Joanna Cabrera-Tabuac: Dreams Do Come True

“Pwede ko na i-let go ang work ko eh kase ang kita sa pagbi-bake ay doble na sa kinikita ko sa aking trabaho…dreams do come true!”

Joanna Cabrera-Tabuac
Joanna Cabrera

These were the words Joanna Cabrera-Tabuac uttered when we did her interview.  There was no trace of bragging but just a sincere aura of gratitude and happiness. Wouldn’t you be just as excited if you were in her shoes?

Humble Beginnings

Joanna lived a simple life in the Philippines. She graduated with a nursing degree and worked as a nursing assistant  in a mental facility.  She’s also very enterprising and sold all kinds of knick-knacks as a side job.

Joanna’s Graduation
Joanna and her colleagues in the Philippines

She moved to Ireland  in the year 2009  with the hope of having something better  for her family.   She started out as a babysitter and cleaner  for different families. Life was hard in a foreign land but she held on with the belief that everything will get better in time. 

Joanna during her baby sitting stint

Joanna is a goal oriented person.  She knows that once a goal is set she will do everything in her power to achieve it.  With hard work and perseverance, Joanna was able to land a job as a health care assistant in a retirement home. But nursing for her  was just a means to an end.  Joanna’s dream is to really have her own business. She still doesn’t know what business she’ll get into so it remained at the back burner for some time.

And then COVID 19 happened.

Joanna and The Bailiwick Academy

Joanna lost her babysitting side job when the pandemic hit.  She also lost a big chunk of her earnings. During this time, social media is showing that baking was becoming a trend. Joanna decided to give it a try. As she was browsing YouTube for recipe videos she chanced upon an ad for The Bailiwick Academy. 

Joanna got curious and she clicked on the ad.  The presentation of the courses impressed her. But what really caught her eye was the Artisan Ensaymada class.  But Joanna didn’t have the tools to make the ensaymadas so she opted for the Bibingka class instead. 

From that class,  she was able to buy the tools needed so she can produce more products to sell. She also enrolled in more classes.  The Bailiwick Academy was such a big help to her that she has this to say:

“ Kailangan ko mga ‘to. I keep on enrolling kahit wala sa budget… nakaka adik ang mga class. Talagang magugustuhan mo ang classes! … And yung mga instructors, hindi ka nila hahayaan nalang after ng class. They answer your questions and you can really feel that they care for the students. Hindi ka nila talaga papabayaan.  Yun po talaga ang pinaka nagustuhan ko.”

Joanna Cabrera-Tabuac

Her Growing Business

“When you love something, it doesn’t feel like work.” – Natalie Massenet

Natalie Massenet

This quote holds true for Joanna.  She started out small.  She gave samples to her friends and co-workers. Her market eventually grew through word of mouth. Now she hardly has any rest days!  If she is off from work, she makes use of this time to fulfill baking orders.  Among her bestsellers are the Artisan Ensaymada, Spanish Bread and Pan de Sal.  All these, of course, are courtesy of The Bailiwick Academy!

Joanna and her baked goods

In less than a year, Joanna has established herself in her community as a successful home baker. However, she didn’t stop there. She researched about Filipino stores in her area.  She inquired and brought her products for taste tests.  A few weeks had passed and she didn’t hear anything from these stores.  Joanna was disappointed but this didn’t deter her from going after her dream. She just kept on trying.  After several tries, she got a call from a Filipino Store that she can already supply bread.  Joanna was so happy!

On The Rise

On the first drop of her products, she noticed that there are 5 sellers of Filipino bread.  Same products as hers.  She was nervous, scared and doubtful. A lot of what ifs in her head.

“What if my products won’t sell?” 

“What if the customers won’t like my bread?”

But backing out or giving up isn’t on her plan.  She just hoped that she could sell at least a few.  

Just hours after, she got a call from the owner of the shop!  Her products were almost sold out! And the owner was asking when she could replenish her stocks.

That was just the start.

Now, Joanna supplies bread to 4 Filipino stores in Dublin through her Facebook page, Eirebelle’s Delights. She developed a system to balance her job, family duties and her baking business.  She is a proud registered business owner too! 

Joanna The Dreamer

“Ako po kase ang tao na pag may ginusto hindi ako titigil hanggang maabot ko siya…”

With her earnings from baking and her savings, she was able to pay off the mortgage of their house in Ireland. And the dreamer that she is, Joanna someday hopes to have her very own coffee shop. No doubt that this dream will become a reality in the very near future!

But until then , Joanna is very happy to have financial stability, a thriving business and a career. Yes, we can do it all if we just put our mind to it!   Joanna nowadays is happy to juggle her job, her baking and her family.

Wouldn’t you want to become just like Joanna?

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