that visit, the pandemic changed the restaurant scene forever. Bon Appetea Milagrosa was able to transition to this new normal by partnering with delivery platforms to supplement its own delivery service. It applied strict sanitation and safety protocols such as twice-a-week disinfection, footbaths, temperature scanner and alcohol dispensers as well as socially distanced seats for the riders.

With these in place, Bon Appetea was able to continue servings its customers, not just with its signature drinks but also with satisfying dishes such as its Sirloin Tapa (Php149). Tender and flavorful bits of marinated and fried beef sirloin served with garlic fried rice and scrambled cage-free eggs.

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

It also supported its local community by donating meals and face shields for the medical and security personnel of nearby Quirino Medical Center.

With dining in at restos now making a comeback just as Bon Appetea Milagrosa celebrates its first anniversary, it’s all geared up with a strong WiFi connection and spacious dining areas, ready to receive customers who will visit its premises.

Those who prefer not to leave home can still have their meals delivered via GrabFood, LalaFood and FoodPanda.

Bon Appetea Milagrosa

As part of its anniversary celebration, Bon Appetea is giving Buy One Large, Get One Medium deals on its House Pearl Milk Tea, Lemon Yakult Tea and Tropical Passion Fruit Tea until November 30.

This Bon Appetea branch is located at YDG Building, 219 Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Blue Ridge, Quezon City.

Download the Grab App and get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Download the LalaFood App and get a free delivery coupon when you use my code: BEINGJMR53.

Bon Appetea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

The Jelly List: Cookies for Christmas!

Whether for personal enjoyment or for gifting to loved ones, cookies are this season’s ultimate treats. Have your sweet bits of joy from enterprising bakers delivered right to your doorstep!

Christmas is just around the corner, foodies!

Who would have thought that the COVID19- caused craziness would last until the end of the year?

Keep your chins up, though. There’s still hope of better things to come.

MDJ Cookies

In the meantime, give yourself reasons to smile by indulging in sweet bits of decadence: cookies, of course!

From their origins in 7th century Persia, their resurgence in the New World in the 17th century, to their domination of the global dessert scene, cookies have grown to become the sweet indulgence of choice foodies worldwide.

If you’re a cookie lover, you’d be happy to know that you won’t have to travel far or even leave home to get your just desserts. You can simply order from these online bakeshops and have your cookies delivered to you.

1. Sugar Creations by Alex

Satisfy your cookie cravings with these pretty confections, particularly that potent combination of cookie and S’mores in pastry: the smookie!

Sugar Creations by Alex

Sugar Creations by Alex

To order, call +63 988 5447945, or send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

2. Inang Charing Cakes and Pastries

I’ve sung praises for Inang Charing’s Triple-Flavored Cheesecake and Strawberry Shortcake in previous posts. However, it also offers a Salted White Chocolate Caramel Cookie that boasts of complex flavors and textures.

Inang Charing

Inang Charing

To order, send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

3. MDJ Cookies

Cookies can feel like warm hugs that you can eat. At least, that’s what MDJ Cookies strive to be. Get yourself a Loaded Crinkle and you’ll agree that it comes pretty close!

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

To order, send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

4. Extra Butter

Sometimes, bigger is better! With a palm-sized cookie from Extra Butter, like its fully loaded Double Chocolate Milk, there’ll be a lot of cookie goodness to go around.

Extra Butter

Extra Butter

To order, fill up this form.

5. Kica Bites

Fancy a return to the homey goodness of an all-time favorite cookie? Grab a piece of Kica Bites’ Original Chocolate Chip and enjoy the sugary buzz.

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

To order, fill up this form.

6. Bake Boss

Cookies do help in spreading the joy of the season. Take Bake Boss’ chewy and buttery Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, for example, which is perfect to serve to the little ones along with a glass of milk to elicit a few smiles.

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

To order, send a message via Instagram.

7. Casa Bakes

Christmas is a season for celebration and your cookies can be part of the cheery mood. Get yourself a monster-sized Birthday Cake Cookie and enjoy the festive combination of white chocolate and colorful sprinkles.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

To order, send a message via Instagram.

