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That Sweet, Sweet Tooth
Written by: Excel V. Dyquiangco
 
Sweet Success, so-named because of its positive connotation, offers baked goodies, personalized designer cookies, celebration cakes and cupcakes, and other custom made products for you and your child’s special occasions. But what makes this online bake shop unique, aside from being in the industry for eleven years now, is that it’s all a family affair.
 
“During the early years, it was mostly my husband Felix and I who were hands on in the business,” says owner and baker Zeny Tong. “I did the baking while my husband was the one who marketed our products.  It was only in October 2008 that my daughters joined the business - Melissa (eldest) and Marjorie (youngest).  Marjorie is now handling the business full time.  On the other hand, Melissa, a banker, helps us with the business during weekends.”
Zeny, who enrolled in a culinary and pastry school and took up business classes, started her career in catering before venturing into baking. She recalls that when her second daughter Marissa was in college, she needed to sell a product for one of her marketing classes, and then, the baker in her just couldn’t resist. Instead of the usual chocolate chip cookies, she devised and developed a special chocolate meringue bar that was well-liked by her family and friends. Up to this time, the famed bar is still considered to be one of her bestsellers in her shop.
 
Aside from the chocolate meringue bar, other products that Sweet Success offers are the following:  chocolate Pecan Bar is a chocolate cake sliced into bars covered with a bitter sweet chocolate glaze and topped with pecan halves; checkerboard is a combination of chocolate meringue and chocolate pecan bars in a box. Banana Walnut Loaf is a loaf filled with walnuts and mixed only with fresh bananas and serve chilled or warm while the Chocolate Chip Cookies are a combination of healthy oats and chocolate chips for that energy boost. Chocolate Marshmallow Clouds are heavenly mallows that melt in your mouth complete with chocolate chips and the Chocolate Chip Muffin is a vanilla flavored muffin filled with lots of chocolate chips. The Handcrafted Designer Cookies are a selection of different cookie designs in every shape possible while the Celebration Cakes and Cupcakes are just designed for your special occasions.
Among all of these cakes and cookies, which one is the most challenging to make? And why is it so?
 
Daughter Marjorie says that the hardest part is molding 3D characters because she has to capture all the details and make it into a miniature replica. “I had to handcraft each character using gumpaste and this is shaped by hand,” she says. “Each character takes around one to two hours to make, depending on the complexity of the design.”
 
For kids’ birthday parties, Marjorie says that they accept any design request depending on the theme – including barnyard animals, name tags, Sesame Street characters, Dora the explorer and her comrades, Michael Jackson memorabilia, Mickey Mouse and friends, Winnie the Pooh characters, Hello Kitty, Disney princesses and others.
 
And the cost of these cakes and cookies? It all depends on the type of frosting (whether it's fondant, buttercream or fluffy icing), number of layers and design. They also offer lots of cupcakes party packages, which clients can choose depending on the number of cupcakes that they need. Thrown in are the freebies such as additional cupcakes or cutting cake depending on the type of package that they want to avail of.
“All our cupcakes also go with free non edible photo toppers,” Marjorie says. “We also handle delivery and setup.”
 
Definitely their success has been sweet, and Zeny still wants to achieve more for their business like tapping the provincial market. “Eventually, my ultimate goal is to take this business internationally,” she says. “I'm also setting my sights in exporting some of our products.”   
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