“Asawa na, business partner pa.” This was a caption that caught my attention as I scrolled through my Instagram feed. It was a post by one of my friends from college, Anna, who recently opened a cookie and coffee shop together with her husband, Angelo. They’re a young couple, both 28 years old, with two kids. As I looked at the photo of them standing in front of their newly launched store, I couldn’t help but admire their determination.
So, I reached out to Anna and Angelo to learn more about their story and how they manage to be partners in both family life and business. Is it harder than it looks? And is there really a secret ingredient to it like baking cookies? Read on to find out!
For Anna and Angelo, the key to working in harmony is in knowing their specific roles in the business, and using their individual skills to complement one another. Anna takes on product development, and social media marketing. Meanwhile, Angelo is in charge of business planning and finances. Being able to identify and distinguish their tasks makes their process so much smoother and quicker!
“Whenever I want to test a recipe, sasabihin ko sa kanya lahat ng ingredients. Siya na bahala mag pricing. Tapos release na agad. Mabilis kami sa mga ganyan since sa akin ang production, sa kanya ang costing,” says Anna
Angelo adds, “Kapag masarap na iko-costing ko nalang. Sa mga recipes lahat sa kanya, pero in terms of how to run the business, day-to-day costing, feasibility, kung profitable ba yung products, accounting, sales, ako yun, mahilig ako sa numbers.”
This couple admires and respects the skills they each possess. Believing in one another helps them grow.
Making decisions in favor of their business is not an easy task, and of course, disagreements are inevitable. Angelo and Anna’s solution is to seek a third person’s unbiased opinion. One of their trusted friends serves as their adviser in growing their business. Having a neutral vote helps this couple come up with wiser choices and lessen the arguments!
Another lesson they learned as a couple is knowing when to accept one another’s opinions, too. They each have their own perspectives of what’s best for the business, but becoming open to each other’s thoughts makes them thrive even more.
“Pinakita ko sa kanya for your effort ito yung reward mo. Kung gusto mo magpresyo ng mababa pero quality ito magiging reward mo sa effort mo. Tatanungin ko siya gaano katagal mo ito gagawin, gaano katagal mo bebenta lahat for this effort. Yung mga ganun. Nung pinakita ko sa kanya sabi ko willing ka ba mag work ng ganyan for 500 for one week ang kikitain mo? Hindi siya logical. Kapag nakikita naman niya narerealize niya na oonga may sense,” says Angelo
“Takot kasi ako mag-presyo ng mahal. Pero gusto quality talaga yung product. Tapos siya siyempre ang pricing niya kailangan kumita. Yun yung before na hindi kami mag agree,” says Anna. “Nakikinig nako ngayon, kapag nagsasalita siya dati nagsasalita rin ako. Ngayon meron na akong processing time.”
Angelo and Anna’s number one priority will always be their family, especially their two kids, 6-year old Alexie, and 2-year old Theo. Working parents understand the struggle of balancing schedules — attending to your work duties while caring for your kids simultaneously. Back when they were both in the corporate world, Angelo and Anna mostly got to spend time with Alexie and Theo on the weekends. On weekdays the kids would be asleep as they leave and come home from work.
“Medyo challenge pero for me bilang Mommy mas fulfilling siya. Nung December 2020 nagkaroon ako ng offer sa corporate. May mga times na, alam mo yun, graduate ako ng UP pero nasa bahay lang ako,” shares Anna. “May ganun akong moments. I weighed the offer against sa makukuha ko na benefits sa cookie business. Doon ako nag decide na hindi na. Hindi na ako babalik sa corporate.”
They started as a home-based business, and as they gained popularity, they took the leap of opening a physical store in October of 2021. It was difficult at first since Angelo and Anna’s time had to be divided between their store in Quezon City and their Daddy and Mommy duties at home in Antipolo. But this couple made it work!
“Before mag open sinabi ko rin sa kanya hindi ako 100% ready kasi ang gusto ko nga habang may business full-time mom pa rin ako. Paano siya mangyayari?” Anna says “Before siyempre nung opening 100% ako nasa store, eventually naman nakuha na namin yung rhythm. Ang lagi kong hiling kay Angelo at least two to three times a week nasa bahay ako, yun yung balance ko. 6 days kami open. Sundays talaga closed.”
Angelo and Anna make it a point to come home before the kids’ bedtime so they can do their nighttime routine together. It’s their practice as parents to start and end the day with Alexie and Theo, no exceptions! Now that they run a business of their own, they found achieving work-life balance is easier. The best part is the kids can go to the store with them, too, and help out in the kitchen.
What’s even more exciting than running a business together is getting to achieve your dreams, one-by-one, as a family. Angelo and Anna wake up looking forward to each day ahead of them.
Their dreams of buying a new car and their own home someday are becoming more and more of a reality. Thanks to their efforts and perseverance, it won’t be long before they achieve all of their goals.
“Usually bago kami matulog pinag-uusapan namin ano yung promos next month mga ganun parang hindi siya natatapos,” says Anna. “Dati may kanya-kanya kaming work. Hindi namin naiintindihan kung ano nangyayari sa kanya-kanya naming work, dito complement siya at nakaka-relate kami sa isa’t-isa.”