Words by Ivyreene Calderon; Photos by Artzap Studio, courtesy of Monica Guevara-Dela Cruz
A Trendsetter Artist
Monica Guevara-Dela Cruz fondly calls herself an artist baker, and at times, an island baker because she is the consultant of the Balesin Island Pastry Department.
True to her brand, her pastry is a work of art because no two cakes are ever the same. She creates each of them with much love and passion, making each of her work a masterpiece. She is headstrong on her philosophy that each pastry or cake should be unique and an art on its own. She admits that all of her cakes are challenging because of her philosophy of making each of them as unique as possible, but there is no challenge that she cannot overcome for as long as there is a burning passion in her heart.
As a consultant, she assists Balesin in using their available resources that they grow on their island and turn them into a product which can be sold in their bounty store or as a dessert in their menu.
She started baking breads with her own tweaks and created new trends in the pastry industry, making her a noteworthy artist baker with her own following on social media.
A Faithful Business Owner
For her, every client is significant and treats them with special care. Before she bakes, she ensures that the cake is personalized. She interviews each of her client about the one receiving the cake and lets them describe his or her personality down to the favorite color. Her innovative approach towards baking and business makes each of her clients feel special and extremely delighted that wanting to order more is most definitely a must.
Initially, she did not consider baking as a business but more of a hobby. However, when the lockdown was enforced and restrictions in mobility became a challenge, she started baking. She posted these photos on social media, and when her friends saw her posts, the influx of orders started to grow daily.
Uncertainties are common in the business world, but for Monica, she believes that her failures in the past have taught her wisdom and confidence to move forward and make better choices. Further, she believes that her faith in God and keeping her business and life decisions anchored on the Bible keep her going.
A Passionate Learner
Monica graduated with a degree in Interior Design from the University of Sto. Tomas, and pursued Furniture Appraisal Course in Long Island University in New York. In 2019, she took up Pastry Art in Enderun College in Manila, and the Artisan Bread Bootcamp at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Because she believes that learning never stops, she also took up online baking courses in Russia, Australia and Spain.
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An Advocate of Passion and Creativity
A fun fact about our featured artist baker is that she bakes in the wee hours of the morning, wherein she feels she is at her most creative. She also believes that aside from being an art, baking is also an exact science, because it requires accuracy.
Another fun fact about Monica is that she names all of her cakes.
A sweet fact is that her house specialty is the raisin bread which is actually inspired by her mom’s request.
She is also an advocate of health and wellness and firmly believes in mindful consumption of food intake.
Her advice to those who would love to try baking: Be passionate about baking. Be patient and put your mind and heart into it and you will create amazingly!