Having just returned from culinary school and a stint in one of New York City’s finest patisseries, the most logical thing would have been for Sonja Ocampo to put up her own store and start selling her products.
Instead, she held in her reins and started baking only for special friends, building her own small business in the comforts of her home. It wasn’t until a space was offered to her by the top management of Ayala Malls in their then soon-to-open Fort Bonifacio development project, Serendra that she finally decided to put up her own shop where she can showcase and sell her special cupcakes.
“The secret is doing it when you can,” says Ocampo, adding that someone else could have pioneered the cupcake business in the country and would have successfully done so. “Cupcakes were a growing trend worldwide, even here in the Philippines. Anybody could have started it here.”
The success story of Ocampo, who has made Cupcakes by Sonja a household name, is a perfectly mixed combination of luck and hard work. But it was more of hard work that helped make her brand of cupcakes a household name.
It has been eight years since she opened her store at Serendra, but until know she admits that she still has to master the ins and outs of the business. “It is something that you have to learn along the way. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.” Currently, Cupcakes by Sonja has seven stores across Metro Manila, including its first.
*This is an updated article (originally published on July 8, 2011). Photos from Cupcakes by Sonja's FB page.