Given the variety of cookie options available this holiday season, you can easily treat yourself and your loved ones with yummy cookie creations. By ordering from these enterprising bakers, not only will you be sating your cookie cravings, you will also be supporting small businesses and the dreams of their owners.

And that’s a sweet thought, isn’t it?

Bake Boss

Happy holidays, foodies!

Photo credit: header image by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

From bits to pieces: making an impact with Neil & Marter’s handmade wearable art

Neil & Marter aims to influence people in supporting the slow and ethical fashion movement through handcrafted accessories using upcycled materials. The brand is launching a crowdfunding campaign to introduce a limited-edition collection together with artisans from Marikina City

A startup fashion brand proves that it’s possible to be socially and environmentally responsible in a fast fashion-driven world.

Neil & Marter was born out of curiosity and environmental wellness by interior designer Mark Boni Marter and aspiring fashion designer Neil Capistrano.

It started with the abundance of scrap materials from Bon’s interior design studies. Conscious of how fashion waste hurts the planet, they thought of maximizing the use of oddments of genuine vegan leather and fabrics to create wearable art.

Armed with basic leather crafting tools and techniques, the creative duo produced their first batch as gifts to family members  “At first, I wanted to craft everyday accessories like bags, wallets, and cardholders out of Bon’s luxury leather collection,” Neil shares. “One day, my mom requested a pair of earrings for her, my aunts, and cousins. We had fun with the learning process and ended up making 25 pairs.” 

This led them to venture into an ethical fashion social enterprise that caters to modern and eco-conscious fashionistas who value the origin and process behind the brands and products that they support.

While they have different art styles, Neil and Bon share their love for personal self-expression through ethical fashion, making a positive impact on the environment, and a strong desire to create opportunities for the local crafting community.

Bon explains, “I’m into modern pop art, art deco, and abstract while Neil likes contemporary art and minimalism. At Neil & Marter we infuse our preferences with architectural details and symbolic representations of cultural diversity. We conceptualize and execute designs ourselves, handcrafting each one with care.”

“Being mindful in using leather and fabric scraps is one of our core values,” adds Neil. “People throw away the excess or off-cuts but we save every bit and try to incorporate it in our future designs. This extends to our choice of hang tags and packaging.”

Their three collections of artful dangles feature food and pop culture references: Whimsical (Kabuki- & Oblina-inspired), Juvenescence (Legos and Rubix cube), and Food for the Soul (breakfast food items and fruits). These unconventional but chic pieces caught the attention of fashion editors from various publications, social media influencers, as well as ANC’s On The Money Entrep Lab.

The brand is currently expanding its product line with mixed medium repurposed accessories of patchworks, geometric bags, and wearable art shoes. The Cattle’s Cradle collection will be launched and exclusively available for purchase through a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign on the Spark Project website starting October 28, 2020. The items will be produced in collaboration with women artisans of Marikina City who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with campaign supporters receiving their limited edition pieces by December 2020.

Beyond the aesthetic statement products, Neil & Marter strives to redesign how people think about fashion, renew the appreciation for our local makers, and restore people’s confidence in self-expression. They are in the business of saving the earth (and the creative industry), one piece at a time.

Find @neilmarter on Facebook and Instagram.

Gift your loved ones with goodies from Bake Boss

It will be a different Christmas this year, won’t it?

We won’t be able to gather with friends and family, travel to our favorite haunts, nor have boisterous merrymaking.

The holidays may be subdued but the Christmas spirit should still be alive and well through the time-honored practice of gift-giving.

Presenting our loved ones with yummy treats is one way to keep sweetness in this world gone awry.

Bake Boss

Take Bake Boss’ baked goodies, for example. Made with love by thirty-seven-year-old baker Earl Reyes, these sweet somethings should give your nears-and-dears a bit of sugar rush that will usher in some holiday cheer.

Aside from her involvement with the family construction business, Earl busied herself with her hobby since high school: baking. She whipped up baked goodies for family, friends and coworkers during the height of the quarantine, and, bolstered by her husband’s encouragement, eventually launched her online food business in May of this year.

