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  • She Had Celeb Clients Already, But She Wanted To Help Fellow Breastfeeding Moms

    The idea for the lactation treats came to her during her pregnancy.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
She Had Celeb Clients Already, But She Wanted To Help Fellow Breastfeeding Moms
PHOTO BY courtesy of Marjorie Tong
  • Sweet Success may be 21 years in the baking industry, but it wasn’t until January 2020 when it added lactation treats for breastfeeding moms in its roster of baked goodies.

    The idea came to Marjorie Tong, Sweet Success’ managing director, during her pregnancy to her now 8-month-old son, Dylan. “It was my passion project as a breastfeeding advocate. I wanted to help fellow mommies increase their milk supply,” she says.

    Marjorie says she had to do primary research, competition, check, product trial and error, and product sampling to gather feedback in developing a product line. To complement these, she also had to find answers on target market, price points, and packaging.

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    “The challenge we encountered was how to make the products delectable and healthy. We had to determine the right amount of galactagogue ingredients needed to boost milk supply without affecting the taste of the product,” she shares.

    To test the new product’s effectiveness, Marjorie says she had to try them herself to understand how it works. “Right after I gave birth in November 2019, I started testing the product. We also gave samples to breastfeeding friends to get feedback and see the effect of the lactation treats,” she says.

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    Aside from Lactation Brownies and Moist Chocolate Lactation Cookies, Sweet Success offers Oatmeal Lactation Crackers, a first in the Philippine market. The products use milk-boosting and highly-nutritious ingredients: brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, and oats.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Marjorie Tong
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    It makes Marjorie happy that the lactation treats have been receiving good feedback and testimonials from fellow moms. “It’s definitely an effective product when there are repeat purchases,” she says.

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    Like many establishments, Sweet Success has felt the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. Thankfully, baking became one of the industries that saw a significant boost since the lockdown, turning many housewives into baking entrepreneurs in a matter of weeks.

    “The lockdown affected our sales, but it also presented opportunities,” says Marjorie.

    “We had no staff during that time, and we only offered limited products. However, the situation leveled the playing field for bakers, and we tapped new clients. We saw an increase in demand for desserts, birthday cakes, and quezo de bola ensaymada.”

    Marjorie says Sweet Success has done celebrity cakes for Cristalle Belo, Angel Locsin, Piolo Pascual, Patty Laurel, China Cojuangco, Boy Abunda, Mikaela Martinez, Liz Uy, among others.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Marjorie Tong
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    Marjorie with her husband, Bryan, and their son, Dylan.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Marjorie Tong

    How to make your hobby into a serious business 

    Marjorie shares Sweet Success’s secret to its longevity as well as practical tips that will shift baking from mere hobby to serious business.

    You need at least Php 100K

    That is the realistic start-up capital for a long-term baking business, Marjorie says. “Major equipment will be an oven and table top mixer. You have to invest in quality equipment.”

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    Be open to change and address market needs

    Listen to what your customers are suggesting. Marjorie says Sweet Success started selling desserts and added a new line by offering customized celebration cakes and goodies. “Eventually, we ventured into hands-on workshops for cooking, baking, and cake decorating. There is always room for growth if you know how to identify opportunities.”

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    Digital is the way to go

    “Since we don’t have a physical store, we maximized our online presence. We started with Multiply then we shifted to Facebook, Instagram, and we developed our own website. If you want to broaden your market, online is the best platform.”

    Establish good branding

    Even if you are a home-based business, you need to show you run it professionally. Sweet Success invested on packaging, product photos, social media content artwork, and good customer service. “Ask yourself how you want your brand to be perceived.”

    Dream big

    “Be passionate about what you do. If you love what you do, everything else follows.”

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