This daughter from Parañaque made sure to keep the legacy of her mother, who passed away in January 2020 due to cancer.
33-year-old business owner Jam Padilla shared her experience managing Mommy Jena’s brand, which she established 10 years ago.
“My mom as long as I can remember, has been cooking and baking. Like all my life. Baking was really her love language. Gustong gusto niya bibida niya ‘yung mga niluluto niya. Since mahilig naman talaga siya magbake, she started doing it as a hobby parang on the side,” Jam told The Philippine STAR.
“She did it for a few years until I decided to help her out. When I finally, decided na to help her out with it kasi nakikita ko naman ‘yung potential eh. Parang and it was something that she wanted to really do,” she added.
After Jam resigned from her day job, she worked full time at their home-based bakery business. They’d bake their products at the comfort of their home, inside their kitchen.
“It was struggle. ‘Yun nga we’re operating from home eh. Syempre we didn’t have enough budget naman to actually pop up a physical store. Ang dami naming ginagawa like nag ba-bazaars kami para lang makilala,” she noted.
“I wouldn’t think baking if I didn’t see it from her or she wasn’t doing it herself. Because I help her with the business doon na rin talaga nadevelop ‘yung love ko for baking and my passion for it,” she added.
A few years after, they managed to introduce their products to the public and got regular and returning customers.
But the daughter-mom tandem had to pause their operations after Mommy Jena was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and stage four colon cancer.
“In 2019, most of it was spent in the hospital. She started getting sick. Sabi ko let’s pause muna. When we’re ready to go back, let’s go back kasi we can always do that. She was afraid na sayang
kasi what we have built all those years. So I reassured her na hindi masasayang. eh. It’s still gonna be there. I promised we’ll work on it when you get better,” Jam shared.
After a year of battle with cancer, Mommy Jena died in January 2020. While still grieving, Jam managed to grant her promise to her mom.
“When she passed away, I really said I really have to revive Sweet Mamita. Parang I had to do it for her. I didn’t put this up just to have a business and just to tell everyone I built this. It’s really to honor my mom,” she emotionally said.
In December 2022, Jam opened her first-ever physical store in BF Homes, Parañaque.
“It’s Sweet Mamita kasi she was called Mamita or Mita by her grand kids. The logo, I made it’s her face. ‘Yung overall color I made her favorite color kasi she loves purple, kailangan lahat purple. I really wanted the feel of like your lola baking for you kasi ganun siya eh,” she said.
Despite success, Jam couldn’t help but sometimes be emotional while thinking about her mom.
“Sa amin ni Mom to eh. Super proud and super inggit wala siya dito.Sana na experience niya rin. Mom, thank you for teaching me how to bake and teaching me how to be strong. Kasi if I didn’t see her grit, if I didn’t see how hard she fought for whatever she wanted in life, I wouldn’t have built this,” she said.