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These Kids Come Up With Ideas For Mom’s Cake Business And Get A Cut Of The Profit
PHOTO BY courtesy of Chef Kerri’s Baking Room
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    Within a year of starting her baking home-based business, Chef Kerri Ong-Guico's eye-catching and indulgent cakes have earned her a large following, including celebrity clients like Sarah Lahbati, Ruffa Gutierrez, Jinkee Pacquiao, and Dr. Aivee Teo.

    Not many know, however, that an entire category of her menu was developed by her kids. Miguel, 11, Mikayla, 9, and Zach, 3, came up with Chef Kerri’s Baking Room's Funfetti collection.

    How to raise entrepreneurial kids

    Anytime the kids have new ideas, they submit a proposal with the cake's name, how it will look, and the flavors. If Chef Kerri (aka mom) likes the idea, she tweaks it a bit. And once the proposal is approved, mom and kids do the food costing together. The kids get a royalty fee of P500 per order and put 90% of their earnings in the bank.

    (From left) Miguel pitched the Gummy Funfetti cake. Little Zach thought of the Ice Cream Sundae Funfetti Cake. Mikayla came up with the Classic Funfetti Surprise cake. When the cake is sliced, sprinkles come flowing out!
    PHOTO BY Chef Kerri’s Baking Room

    Chef Kerri has made a point of developing her kids’ business savvy from an early age. Miguel and Mikayla already have a basic understanding of capital and profit-and-loss statements.

    When they were 6 years old, Chef Kerri encouraged her kids to try their hand at selling cookies in their village. She brought them to the baking supply store to buy ingredients. But she also told them, “You have to give me back the capital, okay? Then you have to pay Dad for the electricity.”

    Instead of depositing their money for them, Chef Kerri took them to the bank once her kids turned 7 years old and let them fill up their own deposit slips.

    “It’s important that they deposit their money themselves and have a passbook so they can see the credit to their account and their balances,” she explains.

    Once they were older, Chef Kerri helped them calculate revenue and the cost of goods. “Now, when they want to sell something they always say, ‘How much do I need to pay you?’ Then they will compute,” she says.

    Teaching kids about money

    Since she doesn’t give her kids toys or gifts apart from their birthdays and Christmas, Chef Kerri's kids are motivated to earn money to buy the things they want.

    Before the pandemic hit, Miguel would bike around the village to sell cookie tubs on weekends. He declared, “I will not come home until ubos na the tubs!” and didn’t allow anyone to accompany him.

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    Chef Kerri's nieces contributed ideas as well. (From left) Gabriela, 11, dreamed up this mouthwatering Molten Chocolate Funfetti Cake, while Lexi, 14, came up with the Crystal Lagoon Funfetti Cake.
    PHOTO BY Chef Kerri’s Baking Room

    When Mikayla wanted to sell garlic bread, Chef Kerri wasn’t sure it would work out. But to her surprise, when she posted about Mikayla’s garlic bread, the orders came flooding in! After that Mikayla made her own logo using Canva and created an Instagram account, @mikaylaguico, dedicated to selling her bread.

    “I just left her to do it, I didn't even tell her to go change this one or whatever. Choose the colors, [do]whatever you want, because I feel that it's hers,” Chef Kerri says of her daughter who, again, is just 9 years old. 

    Whenever customers tell Chef Kerri they want to order garlic bread, she asks Mikayla if she will do it. After all, the point is for her to be responsible for her own business.


    Once, Chef Kerri had a shipment bound for her hometown of Cebu, and a lot of her friends wanted Mikayla’s garlic bread to be included in the shipment.

    “It was kind of short notice, so I said, I’ll try my best to ask her because she has classes,” Chef Kerri recounts. “Then she goes, ‘Mom, can you be my partner 50-50? You make it while I’m in class. I have a class so I can’t finish all these orders.

    “So I was happy that she was thinking, ‘I don't want this to go to waste. But how can I do it? I need to partner with you.’ Nakakatuwa.”

    Letting kids do things on their own

    Chef Kerri, who used to work for prestigious restaurants and hotels in the U.S. before becoming a full-time mom, knows a thing or two about putting up your own business. She knows, however, that for kids to get the basics of being an entrepreneur, you need to let them have fun, use their imagination, and avoid babying them.

    “We often want to teach our kids how to do things properly, but they may find the business stressful instead of fun if we're too controlling. Just let them be creative, don't stop them from what they want to do.

    “I'm OC but I really learned how to just let them be, but with limits. For example, [I tell them] ‘You have to clean up after’ then just let them explore.

    “I think it’s more like an expression of themselves when they bake. Let it be more of a fun experience for them.”

    Mother’s Day marks Chef Kerri's Baking Room’s first anniversary and has a special collection to celebrate: cakes topped with floral arrangements or coated in 24K gold leaf!
    PHOTO BY Chef Kerri’s Baking Room
    Check out @chefkerrisbakingroom on Instagram.
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