For Andy Vergara Caguitla of EJ’s Sweet and Desserts, the more colors, the more sellable ‘kakanins’ become. The entrepreneur worked on improving the humble ‘kakanins’ we often see in markets and made them presentable and more appealing. His strategy worked in no time as he gained a strong following of loyal customers who supported his ‘kakanin’ business.
“We have a factor that makes us happy, but we don’t have to say that we don’t have a lot of money,” Andy shared on GMA’s Pera Paraan.
Andy started his ‘kakanin’ business in February 2020 online. It was the height of the pandemic, and almost all businesses were going online. He thought of doing the same and tried to come up with a unique product to sell.
“On social media, on Facebook, nakikita namin puro pagkain ang binibenta pare-parehas, Nag-aagawan sila sa customer,” he said.
“Kaya nagisip ako ng isang pagkain or kakanin na hindi pa nakikita dito sa amin sa Batangas,” he added.
Andy decided to sell puto bao, a kakanin that originated in Quezon Province. It’s made of ground malagkit with a bukayo filling. To give the puto bao its unique look, Andy came up with the idea of elevating it and making it in different flavors.
Their puto bao now comes in five flavors: plain bukayo, buko pandan, mango, strawberry, and yema.
Aside from puto bao, you can also buy a special bilao filled with other kakanins like buko pandan kutsina, palitaw, bullet palitaw, pichi-pichi with cheese, buchi with sesame seeds, sapin-saping, and sumang pinipig.
According to Andy, you don’t need much to start a ‘kakanin’ business. They only started with a capital of P500 to P1,000.
Since then, Andy has felt blessed that their business is doing very well. They now have loyal customers who never fail to order repeatedly when they have special occasions. Last December and during peak seasons, Andy can earn as much P100,000.
How To Make Puto Bao
First, mix the ground malagkit and shredded coconut meat. It’s best to choose the local ‘murang niyog’, meaning fresh, young coconut.
Add the white sugar to the mixture. Mix well and a little coconut oil to bring it together. You can start adding food flavorings.
Fill a puto molder with a small amount of the puto bao mixture. Add bukayo in the middle for the filling. Add more mixture to completely fill the molder.
Start steaming the puto bao for 40 minutes. Serve once cooled.