The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Filipinos to think out of the box when it comes to staying productive and earning extra income. With this, many have started venturing into doing online selling as it is the most feasible line of business amid quarantine protocols.
Two of these individuals who are trying their hand at online selling are Reyson Dela Cruz and Mark Bantoy. Both chemical engineers, Reyson and Mark have spent many years working in different places abroad. But due to the suspension in work brought about by the pandemic, the two were among those who were sent back in the Philippines to be with their loved ones.
Now seeking for alternative ways to earn, Reyson and Mark thought of sharing their experiences abroad with others through Flourfield Bakes and Cakes—a budding online business that serves different kinds of desserts across Metro Manila. What made them pursue the plan? Reyson tells My Pope their story! (Read: 5 Easy Korean Meals for Work Week Lunches)
Tell us more about Flourfield Bakes and Cakes.
If the battlefield is to soldier, then Flourfield is to baker! For us, Flourfield is the arena where we can scoop, mix, fold, and bake. But many people interpret the branding as a wordplay for “flower field” versus “flour field,” which literally means “a land full of flour/desserts.” (Read: Meet the millennial who co-authored The Maya Kitchen’s ‘Guilt-free Desserts’)
What was life like before the pandemic and Flourfield?
We are chemical engineers often dispatched to several places abroad for site assignments. We’ve tasted a lot of food and experienced different flavors, but we really have this special inclination for sweets. Another thing, both Mark and I agree that if we’ll be reincarnated, we’d love to wear chef’s hats instead of hard hats! That’s why when we were sent back because of work suspension, we both thought that now is the best time to pursue our passion and share our love for sweets through Flourfield.
How has being a chemical engineer helped you with your online business?
Baking is the most precise cooking method. Our knowledge of heat transfer, product development, and food/chemical production is an advantage in how we achieve the moistest cakes, silkiest ganache, and chunkiest cookies. And, a good baker should know his math well, too! (Read: This group of engineering students is literally bringing light to an indigenous community in Bulacan)
How do you overcome the struggles of starting a business amid the pandemic?
We are engineers by day, bakers by night. Time is really a struggle as we heat up our oven at 6pm and cool it down by 2am. Then we have our 7 am to 4 pm job while squeezing in deliveries during break times at the office. We also have to do sales and marketing in between. (Read: A Millennial’s Tip on How to Start an Online Business Amid Pandemic) Despite the hard work and sleepless nights, our best reward is the overly satisfied customers who keep coming back to Flourfield for their desserts. It is our passion for sweets and the overwhelming love that we receive that keep us alive.
What are your bestsellers? Do any of them have a special memory attached to it?
Our best seller is the Nero Noche Moist Cake—a rich, dark chocolate cake topped with velvety ganache, and dusted with premium cocoa powder—our version of the chocolate pudding that we always buy at a local bakery in Uzbekistan. Our cookie flavor is another favorite. It is inspired by the Russians’ and Central Asians’ love of nuts and fruits. We use them to cut the richness of the butter and bring nutty and acidic notes at the end.
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Thicc ??? Nero Noche available in half size servings. Good for 2-3 pax, not enough for 1 choco maniac. #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocal #flourfield #cookiesph #dessertph #whattoeatph #yummyph #foodiesofinstagram #gourmanila #dmfoodseries #kainpilipinas #foodinfluencerph #foodstagram #pinoyfoodie #spotmyfood #spotph #discovermnl #cookies #dessert #homebaker #forkspoonmanila #wheninmanila #dreamcake #moistcake
As we also spent a few years working in Japan, we were able to also imbibe some of their values. I’d like to believe that the generosity and quality of our products are fairly influenced by the Japanese metropolitan. So to speak, all of our Flourfield creations are influenced by different cultures! (Read: Pinoy Migrant Makes Headlines for Stunning Photos of Life Canada)
What is your advice to others who also want to start an online business?
There is no perfect time to start your business but now—regardless of whether there is a pandemic happening or not. We may not be fully established yet and are still in the iteration phase, but the important thing is we are searching for ways to cope amid the heaviness and negativities that keep dragging us down. That, in itself, is already a success story. So, stop all the hesitations, the right time is now!