1HE ONE: Who is Señorita Dulce

This was written by CBAA Biznews writers Ma. Luisa Relon, R-Jay Rapadas and Rea Mae Quitevis  in 2011. With the publication’s permission, VoicePoints is publishing this business feature in full.

At 24, her passion for baking and determination to go into business led her to a fortune she’d never imagined. The former Ms. CBAA is now a successful owner of the popular house of foods, Señorita Dulce, which is located at Taleb, Bantay, Ilocos Sur. She graduated Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Major in Management Accounting in 2003. Maria Jennifer is ready to take again the spotlight as she gracefully inspires us with her story.

Biznews: Who is Maria Jennifer? 
Ma. Jennifer: I’m simple and hardworking. I love to experiment with pastries.
Biznews: What is Señorita Dulce? What are the features of your business? 
Ma. Jennifer: It’s a 24-hour food bus stop. We offer baked products like brownies, cassava, torta, bibingka and macaroons. We also offer breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.
Biznews: What made your business distinct from other existing establishments? 
Ma. Jennifer: We consistently maintain the quality of our product in spite of increasing prices of raw materials.
Biznews: What inspired you to put up your own business? 
Ma. Jennifer: Since baking pastries is one of my passions. I was encouraged to establish a business like this. Although I’ve never experienced to be employed, running a food business is not new to me because my family owns one which is Ilocos Sur Food Corp.
Biznews: Since it’s your first time to establish your own business, what are the marketing strategies you are using? 
Ma. Jennifer: Since we are along highway, we’ve offered discounts to bus companies to make them patronize our store. Florida bus line is one of our major customers.
Biznews: With your daily hectic schedule, how can you balance your time between family and business? 
Ma. Jennifer: Baking with my son.
Biznews: What are the challenges your business is facing? What are your plans?
Ma. Jennifer: Strong competition and development of product lines are the challenges we are facing. My plans are to expand and to build a hotel.
Biznews: To end up, what advice and motivation you could give to those aspiring entrepreneurs? Can you confer words of gratitude to people who served as your inspiration? 
Ma. Jennifer: To those aspiring entrepreneurs, you should have your full determination in order for you to achieve success. I’m not that vocal person but I can proudly say that I’m never left behind in terms of quality output. I believe that it’s better to build your own business than to be employed. I want to thank the Lord for His blessings, my loved ones for being my inspiration, to my Mama for lending me my business capital and guidance, to my employees for without them I can’t make it and to UNP for continuously producing quality graduates.
This 2014, Maria Jennifer launched her SD-Coffee Shop.
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About the Author

R-jay Rapadas
R-jay RapadasLifestyle Desk Bureau Chief
Rjay is a Management Accounting graduate from the University of Northern Philippines. He now works at a consulting firm. Rjay was a member of the Editorial Board of their college publication. He maintains his blog on Tumblr.