This Small Instagram Business is Helping Workers with Crinkles

Photo by Oven-Hearted

It’s always heartbreaking hearing about how many businesses are closing due to the pandemic as of late. With the economy declining and unemployment rates rising, the possibility of being laid off is a real worry for every employee. While there are many factors that can help remedy the problem, compassionate business management is also a key asset in these dire times.

Take for example, Oven-Hearted, an Instagram business born out of the need to adapt quickly with the times and support its employees. What started as a small commissary that aimed to supply affordable, ready-to-eat meals has grown tremendously since, increasing the number of employees from 20 to 134. Oven-Hearted is an online branch of Joy Schallenberg’s commissary, which is still in operation. While Joy takes care of the commissary, her daughter, Chi, runs Oven-Hearted’s online operations.

Adapting to the pandemic

In early 2020, the pandemic struck the Philippines leaving multiple businesses affected by the lack of foot traffic. “We started receiving fewer orders from our regular clients, and because of this, it became more difficult for us to sustain our production and the livelihood of many of our employees. Throughout the lockdown, we have been trying to find more ways to earn, such as selling in different villages and providing meals to volunteer programs,” Chi said.

Chi and her mother saw a need for changing their strategy. Noticing the rise of Instagram businesses, they saw it as a potential platform for their baked products to reach a wider audience. Thus, Oven-Hearted was born.

“Because of how many Instagram businesses there are right now, especially for baked products, it was easy to see the general trends on how to get started. The main obstacle is mainly the uncertainty. There’s a lot of competition on the platform, so we don’t know if our business will thrive or flop. However, although we don’t have many customers online yet, we’ve been receiving a lot of good feedback, so we are very hopeful”, Chi shared.

Unanimously yum

Oven-Hearted ticks all the boxes in terms of taste, quality, and presentation. Upon receiving the crinkles, I immediately noticed the quality of its packaging—a ribbon-wrapped red box with beautifully crafted parchment paper underneath the crinkles. The crinkles themselves were delicious—soft yet not crumbling, and with just the right amount of powdered sugar.

If highlights reel on its Instagram page is any proof I’m not the only one who thinks so. Many customers have said that the crinkles are soft and chewy, and even the best they’ve ever had, and others have claimed they could eat multiple palm-sized crinkles in one sitting.

Made with high quality ingredients and priced affordably, these crinkles are a knockout.

Inspiration for online transition

The duo’s driving force for the online transition was not to make a profit for themselves, but to support their staff in these trying times. “We’re continuously looking for more ways to give our employees opportunities to earn. Until now, not all of them can be accommodated because of a lack of products needed to be produced and because of the health protocols. It would be a huge help to our commissary, and most especially our employees, if we achieve our goal of reaching more people.”

Romel, an employee of Oven-Hearted, said, “Napakalaking tulong po sa akin at masasabi ko na napakaswerte namin. Dahil sa panahon ng pandemic, maraming kumpanya ang nagsara at maraming employado ang nawalan ng trabaho. Pero kami dahil sa special breads at crinkles, mayroon kaming napagkukunan ng pambayad ng bills sa bahay (This initative is a big help, and we are truly lucky. A lot of companies are closing and many employees are getting laid off due to the pandemic. But because of Oven-Hearted’s special bread and crinkles, I have income to pay my family’s bills).

What’s next

For now, Oven-Hearted is focusing its energy on its best-selling crinkles, but they will also be launching other products soon. “Very soon, we will also start selling brownies and gradually, even more products in the future. We aren’t sure yet if we’ll keep Oven-Hearted until after the pandemic but, if things go well, maybe you will still be seeing us around!”

The Essentials

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