I met this very sweet lady, Raquel Chua and her husband Jon, in one of the workshops of Manila Workshops. Since I saw her passion for her business and the twinkle in her eye when she was talking about her products, I decided to interview her for the Mompreneur interviews section of this blog.

Mompreneur Raquel Chua, Pastry Chef of Mama Chows “A Mom’s Delight”

EON_1895

EON_1906
Here is her story…

Ginger: Can you tell us a more about yourself, Raquel?
Raquel: I love to eat sweets like merengue (the one that you can buy at a local market), chocolate cake, warm leche flan (it has to be warm), breads and chocolates. But I only like eating, not making those. I remember that I started baking at the age of 10. I would go with my mom while she attended her night classes at a local public school. I made my first cheese cupcake at the age of 8, but after that I lost interest.

Choco Pistachio Cookies

Choco Pistachio Cookies

Now, you may be wondering, why am I a baker? During my OJT, I was assigned in the pastry department for 3 weeks. I fell in love with their chocolate chip pistachio cookies (from a famous hotel in Manila who serves chocolate cookies). The chef told me that he saw potential in me and if I can prove myself, he will give me his recipe. I took the challenge, and of course, I got the recipe. After that, I began to take interest in baking again. I worked for my mom as her assistant baker. I was just baking cheese cupcakes for her and molding ensaimadas. Then, eventually she taught me her ensaiamda recipe, and I took over. I studied baking at CACS and Heny Sison for short courses then formally enrolled at the Essential Baking at the Heny Sison Culinary School.

004

Right now, I am a mom to my 2 year old baby boy named Saffron Matthew B. Chua. During my pregnancy though, I had GD, hypothyroidism, asthma and had to undergo 3x a week non-stress test. My pregnancy was very delicate and expensive. My husband (also a chef) and I decided to name the baby after the most delicate and expensive spice (just how my pregnancy was). My husband Jon and I are married for 3 years, but we were going steady for 12 years; thus, we have been together for 15 years.

I worked for a pharmaceutical company and was handling the healthcare program. I would go to different companies and offer free blood screening and then after that we package vaccines/medications for them and consultations for diseases like Hepa B, Hypertension, Diabetes, and Asthma. After a year and half with them I resigned and focused on baking.

Ginger: So are you a full time mompreneur?
Raquel: Yes!

Ginger: Any hobbies?
Raquel: Baking, I like collecting containers (Subconsciously! Aren’t we all?). Seriously though, I love fixing our house, I also love anything ‘crafty’. I am also trying out bento box for my Saffron and playing with my toys (Sylvanian Families). I’m into week planning menu, too. My advocacies are anything for ‘the children’. May it be wellness (I am pro breastfeeding), manners (the use of po and opo), education and early love for reading books. I have been supporting World Vision and Bantay Bata for 3 years now.

Ginger: Any goals in life?
Raquel: Our goal is to have another baby (hopefully, a baby girl and this time around and I pray it won’t be that delicate), to own a house (not on a condo, scared of earthquakes), to be financially stable and to travel (in our house we live by this… LOVE is spelled as TIME).

Ginger: Now, on to your business? Can you tell us more about it?

Cookie-Group-012
Raquel: It’s called Mama Chows “A Moms Delight” under the company name Mama Chows Food Express. We provide gourmet *ge-lai meals, lactation pastries for mommies and regular pastries good for everybody.

*To know more about ge-lai, please refer to this explanation by my mom blogger friend, Jen of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom (Po-ge-lai and Breastfeeding)

Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Raquel: I first started as Raquel by GinQuelRuS or GinQuelRuS Pastries for the regular yummy pasties I do. I have been included in ABS-CBN FOOD Magazine Present Perfect from 2001 to 2012. I make hand-rolled ensaimadas, cheese cupcakes, bars and cookies. I went by this name for 10 years. Then 2 years ago, we changed it to Mama Chows. With Mama Chows we started while I was pregnant, I made lactation cookies as gifts for friends and as preparation for breastfeeding. When it was my turn, my husband and I made a deal that I will undergo ge-lai only if the food served would be yummy. Ge-lai tradition is almost at a flat line. Friends were asking us to make it for them and that’s when we started the gourmet ge-lai, which eventually converted my GinQuelRuS recipes and transformed them to lactation pastries for the moms. And now we stick by the name Mama Chows, so not to confuse everyone.

