Like most people, I love pretty cakes. The intricate baking and artwork that goes into making a cake amazes me. Whenever I watch those baking shows on the Food Network, I’m always reminded that baking is a science, more so than cooking, because the wrong amount of an ingredient or if the temperature is not exact for the oven, then your cake could be a disaster. So when I saw the Manila Cakery photos on Instagram, I was so intrigued. Not only are the cakes beautiful in design, but I was happy to find out that the baker is a Filipina (like me) and a San Fernando Valley mom of a daughter (also like me).
Please meet July Grossinger, owner and cake artist of Manila Cakery!
How/why did you begin your business?
July: I’m originally from the Philippines and when I was young, I always enjoyed baking simple treats like brownies or muffins for my family but it never crossed my mind to start a baking business. Fast forward to 2015, I moved to the United States and my passion for art and food pulled me in so I became a culinary producer for shows. I worked full-time and we put our 10-month-old daughter in daycare. When the pandemic started, my husband and I decided to take her out and keep her home because we feared for her health. We tried our best to juggle work and parenting but it was tough and I eventually decided to quit my job to be a full-time mom. Though I enjoyed the ups and downs of staying at home, I started missing my career. I knew I wanted to work again but I wasn’t ready to put my daughter back in daycare. That’s when I had the idea to bake at home and start Manila Cakery. I wanted to bake on the side but at the same time take care of my daughter and Manila Cakery was the perfect balance that I was looking for. People started loving my work, I booked up pretty quickly and I knew from then on that I was on the right path!
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
July: A positive mindset can change everything! There are so many obstacles to go through when running a business and being a mom. How you think about let’s say, how your day will go or whether or not you’ll be able to accomplish your tasks, impacts your success or failure. It’s not easy to do and it takes practice but it is very handy when there are challenges ahead.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
July: The sense of community and support for small businesses in the Valley is amazing. We’ve met so many amazing people here that have become our family and who support me in so many ways.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
July: You’ll make so many mistakes along the way, no matter how prepared you think you are, and that’s okay! I used to stress out so much on everything but I’ve learned to embrace and learn from my mistakes instead. I always challenge myself to never make the same mistake twice and to keep growing.
It makes me so happy to learn that July was able to pivot from being a culinary producer on TV shows to owning and managing her own custom cake business. I can only imagine how challenging it is to balance motherhood and being a small business owner, but from my perspective, she is doing a great job!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The images shown in this post are used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.