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Edna’s Cakeland’s Anna Margarita Gonzales on Being a Mother and CEO

The bakeshop heiress shared her learnings from their family business and how she juggles work and family life

Starting out as a kid who always loved to pop in between her mother’s baking sessions, Edna’s Cakeland’s Anna Margarita Gonzales took inspiration from the small kitchen ideas that she’s acquired from her mom.


“When I was young, I was actually living inside our kitchen. I was an only child. I used to play in our kitchen and I used to stay with my mom until midnight while she was baking,” Anna said in an exclusive Metro.Style interview.



One sunny afternoon in 1996, when Herminio and Edna Gonzales shared a homemade bread that changed their lives, little did they know that their daughter Anna’s life was about to transform as well.


“It just started in my mom’s kitchen. My mom was a previous bank manager and she’s very passionate about business, so she started baking for her friends and family. And when a lot of them liked it, 'yun, she started selling to them,” she walked us through how their family business came about. 


“And then, she started her home kitchen. Before, we just used to open our house—our kitchen—and then the people would go there to buy,” Anna continued, remembering how their small bakeshop was once just a humble setup of a household dining table with some baked products displayed on top of it. “As time passed by, siyempre dumami 'yung customers, so she was forced na to put up a little shop inside our house.”


With 10 branches nationwide—the latest being in SM City Clark—Edna’s Cakeland extends its great success and quality products to the Cabanatueños, Nuevo Ecijanos, and now Kapampangans. “Actually, I was really surprised by how the Kapampangans actually accepted or patronized [Edna’s] Cakeland here in Pampanga,” Anna told us. “When we came here [during the pandemic], there were a lot of establishments closed.”


For almost three decades in the baking industry, Edna’s Cakeland has been a tour de force in their niche. With a mission to spread love straight from their homegrown recipes, the bakeshop wishes to expand in other provinces in the Philippines to deliver high-quality cakes and pastries that will sure gladden the customer. In fact, according to Anna, they’re eyeing to open two stores in 2025 and one in NCR soon.



“We usually try to bake in the same area where our products are sold, and we release that every day. We don’t have preservatives kasi,” she revealed. “Ito 'yung medyo challenge natin when we go outside of where we do our production. So hopefully, in the near future, we’re trying to really expand furthermore. And hopefully, [to] the South also.”


As CEO and COO of their ever-growing enterprise, Anna’s passion for baking eventually blossomed into something bigger. Her aspirations for the company doesn’t stop at coming up with the best flavors. She wanted to make every store visit and every bite a core memory to customers and patrons across the country. “When I did my study, that’s when I learned that I really like it, but I was more in the management side—marketing side of the business. I used to bake before, but now, I’m more focused on the expansion.”


Witnessing her mom’s journey of ups and downs, Anna has come to learn how to handle challenges with grace. “For my mom kasi, she’s not really a businesswoman, but she started as an employee. So it was quite hard for her siguro to really build it in terms of the marketing side.”



“That was a bit of a challenge for her I think—getting really known. But then, once you have established your name in the industry and people know the quality of the products that you provide, that’s when it [gets known].”


Meanwhile, when asked what the greatest lesson is that she learned from her mother, Anna replied: “My greatest takeaway from my mom is to always be passionate with what you do, because if you’re passionate with what you do, it’s not hard work anymore. It’s just enjoying and having fun, putting out your creative side, and just making the business bigger.”


As a business-minded individual herself who takes delight in putting up her passion projects, Anna also engages in other enterprises like her very own AMG Advertising and GlowSKN Beauty. As a boss woman, she, too, imparts advice to the young generation. 


“My advice for people who would want to go into business is, they should be passionate; they should be into what they’re doing so that they would learn to grow with it and they would really make the business flourish. Because if you’re really inspired and passionate about what you do, it’s very easy to grow the business.”


A wife to Filipino actor Justin Cuyugan and mother of five beautiful children, Anna is dedicated to maintaining her work and life balance as well. She puts a high premium on motherhood and family life, and takes a break if need be. “That’s something that I really try to give time to because my kids are growing really fast. Even though I have a busy schedule every day, I try to prioritize family time with them.”


On a free day, she also likes listening to her kids’ stories and how their day went. At the end of every workday, she takes refuge in being a mother and seeing her loved ones happy. “To be honest, sometimes, it’s tricky. But you know, sometimes, we just have to put everything into just one plate and just divide them equally. You just have to really have proper time management.”



With a supportive husband and parents by her side, it’s no surprise Anna can also take on the mightiest problems in the world. Her parents are her rock, and she thanks them for being her life guardians. “They have guided me also through the business side of things, so I’m really happy that I still have them. [To my mother,] I would like to tell her how thankful we are for having her and inspire all of us for being the great woman she is.”


Lead photos from @amgonzales

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