Celebrating life continues during lockdown – this optimistic proposition is what helped this cake business thrive in the tough COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the quarantine, people went on to celebrate special occasions with family, becoming an accidental opportunity for Cardinal Cakes, the offshoot of an events catering company known as Cardinal Cuisine.
“Our business provides catering services for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, and other parties. But with the abrupt ban on mass gatherings, we had to pivot to survive. Truly, necessity is the mother of innovation. We came up with a line of cakes, and marketed them to friends and family via social media,” said Eric Bandola, co-owner of Cardinal Cakes.
Prior to ECQ, Cardinal Cuisine made cakes as ordered, and only as part of their catering events. But in the early stage of the lockdown, the big cake companies were closed, creating a void. Cardinal Cuisine was quick to take on this sudden opportunity, quickly mobilizing production and accepting orders for delivery. And that’s when Cardinal Cakes began.
After gaining traction on social media, Cardinal Cakes saw sales jump, and it continues to serve up whole cakes for delivery across Metro Manila. “Last Mother’s Day, we turned over more than 60 cakes for delivery,” shared Bandola. “Around 90% of our customers are from Metro Manila, but we also have regular patrons from the Southern Tagalog region,” Bandola said.
Currently, Cardinal Cakes has four regular offerings – the moist and decadent Dark Chocolate Cake; the sublimely luxurious Naked Red Velvet Cake; the satisfyingly delightful Walnut Carrot Cake; and the light and fluffy Caramel Cake – with prices ranging from Php 450 to Php 1,000. The freshly baked cakes are sold immediately, thus turnover is quick, with rarely any inventory staying too long on the cake display. It’s best to order at least 12 hours in advance to make for enough lead time.
Bandola explained that all their cakes are ordered as gifts to celebrate life and rightly so, because the cakes are baked with joy and passion. “We make our cakes like how mom makes them: full of love, sprinkled with joy, and carefully baked with tenderness. Good teams make good cakes, and our highly engaged and passionate team bake each cake as a product of that passion, and the desire to be part of our clients’ momentous occasions,” he said.
With a clear path towards business progression, Cardinal Cakes has plans for expansion and digital integration to deliver both happiness and excitement to more households across the country. “We love how our cakes are part of our customers’ celebrations. Celebrations are happy occasions and no lockdown can keep us from celebrating life with our families and loved ones,” Bandola said.