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Award-winning barista, nakapagtayo ng cakes, pastries, coffee shop sa puhunang PHP1K

by KC Cordero
Nov 23, 2022
Gwyneth Gabay in front of a coffee kiosk
Isang award-winning barista si Gwyneth Gabay, na nakapagpatayo ng negosyo gamit ang PHP1,000 na kanyang natanggap bilang Mother’s Day gift. Katuwang niya ang kanyang asawa sa pagpapatakbo ng Leonora's Cakes and Pastries.

Simple lang ang tagline na naisip ng mag-asawang Gwyneth Gabay at Mark Louie Puda para sa kanilang business na Leonora's Cakes and Pastries: “Make your occasion extra special through us.”

Matatagpuan ang Leonora's Cakes and Pastries sa Nagtipunan, Quirino Province, pero una itong sinimulan nina Gwyneth at Mark Louie sa Bolinao, Pangasinan noong 2020.

Gwyneth Gabay and her husband

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Napilitan silang ilipat ito sa Quirino nang magkasakit ang ina ni Gwyneth na si Aling Leonora.

Sa kasamaang palad ay pumanaw ito.

Ani Gwyneth sa panayam sa kanya ng Philippine News Agency, “Sobrang painful sa amin ng pagkamatay ni Mama.

“Gusto naming fresh lagi ang alaala niya at hindi namin siya makalimutan.”

Dahil doon, isinunod niya ang pangalan ng negosyo sa kanyang namayapang ina.

Aniya, gusto niyang iparamdam sa kanilang customers ang pagmamahal at pag-aalaga na naranasan nila mula sa ina.

“Sobrang warm ni Mama na parang naipaparamdam pa rin namin through our coffee shop.”

STARTING THE BUSINESS

Ibinahagi ni Gwyneth na nagsimula ang kanilang negosyo sa Nagtipunan sa isang produkto: cream puff.

Ang puhunan na kanilang ginamit ay PHP1,000 lang, na regalong natanggap niya noong Mother’s Day.

“Luckily, Louie has the equipment which he was able to acquire when he was running a school canteen in Bolinao.

“But when we moved to Nagtipunan, we could not carry this equipment, so we used our aunts’ ovens instead.”

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Photo of customized cake

Mula sa cream puff, nagsimula rin silang tumanggap ng order para sa customized cakes.

Ani Gwyneth, doon na medyo nakilala ang kanilang business.

“Due to the lockdown, people are not able to buy from other towns so they opted to try us. And they liked our products so much that most of our orders are repeat orders.”

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Sambit pa niya, “But the very first cake we made in Quirino was for my mom’s birthday.”

Aminado siyang hindi ang pagtatayo ng Leonora’s Cakes and Pastries ang una niyang plano.

Gusto sana niyang mag-migrate sa Canada, magtrabaho roon, at mag-aral ng culinary arts.

“And eventually move our family there. But God has other plans.

“At first, I was really frustrated. But, little by little, I came to understand that God has a purpose in all these.”

Pinagbigyan din kasi niya ang hiling ng kanyang ina na patuloy na magsama-sama ang kanilang pamilya kahit yumao na ito.

BUSINESS EXPANSION

At mula sa mga cakes and pastries ay mas lumawak ang negosyo at dumami ang produkto ng Leonora's.

Bukod kasi sa mister ni Gwyneth, katuwang din niya ang kanyang ama at dalawang kapatid.

Dating barista si Gwyneth at nakalahok na sa mga kumpetisyon sa United States at London, at sa iba pang bansa.

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Ginamit niya ang mga karanasang ito sa paglikha ng mga bagong produkto na gumagamit ng "local ingredients" pero "international standards in taste.”

Food and drinks being offered at Leonora's

Kabilang sa ipinagmamalaki ni Gwyneth ay ang smoked bacon and ham at black garlic na kasama sa breakfast menu.

Must-try rin ang kanilang pasta, cold beverages, at coffee.

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“The smoking process we use is the traditional smoking process of the Bugkalot Tribe of Quirino.”

Noong 2021 ay nakilala nina Gwyneth si Lampel Alonzo na isang dating overseas Filipino worker.

May lumang bahay si Lampel sa Maddela, Quirino, na kanyang ipina-renovate at naging hang-out area ng mga residente.

Nagkasundo sila na magkaroon doon ng space sina Gwyneth.

Leonora's coffee

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Doon na nagsimulang makilala ang Leonora’s Coffee Shop.

Nabanggit din ni Gwyneth na sinuportahan sila ng local government unit (LGU) ng Nagtipunan at ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“DTI supported us with online training and seminar, and even involved us in competitions.”

Itinanghal ang Team Leonora's bilang kampeon sa Panagdadapun 2022: Agro-Industrial and Tourism Fair, na ginanap mula September 7 hanggang 11, 2022.

Ang mga naging pambato nilang produkto ay ang Leonora’s Black Sandwich, Bignay Wine with Homemade Ginger Ale and Blue Ternate, Latte, Cappuccino, at Black Garlic Mocha coffee.

Sa kasalukuyan, may binubuong coffee-tourism project ang Leonora’s Cakes and Pastries katuwang ang kanilang LGU at ang DTI.

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Isang award-winning barista si Gwyneth Gabay, na nakapagpatayo ng negosyo gamit ang PHP1,000 na kanyang natanggap bilang Mother’s Day gift. Katuwang niya ang kanyang asawa sa pagpapatakbo ng Leonora's Cakes and Pastries.
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