The man behind the leche flan in a jar shares his recipe for success
Imagine leche flan with toppings in a jar. A fresh take on a beloved classic and a business venture all rolled into one. This is the big idea behind Spoonful Desserts, a brainchild of corporate sales manager-turned entrepreneur, John Lloyd “Cholo” Quiaonza. “The idea of Spoonful Desserts came while I was watching a TV feature piece about the cheesecake in a jar concept,” he shares. “I was eating leche flan at the time and just thought to myself—why not put the flan inside a jar and then have it come in different flavors to make it more unique and exciting?”
At first, Cholo was apprehensive in pursuing the concept, after he had been forced to close down his first venture. “I was pretty careless with my first business. I neglected to put in the necessary time and effort and left it in the care of others,” he recalled.
Down to his last five thousand pesos, the young entrepreneur procured a steamer and a set of jars and put his concept to the test. But it was a seemingly casual post on his social media page about his new leche flan in a jar product that really made Cholo believe that he was finally on to something.
“The post got a lot of engagements and even inquiries about the product,” he said. “And after just a couple of weeks, I already had resellers from Cavite, Tagaytay, and Batangas.”
Sharing the secret recipe
Cholo cites the success of his business to two things: mentorship and guidance. The entrepreneur was taken under the wing of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Kapatid Mentor Me program, after aggressively promoting his product on social media—a move that caught the eye of DTI.
Likening the program to that of a mini MBA course, it enabled him to develop the technical skills required for entrepreneurs. “They guided me through Spoonful Desserts’ product development—helping me position the product for a more premium target market, along with developing the right sort of packaging, and even the flavors of the leche flan,” he intimated.
Eager to receive more guidance and mentorship, Cholo joined UnionBank GlobalLinker in 2018. “I was really amazed because it was like an online community for managers and entrepreneurs like me. It is a great place for knowledge-sharing and gaining innovative insights from fellow entrepreneurs which you can then apply to your own business.”
Cholo notes that his favorite feature in the platform are the feature stories. “They’re always so informative. I can relate to a lot of the articles, especially with the things I could’ve done differently,” he said.
Furthermore, Cholo also talks about how GlobalLinker has enabled him to expand his network and even gain clients through the platform’s Linker.Store. “I actually began marketing my products online, so I’m really looking to explore the Linker.Store even further. There is potential here and I’ve actually already been able to gain clients through this feature.”
Paying it forward
After graduating from the Kapatid Mentor Me Program, Cholo founded the Young Entrepreneurs Society in Cabuyao, Laguna. “I saw that there was a lot of entrepreneurial potential in the community but there was no one to really mentor them. At the same time, this is also my way of paying it forward.”
Using his position as a member of the Association of Laguna Food Processors and the knowledge and insights he gained from the Kapatid Mentor Me program and UnionBank GlobalLinker, Cholo sought to teach back all of the best practices to the community.
Cholo strongly believes that through Young Entrepreneurs Society, he is able to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs and their businesses. “And ultimately, this goes back to the community because we are helping to raise and promoting the products of Cabuyao,” he exclaimed.
“That is why we are here now at the 17th Filipino Franchise and Business expo. This is just a start. You will definitely see more from us in other exhibits and bazaars because we aim to really market our products outside of the province.“
To connect with John Lloyd “Cholo” Quiaonza on UnionBank GlobalLinker, log on to unionbank.globallinker.com. The UnionBank GlobalLinker app is available on Google Play and App Store.