Business at its Best: Home-Cooked Snacks from a Work from Home Mommy

by Jana Gagan | September 16, 2020

The Silver Lining

Due to the restrictions in place as we continue to be under community quarantine, foodies need to look past dining in restaurants or visiting physical stores to get their fix these days. It’s a good thing that we are at an age where good food is just one tap away on our phone delivery apps.

One such foodie from RJPH decided to share her cooking through opening an online food business! In this blog, Jana Marie Gagan, one of our Tutor Engagement Associates, shares all about how she used our work from home setup to jump start her business!

Jana handling her online business page

A Scrumptious Beginning

Since the pandemic began, I saw a lot of online food businesses booming. That got me thinking of having my own business at the comfort of my home since I want to have another source of income. I started my food business last June: homemade merienda freshly-cooked every weekend, and delivered through couriers.

Since having merienda is one of my family’s bonding activities, I decided to turn our family favorites into a business. My snacks range from cheesy baked macaroni, creamy carbonara, to pizza rolls, siomai, and even stuffed eggs.

Initially, my customers were just my relatives, friends, and my RareJob family, but I later opened it to the public. I was overwhelmed when customers all around Metro Manila began to share their positive feedback, which in turn helped me widen my market.

The beginnings of Jana's tasty cheesy baked macaroni

The Kitchen Adventures

I ventured into selling home-cooked food since I wanted a business doing something I really loved. With the restrictions imposed by this pandemic, there aren’t many options for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Since an online food business would be able to operate even with all the community quarantine restrictions in place, I gave it a try, and luckily, it went well!

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however.

One of the challenges I encountered while handling this business was not being able to have my rest days, since I do my cooking over the weekend, so it won’t get in the way of my full-time job. Most of the time, it’s pretty exhausting! I do all the preparation and cooking on the day itself, so all dishes are delivered fresh to my customers. After that, I still go out for grocery shopping to replenish my ingredients after a long day of cooking. My day doesn’t end there, though; once everything is done, I make sure I have enough energy left so that I could play with my kid. It’s a lot to do on my supposed rest days, but I’m not complaining; this has been a blessing to my family and I.

Freshly made siomai and pizza rolls ready for delivery

I am very blessed to still have my job, and I am grateful to RareJob for this work-from-home setup. Not only did it give me continuous income that allowed me to start my business, but working from home also made managing it together with a full-time job a lot easier.

Other than that, a lot of my business’ needs were conveniently available. I sourced and bought my kitchen equipment online, and grocery store is near our house so it’s easy to buy my ingredients. If we can’t go out, having them delivered straight to my doorstep is also an option. During my free time on weekdays, I also check if there are some ingredients that need to be replenished before the weekend comes. It all boils down to time management: doing it well lets me have the best of both worlds.

More mouth-watering merienda for very happy foodies

The Cooking Continues

Eventually, when office work resumes, I still see myself pursuing my cooking business as this is how I envisioned it to work. I started it knowing that this will be the support I need to back up my finances. Even now, I only accept orders for weekend deliveries so it won’t get in the way of my day job. For now though, I will continue to improve my business at the comfort of my own home.

For those who, like me, think that this time is perfect for opening a food business, just think of it as an extension of your kitchen. Make it also a priority to keep everything clean. Even better, you can sanitize every kitchen utensil that you will use for preparing and cooking your food. Think of it as if you were cooking for your big family. This will make everything you prepare and cook exactly what you and your family would enjoy sharing on the table.