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Epen's Baked Goodies Shop

Ms. Jennifer Caluza Contic is the proprietress for the Epen’s Baked Goodies. She is one of the 120 target beneficiaries of livelihood seeding kits under the DTI Livelihood Seeding Program - Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB) in Atok, Benguet.

The recipe to a baking story.

Ms. Jen, as she is called, is a part-time bookkeeper at the Benteo Timpuyog Credit Cooperative or BENTICCO. Despite having a job that focuses more on documents and calculations, she has an undeniable passion for cooking and baking. And with that tiny spark of passion and love for food, she encouraged herself to start learning the basics of baking and pastry making.  

The first step: starting simple with pancakes. Pancakes were Jen’s first exploration into the pastry world. And why not? It only requires simple ingredients with non-complex methods of preparation. For weeks, she crafted various pancakes, with her family as her food critic and clients. Deeming herself as a master, she was ready to move on to more complex food items.

The second step: Research and apply. Jen wanted to broaden her skills. And just like any person, she started her quest with a simple search online. Scanning through multiple web pages, Jen slowly stacked her knowledge on baking. And little by little, she applied her learning by practicing baking. Just as the fires in her oven burned bright and strong, Jen’s passion and the fire continued to burn. 

Determined, she purchased the materials and equipment for her baking—from pans, and bowls to measuring cups. Jen was prepared to make her passion her means to support her family.

The third step: Be on the lookout for opportunities. Starting a business is not easy, luckily for Jen, she was at the right place at the right time. In 2020, she was one of the mentees in skills training for baking under the Department of Trade and Industry. Through the training, she was able to add to her baking knowledge, which she applied and practiced at home. With improved goodies, she was able to gain new customers, especially for her cookie and cake products.

In November 2021, the Negosyo Center Atok held a two-day training on baking at Poblacion, Atok, Benguet for the Proper Población Women’s Association, where she is a member. Through the training, she gained new knowledge in making a variety of bread, muffins, cookies, pie, and lastly, ice cream. 

The fourth step: Be grateful. Jen received ingredients for baking, including, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, shortening, whipped cream, and a stand mixer under the DTI NSB program. According to her, this is an additional capital that will significantly help her continue her journey in the baking industry.

Finally, her baking story. Jen expresses her delight to the Department of Trade and Industry for their continuous help to the entrepreneurs, especially for start-up businesses. For her business, she hopes that she will continue to improve and learn new things in baking to provide the best bread and pastries for their barangay.


By: DTI Cordillera Administrative Region

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