Bake Boss’ homemade sugary treats include:

Chocolate Banana Muffins (Php347 for 6 pieces | Php573 for 1 dozen). Moist and chocolatey muffins with the naturally rich sweetness of bananas. Gift this to avid chocolate lovers and banana loaf fans.

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Php297 for 9 pieces | Php360 for 1 dozen). Soft, buttery and chewy oatmeal cookies with the fruity tanginess of raisins. Be a Santa and treat the little ones to a plate of these yummies along with a glass of milk as a reward for being good kids all year.

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

It’s never too early to plan out your presents for your family and friends. So be sure to make a list and check it twice, then order your foodie presents from Bake Boss via Instagram at least two days before delivery date. Cashless payments via GCash are accepted.

All of Bake Boss’ goodies are freshly baked and can be delivered from Paranaque to anywhere in Metro Manila via Grab, Lalamove, Happy Move, MoveIt, Angkas, Mr Speedy and others (delivery fee charged to buyer).

Christmas may be different this year, but with sugary treats as delicious holiday gifts, it can be just as sweet as it always has been.

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Spread the sweet goodness of Kica Bites cookies

A little bit of sweetness can go a long way, wouldn’t you agree?

A little bit of a warm hug, a little bit of a winsome smile, a little bit of a happy thought… All these are little bits of joy that we can spread around, especially during these trying times.

After all, the quarantine can’t lock down our merry vibes, can it?

That’s why we should take every opportunity to spread little bits of sweetness to the people around us.

Take the cookies from Kica Bites, for example.

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Made with love by newlyweds Kim and Carla (hence the name “KiCa”) who discovered baking as their “quaranthing,” these confections are the sweet treats that are sure to brighten everyone’s day.

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Baked in small batches in their HQ in Rizal, Kica Bites cookies come in two signature flavors:

Original Chocolate Chip (Php209 for box of 6 | Php269 for box of 10). It’s hard to resist biting into a buttery cookie studded with chocolate chips, with just a hint of a crisp at the edges and chewy center . So why bother resisting?

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Triple Dark Chocolate with Walnuts (Php229 for box of 6 | Php289 for box of 10). Get ready for chocolate overload with this fudgy chocolatey cookie!

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

Can’t choose between the two flavors? Why don’t you go for a Mixed Box (Php279) with five pieces of each cookie variant?

Kica Bites

So the next question is: how can these sweet cookie delights find their way to you?

Kica Bites

Simple: just fill out this order form, then wait for the order confirmation as well as Kica Bites’ payment details. Pay via BPI, Union Bank or Gcash then send proof of payment. Kica Bites cookies may be delivered from Rizal to anywhere in Metro Manila everyday or within Cavite on weekends.

These cookies are great for dessert a meal or as an accompaniment for your cuppa on your coffee break.

Kica Bites

With the holidays fast approaching, you can spread some joy and love by giving a box of cookies to your nears-and-dears so that they can bite into some sweet goodness too!

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Hoppity-Poppity Carrot Cake from Chrissy Bakey

We’re nearing the end of the first of this year’s “-ber” months and you know what that means…

The holidays are upon us!

Despite the quarantine restrictions and the near-constant worries we momshies saddle ourselves with, there’s no denying that this holiday season presents us with the challenge of making it one to remember for the right reasons.

And what better way to celebrate all that we have accomplished despite the odds this year than to enjoy great food with our nears-and-dears.

Homemade desserts, in particular, do more than just inject us with a bit of sugar rush. They bring us back to those simpler and carefree times when the highlight of our days were biting into a sweet slice of heavenly cakes.

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

That’s what thirty-seven-year-old Pasig-based entrepreneur Chrissy Caballero hopes to achieve with her online bakeshop Chrissy Bakey.

Having been a home baker for ten years, she grew her business from her habit of baking sweet treats for her son’s snackbox and whipping up cakes for family celebrations. After experimenting with various dessert recipes, even setting baking challenges for herself, she decided to quietly launch the Chrissy Bakey in late 2019, using the brand name when taking on orders and requests during the Christmas season.

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

She was gearing up to make 2020 her banner year…

…and then the pandemic happened.

