Dessert diva Ann Puno shares sweetness with people through her home-baked goodies sold at Ann Puno’s Kitchen.
Her journey as a successful entrepreneur started at home, as a young kid in the kitchen. Like many Filipino children, Puno remembers watching her mother and grandmother prepare their meals, busily tending to several pots and pans on top of their trusty La Germania gas range in a well-lit kitchen.
“I lived in the province where there were no bakeshops,” she related, “but I remember that every birthday, my mother would make us birthday cakes from scratch. Sometimes, she would even make donuts from scratch.”
When the same La Germania oven was passed on to her after she got married, the loving wife continued baking. She created flavors that won over the Filipino palate, and her cakes, such as her Premium Cassava Cake, grew in popularity.
Through the years, Puno has constantly improved upon her craft. With her trusty oven by her side, she founded her business and created a complete system to keep her family well-fed and feeling well-loved.
As her children grew up, they learned to recognize the signs of her love. “They know that [making their favorite dishes] is a way that I offer them lambing and comfort,” she shared.
Like her mom, Puno made birthday cakes for each of her children’s birthdays. When the kids came home, there were always snacks ready for them (and often, their friends).
Even when they had grown up and their schedules became less predictable, they know that their mom always have something waiting for them. “They know that when they come home, there is something good to eat. This is my act of service, this is how I show love,” said the doting mother.
It has not been an easy life, she said, but it is a rich, full one.
“Sometimes, my husband and I like to think back on all we have gone through. Just talking about it, and being thankful, because even if we have had difficulties, we have always overcome them as a family. Looking at where we are now, we can truly say that we have made a home.”
As her family grows and changes, her business expands, and her personal journey continues to take her to more directions, Puno is dedicated to preserving all the memories that she and her family shared through the years.
She keeps records of the dishes she created in several notebooks filled with handwritten notes, photos, and mementos. There’s a collection of books and scrapbooks filled to the brim and that she’s constantly adding to. This will be her legacy to her grandchildren, and for the people, her family chooses to bring into their fold.
That, and maybe one of her ovens. She has one heavy-duty La Germania oven that she only uses during peak seasons. On the off-season, it gets thoroughly cleaned, packed up, and carefully stored in a shed behind the house, while her mother’s original oven is still in service after all these years.
She has always told her children about the value of money and advises them that when buying something, it should always be of value, such as her La Germania oven. Being one of the most trusted brands in the market, these ovens are made for heavy-duty use, and with proper care, can go for years without having to be maintained or repaired.
It’s the only brand Puno has ever used in her kitchen, and with good reason. Each oven has taken the demands of a growing family and a thriving bakery business in stride.