Securing your business and your family’s future to weather storms

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Sun Life Jennifer Sy Flores

Take it from Chef Jeng–after the challenges of the past three years, she knew she had to secure her business and make it crisis-proof. Today, her pastry business, ‘Heavenly Desserts,’ stands strong and triumphant.

The headwinds of circumstances during the past three years impacted all industries, but positivity persisted in some of the small food businesses. While the global health scare from previous years sent office workers home and drastically changed the purchasing and eating behavior of consumers, the demand for food, including cakes and pastries, showed little sign of slowing down as families still wanted to celebrate small wins and personal milestones, no matter how simple and even while at home.

Sun Life Jennifer Sy Flores

This was the sign that Pastry Chef Jeng Sy Flores was waiting for because it was during the height of the pandemic that her love for baking was rekindled. Chef Jeng believes that her journey is worth looking back on because despite all the challenges, she managed to come up with a winning recipe that put her well-loved pastry business—with a little help from those who value her—on the map.

Baking a storm from scratch

Chef Jeng’s lifelong dream was to be a healthcare professional. However, things didn’t go as planned so she instead pursued Civil Engineering in college. This was where she chanced upon her now husband and business partner, and also graduated with Latin honors. 

She took on diverse jobs before heeding her father’s advice to establish her own business in order to be financially free. She and her husband then launched their first business franchise of a camera giant that produced printed analog photography. However, this was during the advent of digital technology, when demand for printed photos was starting to wane down. Eventually, the business closed only after a couple of years.

Steadfast in their resolve, Chef Jeng and her husband collected the remnants of their defunct business and reinvented it by establishing the Megapixels Digital Studio, an events and photography business. But after a successful 15-year run, COVID-19’s undeniable impact on live events, and the quick shift to video streaming and online activations that happened in the industry, tied them down. Even the construction business, which they established in 2017 had to temporarily close for two months during the pandemic due to manpower and project shortage, apart from the mandated health restrictions. Yielding to these obstacles, and embracing what is to come with positivity, are two different things for Chef Jeng. 

She chose the latter. 

Turning up the heat

Having completed an Advanced Pastry and Baking course at the Academy of Pastry Arts Philippines and acquiring advanced training in Malaysia earlier, Chef Jeng’s passion for making cakes and pastries was reawakened during the lockdown when she had plenty of time to spare. Soon, the recipes, cakes, and pastries she showcased in her social media platforms became so popular that it garnered countless following and engagements.  Initially appreciated by friends who were ready to spread the good word, her baked goodies started becoming a sought-after staple in holidays and celebrations of Filipino foodies with discerning palates. 

Sun Life Jennifer Sy Flores

She had only one problem at the time: how to cope with the avalanche of inquiries and orders about her premium quality home-baked cakes and pastries. This paved the way for the birth of her renowned business in Marikina, Heavenly Desserts. 

As her pastry shop grew, even customers from the south of Metro Manila began ordering and were even willing to pay for the delivery cost. This compelled her to gladly open her first pick-up only branch in Las Piñas. But Chef Jeng does not believe in complacency after learning a lot from the challenges she encountered during the pandemic; so, despite Heavenly Desserts’ success, she knew she had to secure her business and make it crisis-proof.

Having her cake and eating it too

Throughout the journey, Chef Jeng valued partners that never left her side. She particularly relied on Sun Life’s Business Owners Insurance Packages (BIP)

BIP meets all financial need for every stage of your business—whether you are confident enough to start your own venture, or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur who is ready to grow and expand your family business—you will be assured that your enterprise is future-proof. 

Sun Life aims to empower business owners with a financial plan to help you efficiently manage your business and personal life goals as it addresses your financial needs such as insurance protection for your esteemed partner/shareholder, key employee, health, emergency, retirement, and education at every stage of your business. 

Sun Life offers the BIP Emergency Fund + Lifetime protection for the contingency fund you will need to manage your cash flow even during uncertain times. It even comes with lifetime insurance coverage. There is also the BIP Health Protection for small-medium enterprises, that could help prepare the cost of critical illness (including hospitalization, post-hospitalization, and home recovery) via the SUN Fit and Well Advantage plan to ensure both your family and business.

Sun Life has other products that could safeguard your business and guarantee that you’re in it for the long haul, while ensuring your, and your loved ones’ security.  These are the BIP Retirement Fund (which could help you retire just the way you envision to), BIP Education Fund that will secure your child’s education, and the BIP Key Employee Protection which will protect your business and guard your human assets against risks such as losing a key employee.  It also offers the BIP Partner/Shareholder Protection, something all entrepreneurs and business owners need for a smooth transition with a buy-and-sell agreement in case they lose an important business partner.

As a business owner, you may even avail of the Sun Smarter Life Elite, a protection and a savings plan with guaranteed cash benefits which you can use to increase your income, and use to fund your child’s education, life milestones, and retirement, while providing double life insurance coverage throughout your lifetime.

Sun Life, your guaranteed Partner for Life

No one—even startup or small-medium business owners—is ever assured of certainty thus, for most entrepreneurs, securing your business and loved ones with a trustworthy partner is a no-brainer. Sun Life is every Filipino business owner’s guaranteed Partner for Life in achieving a brighter, healthier, and more secure future for their business and their loved ones. Sun Life’s BIP can serve as a contingency fund to help you manage your cash flow, especially during these uncertain times. 

For the formidable Chef Jeng, risk-taking is part of business and personal growth but she also acknowledges the perils involved. Thus, with her meticulously planned business direction, she also availed of Sun Life’s BIP so she could make wise decisions and calculated risks without having to worry about failing again. It acts as a safety net not only for your business, but also for the benefits of your valued employees, your company’s credibility, and whatever else you need to grow your business.

Chef Jeng is a living testimony to Sun Life’s dependability, especially during her recent business expansions. To date, Heavenly Desserts already has branches in Makati, Las Pinas, Bonifacio Global City, Pasay, Quezon City, and Ortigas, apart from its headquarters in Marikina. 

Savoring her sweet time

The business landscape will always be evolving and adjusting to the times and its future is certainly going to be more unpredictable than what it is now. Given the challenges that Chef Jeng encountered, she acknowledges that running a successful business is not a piece of cake as there will always be challenges—calamities, property damage, employee injury, among others—that could happen. Sometimes, no matter how you steer your business to a certain direction, some things will not go as planned. Thus, having a comprehensive financial portfolio can help you not only deal with these uncertainties that may arise but can also play as a financial buffer during times of business interruptions.  Having a long-term perspective and securing an insurance policy can guarantee that even in uncharted waters, you will be equipped and well-prepared to navigate your business to success.  

The headwinds for Chef Jeng may be real, but looking back on her journey, it’s easy to rise,move forward, and relish her sweetest victory.

For more information on how to help achieve their business and personal financial goals, check out BrandRoom/JC

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