Cailey Salonga has always been interested in cooking and baking and the lockdown gave her more time to spend in the kitchen and bond with her family.
“My family loves to bond over food, movies and play with our dogs. Since we love to eat, they asked me to cook and bake more for them,” the 16-year-old told Lifestyle.
Salonga devoted time and effort to figuring out how to make the the perfect chocolate chip cookie, serving her attempts during merienda as she and her family took breaks from online classes and working from home.
“It took a lot of trial and error to perfect my recipe. However, I am so glad that I have finally come up with a recipe that friends and family genuinely enjoy.”
She had no plans of turning her love for baking into a business but said, “When I gifted my cookies to friends and family, they encouraged me to sell them.”
Three kinds of cookies
Thus, Cookiefixx was born. Salonga started the business last August with her older sisters, Christine and Caitlin. Salonga is in charge of baking while Christine takes care of the business side of things and Caitlin is the brand’s graphic designer.
“I would say that Cookiefixx was an opportunity for my sisters and I to grow together,” Salonga said.
Cookiefixx offers three kinds of cookies. First, there’s the OG Chocolate Chip Cookie.
“My family loves a good and simple chocolate chip cookie. We have a certain preference for cookies: a cookie with a bite—crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside, rich in chocolate but not very sweet that it hurts the throat. When made properly, this simple snack brings high satisfaction to many.”
Then there’s Uncle J’s Walnut-Oat Cookie which Salonga created with her Uncle Jeffrey.
“I’m very close to him. When he was in the US, there was a cookie that he would always look forward to having. This cookie is for people who want to enjoy a healthier and less sweet cookie especially with coffee or tea.”
Cookiefixx also offers a Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie. Salonga said, “I realized that many people would appreciate a gluten-free variant of my OG Chocolate Chip Cookie. At first, I baked this cookie for Tita Mons Romulo, who requested a gluten-free version and loved it! I developed this cookie with almond flour so that people can enjoy a good chocolate cookie without having to worry about the gluten. It’s also a lighter version of the OG.”
But the bestseller has been the OG Chocolate Chip Cookie, Salonga said. “Everyone loves a basic chewy chocolate chip cookie with a bit of Maldon sea salt on top. Personally, I love dunking the cookies in a glass of cold milk while we watch movies every Friday.”
Salonga knows that there are plenty of chocolate chip cookies available out there but she is confident in the uniqueness of her OG cookie. After all, she spent over a year perfecting her recipe. She calls it her family’s dream cookie.
But now, it’s not just her family who enjoys her creations. “I realized that my passion for baking has allowed me to touch the lives of others. I am really glad that Cookiefixx is becoming a gesture of love, something like a hug whenever people try it.
“The very reason I formulated this recipe was because I wanted to enjoy these cookies with my family during a challenging time. Now, it has extended into the homes of others. I have met many wonderful people through Cookiefixx who also share the cookies with their friends and family.”
Cookiefixx has customers from all over Metro Manila and she’s even had some who had cookies flown all the way to Davao.
Juggling school and her business can be quite tricky, so Salonga’s family decided that she would bake only on Saturdays and Sundays when she’s done with online school. But for the teen, Cookiefixx is worth all the effort.
“The amount of joy that Cookiefixx has brought me is amazing. Every time I get feedback on my cookies, it makes me happy to know that people actually enjoy what I make, and all the hard work put into the cookies is not wasted. When I am sad, or self-doubting, I look at my happy customers highlight on Instagram, and reading all the comments and praise from the customers really makes me happy.” INQ