Ensaimadas

Ensaimadas

Ginger: Who is your market?
Raquel: Chinese mom’s who will undergo ge-lai. Mostly Moms who are either breastfeeding or moms who is looking for yummy & preservative free pastries for their kids.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea?
Raquel: When we were still pregnant. We learned that we can cut hereditary illness by 50% if we breastfeed for 2 years. That was our main goal, to give our child somehow 50% advantage. Everything was set on stone that we will breastfeed our child. Then came the news that I will undergo ge-lai, which means I will not be allowed to eat veggies, fruits and drink water. We researched and research and I had stumble upon lactation cookies & Medela house. At that time, the lactation cookies available were not that yummy. So my husband said, “Why don’t you make yours since you are a professional baker?”

Cheese Cupcakes

Cheese Cupcakes

Ginger: So What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Raquel: Friends were requesting me so that they can give these out to their friends. Then we started selling.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur?
Raquel: It was less for me because I have been baking for almost 13 years now. The hard part was perfecting the formulas. In baking you have to have balance. You start with an idea, then come the combination of flavors that you only formulate in your mind. You, then, execute and bake this and patiently wait for the results. If it is good then, congratulations. If its bad, then we have do it again. Baking is different from cooking since in cooking, you can re-adjust everything at the same time. Another concern is shelf life and storing these goodies. After that, comes the formulation of nutritional facts and the literature that comes with it.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Raquel:
a. Passionate: She has to be passionate with what she is doing and knows what she wants.
b. Hungry for knowledge: One should never stop learning; this will help her grow.
c. Organizational skills: She has be to organized in all aspects, may it be with her filing system or in her house. She needs to be determined that she really wants this and that this is not something she’s making because everyone is into it now (i.e. online selling). She has to be focused with her priorities.

Baking Couple

“Being a mom and wife is 24/7. I would drop everything for my family, literally everything.” ~ Raquel

Ginger: Any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Raquel: We have to set our priorities straight. There was a time when I was so into baking and attending to other moms’ breastfeeding concerns that I neglected time with my son and husband. Now, I set my own limits. Being a mom and wife is 24/7. I would drop everything for my family, literally everything. I also made a schedule and I stick to it.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Raquel: Don’t let others tell you want you can and cannot do. You are the only one who can decide on that. Empower yourself. You can achieve everything and anything you want as long as you put your heart into it.

Ginger: Thank you, Raquel, for going through this interview with me. I will you more success!

Mama Chows Contact Information:
Website: under construction
Email address: mamachows@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0917.3220926
Facebook Page: facebook.com/mamachows (Ginquelrus Pastries)
Twitter account: twitter.com/mamachows

I am amazed at how parties of kids have evolved. When I was young, we didn’t have food or candy carts of famous brands in the event. The most that we had during those days were our typical ‘dirty ice cream carts’ (which we knew wasn’t really ‘dirty’). Nowadays, activities that you can do during these children’s parties also have also changed. Before, we were happy with the ‘pabitins’, ‘pokpok palayok’ and the games of ‘bring me’s’ (which is still popular).

I find it amusing though to see art activities like the ones being provided by Party Crafts by Ava. Check out this set up:

Ceramic painting

They provide Ceramic magnet painting, foam frame decorating, sun visor or crown/tiara decorating, etc. These activities are really unique and children just love them!

The great news is that Party Crafts by Ava has a promo running from now until August!

Party Crafts Promo

These packages are Php 2000 cheaper than the usual package prices:

Package A. 5,500.00
foam frame decorating
ceramic magnet painting
sun visor or crown & tiara decorating (choose 1)

*Package B. 6,000.00
foam frame decorating
tumbler art
sun visor or crown & tiara decorating (choose 1)

*Package C. 9,500.00
foam frame decorating
tumbler art
ceramic magnet painting
sun visor or crown & tiara decorating (choose 1)

*PROMO PACKAGES
-good for 25-30 kids
-inclusive of art and decor materials
-staff to assist kids
-3 hrs. of party time
-aprons (not for take home)

For those interested, you can visit their Facebook page: Party Crafts by Ava
You can also text them at 09178875369 or email partycraftsbyava@yahoo.com.ph

Sharing with you this funny baby comic strip! Happy Monday!

