Hi, I'm Nina. I'm a writer, web designer and cookie baker

That’s not exactly how I introduce myself, but I that’s what I wrote under Occupation in my Friendster profile five years ago. You see, I used to bake cookies for a living (well, shopping money). Back in college, someone taught me how to bake cookies. After countless trials, I managed to make decent looking and fantastic tasting cookies. One of my classes required us to sell something and my group mates decided to sell the cookies I baked.

Part of the challenge of selling what you create is sourcing the raw materials and costing. Thanks to friends who are also into baking, we found where to buy good quality ingredients that doesn’t cost as much. And, thanks to my course, we were able to sell the cookies at a price that enabled us to break even and even earn after the course.

After college, in between job interviews, I baked and sold cookies so I’d have money to go out with my friends. It’s a great sideline, plus, I already have someone selling them for me: my sister. For some reason, her officemates are crazy over the cookies, and come Christmas, each one order as much as 20 boxes of 10 cookies. It was a fairly easy way to earn extra money, provided that you have the equipment, time and energy. The great thing about this is that you don’t really need a full blown bakeshop to make baked goodies like cookies.

Chef Gabby Prats of the Culinary Institute of Aristocrat
Chef Gabby of the Culinary Institute of Aristocrat basting a bell pepper for roasting. This was taken during the Chef for a Day event at the CIA.


The Culinary Institute of Aristocrat is offering short courses for young professionals, housewives, hobbyists, and students, to further hone their craft and build their own business. One such course is the Home Bakeshop: From Concept to Operation. This course covers a wide range of topics including an introduction to the home bakeshop industry, legal aspects of home bakeshop operations, marketing, product-costing and profit analysis, food safety and sanitation, basic principles of baking, ingredients and equipment identification, as well as various types of baked goods.

For more information about CIA, inquire at any branch of Aristocrat Restaurant, call 524-7671 or email culinaryinstituteofaristocrat@yahoo.com. The Culinary Institute of Aristocrat is located at del Pilar cor. San Andres sts, in front of Remedios Church, Malate, Manila (right behind the huge Aristocrat restaurant along Roxas Boulevard).