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Desserts Online: Success via Multiply

Constant attention to detail has made this food business stand out in cyberspace.
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Many people follow in their parents’ footsteps, but Mari Muñoz and her daughter Miren took the opposite track. Miren has been an avid baker since her teens, making cookies and other goodies in her spare time, usually at the request of family and other relatives. Miren was paid for her work, but it was love for baking that drove her to experiment and develop other tasty creations. “Eventually, friends took notice and started ordering as well,” Mari relates. Miren enlisted the help of her mother, and the pair kept things simple by buying ingredients based on orders and using equipment found at home. “It was a little difficult, especially when the big orders started coming in, but it was fun and certainly doable,” Muñoz shares.

In April 2007, Miren—who was then in her final year at university—signed up for a Multiply.com account, with an eye to spreading the word about her baked delights. Her project became a fledgling enterprise called Miren’s Dessert Express, with Mari on board as partner. And as with all startups, it hit some bumps along the path to growth. One challenge that it had to deal with immediately was consistency. “We also had to come up with a standard for our goodies. When you bake for the house, it doesn’t matter that one cookie is smaller than the other, or the brownie is not cut evenly. But to look professional, this had to change,” Muñoz says.

Going online proved to be a shrewd move: three years later, the business has hundreds of customers in Metro Manila, the provinces and abroad, including retail outlets that sell its products. It also has a wider selection of treats: from revel bars and chocolate cream cheese squares to dulce de leche brownies and French apple pie, there’s something for every type of sweet tooth—even the sugar-free kind.

The year 2010, however, ushered in major changes. Miren got married in March and has relocated to Bacolod, leaving her beloved venture to her mom. Without its creator, the business’s name has also been simplified to “Dessert Express.” And Muñoz, who has spent most of her professional life doing marketing work and public relations for the insurance and telecommunications industries, found herself running a home-based enterprise.

Page 2: Skepticism and the absence of a physical store


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