Tickle Me Mondays 3

Join in the fun! Share funny pictures of you and your baby and use #ticklememondays.

Have a great day!

“Blue jeans…
Alam mo ba ano ang ibig sabihin ng ating pagsisikap sa ‘skwela
Blue jeans…
Ba’t ‘di na lang iwanan ang pag-aaral at sama-sama tayong magsaya

Ngunit ang kabataan daw ay kayaman
‘Wag daw basta’t itapon at papabayaan
Kaya magsikap tayo habang may panahon at
Mag-aral at mag-ipon tayo ng karunungan” – Apo Hiking Society

Happy Friday once again!

I’ve been hearing mommy say that she still can’t fit into her jeans. I’m sure she’ll gain back her figure in a few months. I heard that doctor tell her that she can’t workout yet. She can only work out when I’m already 6 months old. Poor mommy! I’m thankful though that she bought me this nice pair of baby blue jeans from Cotton On.

Baby Z in her cute blue jeans

Blue Jeans 0002

Blue Jeans 0001
The jeans had little hearts on it. Mommy also bought me my first collared shirt from Cotton On Kids, too, to pair it with the blue jeans. It’s a white top with hot pink prints.

To go with my attire, I matched it with my Celestina & Co. blue violet bow, and black and white Tippy Toes socks that look like shoes (how convenient!). People love these socks and notice it all the time!

How about you? Do you have your own pair of baby blue jeans?

Love lots,

Baby Fashionista, Zeeka

*It’s fun being a girl!*

 

 

 

 

Babies grow up fast. When we decided to have the room of Zeeka fixed and painted, we had that in mind. Most of the thing that are in Zeeka’s room can be changed and adjusted to fit any little girls age. Of course, we wanted to customize, so what we did is we decorated her room with wall stickers.

If you want to see how we decorated Zeeka’s Nursery, please do check out this link:
http://mommyginger.com/2013/04/zeekas-nursery-room.html

I recently came across additional stickers that would look lovely in Zeeka’s room. I hurriedly stuck it to the wall, since I was so excited to see Zeeka’s reaction.

Skiing Girls from Wall Candy Art Stickers

Skiing Girls from Wall Candy Art Stickers

While sticking it, Zeeka kept on looking at me, then looking at the stickers then at me again (back and forth).

I visited the site of Wall Candy Stickers (http://wallcandystickers.com/). They have beautiful designs that yo can choose from. The idea started when a guy named Joe, who rents a condominium unit in Makati, wanted to decorate up his place. He was looking for an easy and cost efficient way to decorate since his occupancy is only temporary. His girlfriend, Valerie, on the other hand, had a cousin who recently gave birth and wanted an affordable way to decorate her baby’s nursery. They then thought of a perfect worry-free and low-cost solution which was to decorate the condo unit and the nursery using Wall Candy Art Stickers!

These stickers are quality adhesive wall décor that have passed European safety standards approved, are non-toxic and lead-free, and will not damage your wall or glass surface at all. They are safe to place on walls that can be reached by children. What I love about these stickers is that they are very easy to use and apply plus they are removable, and reusable.

How to install the sticker:
1. Prep wall: Ensure he surface is smooth, dry and free from dust and dirt. What I personally do is I wipe the surface with alcohol, but wiping with a clean cloth is enough.
2. Plan your design: Layout your design before applying stickers to the wall.
3. Get your sticker on: Smooth on with your hand, working diagonally across the sticker from one corner to another. Smooth out creases and bubbles as you go along.
4. Sit back and enjoy your new look!

Wall Candy Art Stickers has more than 50 designs available with the more unique ones being the glow in the dark and chalkboard / whiteboard designs. Prices are affordable at P650- P950 only per pack.

Here are some of my favorites. Pictures are from http://wallcandystickers.com/:

WS-108-Dolls Animal

WS-812-Kitchen1

WS-904 - Whiteboard Animals1

Wall Candy Art Stickers 2

Wall Candy Art Stickers 3

If you want to order, Wall Candy Art Stickers are available via online orders Facebook www.facebook.com/wallstickersphils, the website www.wallcandystickers.com, or via www.Pormada.com

Selected designs are available at Rustans Shangrila and Makati kids section, True Value Magnolia, Rockwell and Shangrila