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This Crêpe Company Opened During the Pandemic and Sold 4,000 Crepes in 6 Weeks

This small enterprise has managed to thrive despite the ongoing pandemic. This is how they did it.
IMAGE Kuya Crepes
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A pandemic is not really the ideal time to open a business, especially when more businesses are closing than starting.

We're tired of writing about business closures, so here's a small business success story to lighten up your feed.

Sometimes, crisis offers opportunity, and if you’re savvy enough and lucky enough, you can make the most of any situation.

That’s how Kuya Crêpes, an online food brand selling traditional crêpes, managed to sell over 4,000 crêpes in only six weeks. We talked to the founder-partners of the brand about how they managed to keep their small business surviving and thriving despite quarantine.

Kuya Crêpes started as a two-person team, but now that business is booming, the two have hired more people to make the business sustainable. A perk of home-based businesses is the lack of office expenses, which probably helped the brand pull a profit already despite being open for less than two months.

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Starting during the pandemic proved to be a challenge. The two were forced to make do with limited supplies and limited deliverymen.

With most brick-and-mortar stores closed, many entrepreneurs have turned to social media, particularly Instagram, to sell their goods and services. And for many, it’s proven to be fruitful.

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So how does the work-from-home entrepreneur of an MSME do it? He/she invests time to learn some good marketing, customer service, and a timeless product that people will want delivered to their home.

For the entrepreneurs behind Kuya Crêpes, “Customer service is paramount during this time and you will be surprised that you can offer good customer service even without seeing your customers personally,” they said.

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Another tip is to focus on your product quality, and to make it something unique yet also with the potential to be high in demand.

For the founders, the answer was crêpes.

With roots in Bretagne, Francethe crêpes capital of the worldand the Philippines, the two blended the traditional French method of making crêpes while adding Filipino ingredients, like mangoes, into the mix.

“Focus on food quality and your customers will keep coming back,” explained the founders. The two use only homemade ingredients, everything from their own homemade ice cream to the chocolate sauce. A product like a crêpe, which requires more skill than rare or expensive ingredients, can be a lucrative business if you know how to make it right.

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But it’s marketing that’s the secret weapon of most online businesses. Whether that’s getting celebrity customers or creating viral content, or simply just using the right hashtag, the IG business survives when marketing is top-notch.

As for their advice to struggling MSMEs, particularly those that have transitioned online, the two Kuya Crêpes founders have this to say:

“1| Never give up. If you believe that your product can be of value to your customers, you should be creative in finding ways how to succeed.

2| Work with passion. This creative pursuit in combining traditional techniques and innovative ideas gives us a lot of joy at this time.

3| Try to be original. There are so many similar products out there. It would be great if you create something that will be your trademark.”

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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