Though initially discouraged by the stresses brought about by the pandemic while also juggling a full-time marketing job and overseeing her son’s online learning at the same time, Chrissy finally started selling her desserts again during the ECQ, then formally launched Chrissy Bakey into the world during Indepence Day this year.

Chrissy Bakey offers whimsical takes on classic dessert favorites.

The creatively-named Hoppity Poppity (Php650), for instance, is her version of the all-time favorite Carrot Walnut Cake. An eight-inch round pan of moist and sweetly-spiced carrot cake highlighted by chopped walnuts and raisins then topped with a rich cream cheese topping, it will surely get the kiddos (and some of the grown-ups!) hoppin’ for another slice or two.

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey also caters to chocolate lovers with Mom’s Legendary Chocolate Cake. Other treats such as Lemon Bars and Red Swirlies are available upon request.

Chrissy Bakey opens up slots for these yummy creations every Friday and Saturday. To order, send a message via Instagram. Payments via BPI and GCash are accepted. Chrissy Bakey’s goodies can be delivered to anywhere in Metro Manila via Grab, Lalamove and Joyride (delivery fee to be shouldered by customer).

So momshies, how about we give our loved ones a taste of our fellow momshie Chrissy’s yummy dessert creations over the holidays?

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Chrissy Bakey

Disclosure: Product sample was provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

New food delivery app DeliRush launched in San Juan and Mandaluyong

With a persistent drive in widening its food partner and customer touchpoints while adapting to the new normal and changing customer habits, DeliRush is determined to showcase the flavors of home kitchens and restaurants and to offer local food choices to customers.

Actively operating in the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Baguio, DeliRush, a new food delivery service app, achieves yet another milestone as it expands a branch in the prime areas of San Juan and Mandaluyong. Launched this September 2020, DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong is set to acquire and empower local and small foodpreneurs and offer a wide range of food selections to its residents.

As an innovative online platform, DeliRush offers an opportunity for food partners to share their menus and for customers to conveniently order food from an array of neighborhood-favorites and have it delivered at the comfort of their homes.

The DeliRush App

The DeliRush App is a food delivery platform that allows customers to discover an array of food choices and order them conveniently from the app found in Google Play for Android users and App Store for iOS users. Catering to the customers’ cravings, users can order meals or food products and have it delivered at their homes within San Juan and Mandaluyong areas.

Upon downloading the DeliRush App, with a user-friendly interface, the customers can register and activate their app accounts. The ordering process starts with the customer entering the delivery address, selecting meals or food products from preferred home kitchen or restaurant, and placing the order. The order will then be assigned to a rusher partner, the delivery riders of DeliRush. The food partner will be notified and will prepare the order to be picked up by the rusher.

DeliRush App Download Links

For Android: www.bit.ly/DeliRushPHonGooglePlay

For Apple: www.bit.ly/DeliRushPHonAppStore

The DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong Difference

DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong believes in the potential of every deli – from home kitchens to restaurants. In a tech-driven generation especially during the current pandemic wherein people are encouraged to stay at home, food delivery has been considered as essential. “Offering services in the spirit of empowering local foodpreneurs and supporting them amidst the pandemic, DeliRush is an enabler and supporter for small food businesses and riders in the localities of SJM,” Mr. Noel Lucas, General Manager of the San Juan-Mandaluyong Operations Hub, says.

With a number of huge competitors in the food delivery app services industry, DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong is focused on bringing local food choices to its customers. In this way, small food businesses are highlighted and customers have the opportunity to discover new eats and support local foodpreneurs.

Partnership with Jackie Lou Blanco

DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong has partnered with Ms. Jackie Lou Blanco, a veteran actress, fitness and wellness advocate, columnist and women’s health supporter. With DeliRush San Juan-Mandaluyong’s official launch last September 10, 2020, Ms. Blanco also launched her new peanut butter line, Jackielou’s Gourmet Nut Butter Artisan.

