The Wooden Spoon Business Innovation Program Certifies First Graduates

From beginners to experienced bakers, the Wooden Spoon Business Innovation center has proven that passion for the craft and an open mind play an important role in starting a successful baking business.

A joint project by Aboitiz food subsidiary Pilmico and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Women’s Center, the Wooden Spoon Business Innovation facility provides opportunities for women and aspiring business owners to get started on their very own bakery business. Interested participants are screened by accredited TESDA trainers in order to determine their eligibility.

In April, the first batch of the Bread and Pastry production NCII enrollees completed their certification program. Self-taught baker and online entrepreneur, Pherlie, decided to enroll in the Wooden Spoon NCII training program to gain more understanding in the technical aspect of baking and overall, improve her way of doing business.

“Kahit may alam ka na about baking, iba pa rin talaga kapag stinep-by-step. Ang laking tulong nito dahil dati sa YouTube lang ako nag-aaral [dati] kaya thank you talaga sa program na ito”, she shares.


The Wooden Spoon NCII Bakery & Pastry Production Program

The training is divided into three phases, each tackling a specific area of study for trainees: basic, common, and core competencies.

The first phase is a deep dive into the science of baking and the different types of flour. These training sessions will then crossover to phase two which are hands-on activities where participants learn about basic bread and pastry recipes. Phase three puts emphasis on the recipes given and lets the participants innovate with professional baking techniques. Within these classroom and hands-on workshops, TESDA also incorporates other useful sessions including entrepreneurial mind-setting, business registration how-tos, and costing.

The facility also enables the trainees to gain experience in running an actual business with Cafe Juana. The bakery cafe is located within the Wooden Spoon facility and is run by the trainees themselves. It is here where they get to sell, serve, and interact with customers within the TESDA Compound.

Through this experience, enrollees are further encouraged to begin their business. Beginner baker and recently retired, Ellen, entered the workshop with learning as her primary motivation.

“Yung pagpasok ko talaga dito, ang gusto ko talaga ay matuto lang. Beginner pa lang din ako pero after nitong program, narealize ko na baka pwede nga in the future maging business ko siya”, tells Ellen.

Even with beginners and experienced bakers all training in one class, the class adopted a more collaborative learning environment where all the participants, together with their trainer, worked together to create a better training experience for everyone.

“For this batch, may mga experienced bakers na talaga and meron din mga no-experience at all. Mayroon kaming tinatawag na prio learning. This means yung mga less experienced mas may guidance sila as compared to those na meron na. For experienced naman, magbibigay kami ng activities sa kanila na katapat ng skill level din nila. Ang maganda pa nga dito, nagiging team talaga ang buong class dahil nag tutulungan kami lahat para matuto and maimprove ang skills ng isa’t isa”, May explains.

The next steps for the program graduates

Equipped with new knowledge on baking and entrepreneurship, the newly certified TESDA trainees are encouraged to engage in further learning. Pilmico’s government partners, TESDA and DTI Go Negosyo, are putting up ladderized courses on entrepreneurship to develop the enrollees’ business mindset. These courses are included in their 7M’s framework that aims to give focus on the following: mindset, mastery, mentorship, money, machine, market, and models. These will hopefully spark inspiration and develop future MSMEs in the bread and pastry industry.

Committed to being a Partner for Growth, Pilmico, together with TESDA Women’s Center, continuously looks for avenues to provide trainees of the program with opportunities, industry advice, and business knowledge to secure their futures as baker entrepreneurs.