Jess Fernandez-Pelayo: Bringing Smiles to Every Special Occasion with Baked Cravings

Jess Fernandez-Pelayo: Bringing Smiles to Every Special Occasion with Baked Cravings

Find out more about the sweet smile behind Baked Cravings, Jess Fernandez-Pelayo, and get a taste of how she turned her dream into reality, as told in the eyes of her younger sister.

I have witnessed my sister, Ate Jess, step into various roles as we grew up together.

She was always the ate who brought home McDonalds’ fries to her siblings after work hours, the responsible eldest of the Fernandez family who planned all our itineraries, and the loyal friend who hosted mahjong get-togethers to keep their barkada intact.

Out of all the roles she played, becoming the businesswoman that she is today will always be one of my favorite stories to tell. 

If you asked me a few years back before Baked Cravings was born, I wouldn’t have imagined how many occasions were made special with her talent. I remember she once tried to satisfy our longing for red velvet cupcakes by recreating her own from an online recipe, but ultimately failed with her hands stained with red food coloring and cream cheese that tasted good, but kept dripping off the cupcake. It still makes a good memory, but these were the failures that paved the way to who Ate Jess is now.

Fast forward to seven years and many cake orders later, this lady has officially become one of Cebu’s certified home bakers, as she serves some of the most unique and cutest customized buttercream cakes we’ve feasted on (hello to that Pancit Canton cake and 3D cakes?)  When asked how her story started, Jess simply recalls a memory from years back:

I wanted a sideline for extra income and I also enjoy arts and crafts, designing stuff. Back in college, I remember seeing rosette cupcakes online and found them really beautiful and unique. This inspired me to search how to make those cupcakes…

Jess Fernandez-Pelayo

And the rest is history. I saw her watch countless Youtube video tutorials, listen to tips from my relatives who were fellow bakers, take a few short baking courses both in and outside Cebu, and make us taste-testers to her countless experimentations (we were willing victims). Like all businesses, her beginnings were humble. I recall bringing some of her cupcakes and cakes to my friends to spread brand awareness who later turned out to be some of her sukis as the business gained more traction.

What made her business grow in the last seven years? Of course, my sister Jess will always be humble and say luck. But in my eyes, it’s a combination of a few things: her constant experimentation with designs and recipes, her hands-on approach to every cake she designs (yes, she personally designs each cake!), her support system—friends and family who always bought her cakes to special occasions, the pandemic that made online selling rampant, her positive attitude even when she faces a few challenging customers, and the best reason behind all these, her love for what she does.

This love can be clearly heard when Jess was asked what she likes most about what she does. “I get to express my ideas through cakes. I enjoy working with color combinations, doodling, and writing. And seeing it all look good together in the cakes and cupcakes makes me so happy!

Despite the growth she experienced in the past years, the learning never stops for this businesswoman. Staying on top of recent trending cake designs on social media while being inspired by everything around her- nature, paintings, and sceneries, allows Jess to recreate more designs for future cakes.

Constant experimentation with possible new flavors is also a welcome process, especially after trying a dessert or flavor she loved. Even her tip for any newbies dreaming of opening their own business reflects the kind of mindset that she has which made Baked Cravings what it is now.

Just do it. If we get stuck with all the ‘what ifs’ and fears, you’ll never be able to start it. Then continuously improve and learn along the way.

Jess Fernandez-Pelayo

Who would have thought this lady who failed at recreating red velvet cupcakes became a small business owner taking numerous orders in a week, satisfying people’s cravings for sweet goodies across the Queen City of the South? Yeap, that’s my sister right there, ladies and gentlemen, Ate Jess, the sweet smile behind Baked Cravings.

Baked Cravings is located at Forest Hills, Banawa, Cebu City. For orders and inquiries, you may reach them through their Instagram or Facebook.