Like many Filipino professionals, Ms. Blanco, as an actress, has been affected by the pandemic. Given the current situation and with Ms. Blanco’s love for peanut butter, Jackielou’s Gourmet Nut Butter Artisan has been created with the help of her daughter-in-law. Handmade at home, Ms. Blanco sports four peanut butter variants – Sugar Free, Choco Nut, Cinnamon, and Cashew peanut butter.

jackielou's Gourmet Nut Butter Artisan

DeliRush is the exclusive delivery partner of Jackielou’s Gourmet Nut Butter Artisan for San Juan and Mandaluyong. Residents from San Juan-Mandaluyong can now order Ms. Blanco’s peanut butter products through the DeliRush app. For orders from other areas in Metro Manila, customers may visit Jackielou’s Gourmet Nut Butter Artisan’s official Facebook page.

#QuarantitaTreats: Pinoy and proud bubble tea drinks from Boba Unibers

Rain or shine, it’s always a good time for a boba tea.

These delish concoctions can give us a much-needed sugar boost to get us going, or refresh us after a hot or grueling day.

Boba (“bubble”) gets its name from the chewy pearls made of tapioca soaked in sugar syrup that look like dark bubbles which add texture to your drink.

Boba teas originated from Taiwan in the 1980s when the smaller pearls were used for milk teas. An enterprising shop owner then decided to use larger pearls in a bid to make his offerings stand out.

Boba teas then made their way across the globe and soon established a foothold in the Philippines with new shops offering all sorts of bubble tea variants opening every month.

The newest of these boba tea shops is Boba Unibers, managed by twenty-seven-year-old Jacques Michael Buenviaje together with his partner, twenty-six-year-old Katrina Mikaela Laygo.

Boba Unibers

Both were working in a five-star hotel in BGC when the pandemic struck the metro. They decided to leave their hotel jobs and forge new paths for themselves, which, luckily for us boba tea lovers, includes launching Boba Unibers.

As you can discern from their business’ moniker, #PinoyPride infuses their business and product concept.

By incorporating local flavors and ingredients to their boba tea offerings, they bring milk tea fans like us fresh ways to enjoy our favorite drink while tapping into our sense of nostalgia (plus they also help local farmers by sourcing their coffee beans and muscovado from them).

Being good to the environment is also high on their list of priorities. Not only do they eschew the use of single-use plastics, they also made use of reusable glass jars and edible straws (made with rice and tapioca) which scored major points with my environmentally-aware daughter, #ExhibitA.

Now let’s talk about Boba Unibers’ drinks, shall we?

Wintermelon (Php75). Made with BU’s special tea blend, caramel-y wintermelon syrup, milk, house syrup and boba. #ExhibitA reserved this boba as soon as she saw it.

Boba Unibers

Taro (Php75). Made with BU’s special tea blend, taro, milk, house syrup and boba. A creamy masterpiece of a drink! (And cutely light purple too!)

Boba Unibers

Champorado (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, tablea rice milk, house syrup, powdered milk and boba. Who would have thought that our favorite chocolatey breakfast item would taste so good in boba tea form? My son #ExhibitB snatched this up as soon as I was done taking photos.

Boba Unibers

Pandan Yema (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, milk, pandan yema syrup and boba. A mix of the mild taste of pandan and the milky salted caramel-like taste of yema made for a candy-like sweet drink.

Boba Unibers

Salted Pistachio (Php110). Made with pistachio syrup, caramel sauce, caramel syrup, Kievit and Lipton Tea. This milky and slightly nutty drink will satisfy pistachio lovers.

Boba Unibers

Cold Brew Milk Tea (Php85). Made with BU’s special tea blend, milk, cold brew coffee and boba. This woke me right up from my mid-afternoon stupor.

Boba Unibers

These are just a sampling of the many possibili-teas that Boba Unibers has launched into the milk tea stratosphere, with more flavors to come as Jacques and Katrina continue to experiment with new flavors and ingredients.

Boba Unibers

So #quarantitas (or #quaranTEAtas?), let’s help these young entrepreneurs raise our flag and bring the spotlight to the unique flavors we Pinoys love by supporting Boba Unibers.

Boba Unibers

To order, call +63 906 3485071 or message Boba Uniberse on Facebook or Instagram. Cashless payments via GCash, Metrobank and BDO, as well as cash on delivery, are accepted. The jars of milk tea can be delivered from Cainta to Rizal and Metro Manila areas via GrabExpress, Lalamove, Mr. Speedy, Angkas and Joyride (to be shouldered by the buyer).

