She could have made her living as a registered nurse, but Phoebe Roxane Ouano, who is the owner of the eponymous Phoebe’s CupCakery, decided she would rather create cupcakes. Sometime after she graduated from college with a degree in nursing, she made up her mind that a cupcake venture would be the right thing for her to focus her energy on.
Back in Phoebe’s secondary school days at Cebu City National Science High School, one of her teachers encouraged her to pursue her passion for baking. She also credits her mother with passing on to her the skills she has for cooking and baking. Phoebe did not undergo formal instruction in baking cupcakes, but because she had a sweet tooth since she was quite young, she had already been interested in the art of making cupcakes, for a considerable amount of time.
Unlike the fictional cupcake baker Max Black from the TV show Two Broke Girls, who takes on a number of different jobs to raise the capital she needs for her cupcake business, Phoebe used money she already had (from her personal savings) to finance her cupcake start-up in early 2011. At first, her father was not thrilled with her decision. He kept trying to persuade her to go into nursing as her life’s work but relented and became supportive as he saw how happy the cupcake business made her.
At the Cebu Food Expo 2011 held at the Pacific Grand ballroom of the Waterfront Hotel from July 21 to 23, Phoebe’s CupCakery had the opportunity of being one of the exhibitors, as part of the Cebu Bakery Association Inc. Phoebe’s CupCakery also held a media launch for a number of representatives from the press, at the CoffeeCat branch in Asiatown IT Park.
The young entrepreneur started out by posting photos of her home-baked gourmet cupcakes on her Facebook account. Her first customers were relatives and friends, but with an official fan page on the social networking Web site, she was able to reach a wider market for her baked goods. The business was called CupCakery Cebu for a while, but subsequently, its name was modified to Phoebe’s CupCakery so that it could avoid any confusion with another cupcake shop going by an almost identical name.
After she started to take advantage of social networking as a way to market her cupcakes, Phoebe began to receive orders for as many as three to four boxes of cupcakes per day, though one of the first orders she got was for seven dozen cupcakes. A standard box from Phoebe’s CupCakery contains a dozen cupcakes, but you can have two different flavors in one box if you order a half dozen of one flavor and a half dozen of another. You have to order a minimum of six cupcakes per flavor you choose, to make sure your order can be accepted.
If you’re thinking about placing an order for some cupcakes, you should do it two to three days in advance to ensure freshness. Phoebe’s CupCakery has the following creations that cupcake-craving gastronomes can choose from:
- Nuts for Nana is a delectably moist banana cake, made with some excellent locally sourced bananas. It’s paired with the richness of Nutella, a brand of hazelnut spread that many foodies are quite fond of. Nutella’s ingredients also include skim milk and a hint of cocoa.
- Mocha Loca is a mini cake in which flavorful chocolate meets an infusion of coffee. To give you a quick fix, it’s topped with a decadent chocolate frosting that also has a hint of coffee.
- Scarlette is the best seller among Phoebe’s cupcake creations. It is Phoebe’s own cupcake adaptation of that traffic-stopping crowd-pleaser known as red velvet cake, and it has genuine cream cheese frosting on top.
- Cookie Monster is a cupcake that you can readily appreciate, particularly if you happen to love cookies-and-cream ice cream or smoothies. This little chocolate cake has cream cheese frosting and is crowned with a crescent of Oreo cookie rising out of the frosting.
- Lemon is one of two cupcake flavors that the CupCakery introduced in January 2012, after the first four in its starting lineup. Phoebe’s CupCakery has not yet given this lemon cupcake with lemon curd and marshmallow frosting a distinctive name like the first four, but the scent of this cupcake, among other things, may evoke the word “summer.” In case you’re wondering, lemon curd is a custard made with lemon juice, butter, sugar, and eggs, and it’s commonly used as a spread or filling.
- Cinnamon Carrot with Chocolate Chips is the other flavor that was introduced along with the lemon cupcake. A delectable carrot cupcake such as this can be a great option for people who, like Dennis the Menace, wouldn’t otherwise eat carrots. The aroma that cinnamon can add to cake is also something that foodies could savor.
Phoebe’s CupCakery operates from a home kitchen in Maria Luisa Estate Park, Banilad, Cebu City. The cupcakes are available for pickup orders only, while the CupCakery does not yet have a storefront. Meeting times for the pickups are from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday, at Banilad Town Centre.
You can contact this delicious online food business through phone number (+63)(915)208-6282 and find it on Twitter as PhoebsCupcakery. The official Facebook fan page, where updates and announcements are posted, can be found at www.facebook.com/cupcakesbyphoebe
Phoebe is working on other yummy creations to offer to cupcake-loving people in Cebu. Who knows, maybe the one you’re craving might be up next.