More than five years into a promising career as a nurse overseas, Kim Fernandez decided to go back to her hometown in Odiongan, Romblon and follow the path that her family has already laid for her—in the baking business.
Despite operating in a small home-based production facility before, their bakeshop, popularly known as Shapes Bakeshop, got customers stopping by due to their cheaper and unique bread varieties.
In fact, their crispy, round, white home-baked bread dubbed as Tipin is a major hit among locals and tourists because of its one-of-a-kind taste.
“We want them to feel that every bite of our bread is like home,” shares Kim, saying that it is the laid-back, rural charm in their flavors that attracts and keeps their customers coming back for more.
Encouraged by their popularity, Kim wanted to expand aggressively. Shapes Bakeshop already made a name in their town, but she was determined to offer their bread to the entire island of Romblon.
So, she sought the assistance of DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), a form of innovation fund assistance that encourages MSMEs to adopt technological innovations to boost productivity and competitiveness.
Through the program, DOST-MIMAROPA granted her funds, payable in three years, which she used to purchase appropriate baking equipment such as dough mixer, stainless top table, and shelves.
In addition, their product presentation massively improved as they were provided with new packaging and labeling materials by the agency.
Enrolling into SETUP proved to be a wise decision for Kim as this led to an almost threefold increase in their monthly sales. After three years, Kim was finally able to return the total amount borrowed from DOST-MIMAROPA.
“Apart from our increased sales, we are happy that our success resulted in more job opportunities for the locals and better salaries for our workers,” says Kim.
Shortly after, she availed SETUP again to acquire more technologies that would hasten their production. She is expected to graduate from the program this year.
On the other hand, Shapes Bakeshop now boasts its two-story production facility. The construction of the building strictly conforms to recommendations of the consultants provided by DOST-MIMAROPA under its Consultancy for Agriculture and Manufacturing Productivity Improvement (CAMPI) Program.
2019 MIMAROPA BEST SETUP ADOPTOR
Shapes Bakeshop managed by Ms. Kim Fernandez from Odiongan, Romblon is hailed as this year’s MIMAROPA Region’s Best SETUP Adoptor.
Ms. Kim Fernandez won a cash prize of Php 20,000 and plaque of recognition from the Department of Science and Technology which she received during the 2019 National Science and Technology celebration held last July 20, 2019, at the World Trade Center, Pasay City Manila.
DOST has been giving recognition to exemplary MSMEs through the BEST SETUP Adoptor Award since 2009. The award signifies the efforts of entrepreneurs who introduced technological innovations to their businesses to improve overall productivity that impacts economic growth, employment generation and widen the reach of local products and services.