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Aiah makes selling online easy for small businesses

In the Philippines, small and micro enterprises form 98% of businesses. Out of 1 million SMEs, only ten percent are online, and out of this pool – only one percent have a website. 

However, the average Filipino spends almost 10 hours a day online and ninety-seven percent of these internet users are on chat apps such as Facebook Messenger.  

This is a wide gap – and gives a big opportunity for these small businesses to reach this wide audience of consumers. However, small businesses think that automation is too expensive. 

This is why the Aiah Commerce platform was built.

With Aiah, a small business can build a fully functioning commerce platform on chat in just thirty minutes. The digital store can automatically speak to customers so it frees up time and effort for the business owner.

It can also easily track orders, payments and deliveries in real time. Business owners can also update product and service information in a few clicks. They can even send rewards to loyal customers. 

As small businesses have the potential to help uplift the economy at this difficult time, they need to all the help they can get. Therefore, automation should be easy and accessible for small business owners in the Philippines.

Aiah believes in using tech for good. To help more small businesses grow today, it is currently offering its services for free.

Sign up at the Aiah website or inquire via its webpage.

Image and details provided by Aiah.

#QuarantitaTreats: Lasagna from Kuki’s Fudtrip

With the holidays just around the corner, we #quarantitas are already on the lookout for tasty dishes we can serve the fam for the bevy of celebrations this time of year.

While most of us can whip up a pasta dish or two with ease, lasagna is a bit harder to produce.

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Lasagna originated from Italy (as many yummy things do!) and dates back to the Middle Ages. It is made with stacked alternating layers of flat pasta, ragu (ground meat in tomato sauce) and cheese. The dish is usually assembled in a deep baking dish and cooked in an oven like a casserole. The name lasagna is said to be taken from the Ancient Roman word lasanum or “cooking pot,” the cookware in which the dish is made.

Kuki’s Fudtrip

I attempted to make my own lasagna a couple of years ago and I got rewarded for my efforts with hard noodles that the fam wouldn’t touch. Needless to say, I stayed away from my culinary kryptonite.

That doesn’t mean, however, that my family’s craving for this dish has abated.

This is why I’m so glad that I can just have a tray of delicious lasagna delivered to me – no effort required in the kitchen – thanks to Kuki’s Fudtrip.

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

The woman behind this new online seller has actually been in the food business since 2007. Forty-six-year-old Maria Victoria Buenviaje started by selling ihaw-ihaw, managing a carinderia and catering to small gatherings.

When the quarantine started, she began selling merienda items such as pancit, turon and halo-halo.

At her daughter’s suggestion, she offered food trays of lasagna and other specialties online which were met with high demand and lots of orders.

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

From single orders of merienda items, she has transitioned to selling food trays, of which, the lasagna is the best-seller… and rightly so!

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

The aroma of the rich beef sauce and cheese greeted me as I peeled off the tray’s aluminum foil cover. Upon slicing into the lasagna, I saw the appetizing sight of layers of al dente noodles, meaty beef sauce and thick béchamel. A bite of this dish resulted to an explosion of flavor in my mouth.

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

The fam and I polished off most of the half-tray during our merienda. (My baby boy requested for a portion to be set aside for him for dinner – and I couldn’t say no to my baby!)

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

This Lasagna Special Tray (good for four to five people) sells for Php400 while a regular tray sells for Php700.

Other food trays available include:

  • Pancit: Bihon (Php400), Canton (Php400), Malabon (Php500) and Sotanghon Canton (Php500).
  • Pasta: Baked Macaroni (Php500), Carbonara (Php500), Tuna and Mushroom (Php500)

Call in your orders to +63 906 4330991 or message Kuki’s Fudtrip on Facebook two days before delivery date. Cashless payments via GCash, BPI and BDO are accepted. Delivery is free within Village East, Cainta; for other parts of Metro Manila, delivery can be booked at Grab or Lalamove, to be shouldered by the buyer.

So #quarantitas, why don’t you treat the fam to a tasty meal and order a tray?

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Kuki’s Fudtrip

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business: