Nikki Valdez is proof that achieving your dreams has no age limit and deadline.
When she’s not taping for the ABS-CBN series Sana Dalawa Ang Puso, she’s busy with her cake business Miss Buttercream.
Her two-year-old “baby” was hatched in the late 2000s when she lived in Canada.
The 39-year-old star told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via text messaging, “I have a sweet tooth and love pastries (i.e. cakes, cookies, crinkles, brownies, etc.).
“My interest in baking started decades ago when I was still living in Canada.
“I was not able to finish my BS-HRM course in college, so I wanted to take certificate courses in baking, but was not able to do it as well until 2014, when I stumbled upon a brochure for cake decorating in a Living Well branch.”
Her initial plan was to see first how things would go.
Nikki continued, “I said I would try just one class, but eventually took all four classes.
“Hindi talaga baking ang kinuha ko kundi cake decorating, but our instructor, Chef Jackie Ang-Po, injected basic baking lessons in between.”
(Chef Jackie Ang-Po is a TV cooking show host and owner of the pastry shop Fleur de Lys.)
Next, she found herself baking goodies for some friends, and got positive responses—which gave her the push she needed to put up Miss Buttercream, start taking orders, and join bazaars.
“I once took up a cake decorating class with Valeri and Christina of Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes when they flew in to Manila to teach the art of making flowers and designing a cake using buttercream—which is a kind of icing that has butter in it.”
(Valerie Valeriano and Christina Ong are owners of Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes, which is based in London, and authors of three best-selling books on buttercream.)
Nikki added, “Out of all the kinds of icings I have tasted, I found buttercream to be the most tasteful and yummy, so I said, if I start my own business in baking, I will make sure to incorporate buttercream into it.”
When Nikki started in 2015, she only had classic butter and red velvet cocoa. She added more flavors three years later, and has since gone beyond cakes.
“I am trying to come up with more flavors to choose from.
“My specialties would be the Classic Butter Cake for butter and vanilla lovers and for the chocolate and cocoa lovers, I have the Red Velvet Cocoa flavor for them.
“We also have our chewy muscovado and vanilla cookies, choco loco brownies, and our signature baked polvoron with the same variant as our cakes.”
Price starts at PHP800.
CHALLENGES. According to Nikki, a minor hurdle she faced was that she was not a “business-inclined person.”
In a previous interview with PEP.ph, she admitted, “Wala sa isip ko na yung magiging business talaga siya.
“I just wanted to try it and know how to decorate.”
Back to the interview via text messaging, she recalled consulting a lot of people along the way.
And when it started picking up, she realized it was not as simple as she thought.
“It was actually a breeze in the beginning, but as orders and clients picked up, I had to face challenges in logistics, delivery and time, juggling my days for taping and baking.”
MILESTONES. On her third year as a businesswoman, she’s proud to have clients “inquiring until 2020 for weddings and other occasions.”
The response has been overwhelming, and is “something I never would have imagined happening.”
The Kapamilya actress said, “Dati, iniisip ko kung may mag-oorder ba sa akin, pero ngayon, unti-unti nang nakikila si Miss Buttercream.”
Slowly, she’s also thinking about expanding to meet the demands of her clients.
“I used my personal oven to bake, but now, I have already purchased an industrial oven to be able to cater to more orders.
“And we are starting to look for additional people to work for us and maybe a small place to have my own store.
“All in God’s perfect time, I know we will get there.”
Nikki’s heart is full, thanks to the messages of her clients.
She wrote, “The most fulfilling part of Miss Buttercream is when our clients send pictures of their celebrations and milestones that we are a part of, and when they go out of their way to send a message of thanks.
“Nothing beats the feeling of seeing happy clients.”
Of course, being known as Miss Buttercream is also a “big thing” to her.
But the most rewarding part of her job, aside from profit, is “when home bakers and online mompreneurs tell me I inspire them thru my creations and hard work.”
Interview: Chez Ganal