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Vienna Bakery, Manila offers quality, affordable, and delicious bread and pastries while advocating sustainable development practices. With the business being open all year round, it provides productive and decent job opportunities to its workers who are from rural areas, equips them with adequate income to alleviate poverty, locally sources its main ingredients which contribute to economic growth, and donates pastries to the community to contribute in ending hunger and achieving food security.
Located in Quiapo, Manila, Vienna Bakery, Manila is best known for its variety of non-preservative bread and pastries. Vienna Bakery aims to give decent work and promote economic growth by providing productive and decent jobs to its employees from rural areas seeking better life and work in Manila. These employees can help their families and at the same time, maximize their skills and potential. The business locally sources its main ingredients and supports neighboring business, particularly in a tight-knit community such as Quiapo, which supports economic growth.
Vienna Bakery also aims to end poverty by providing adequate income to its employees. The company pays for their travels from their hometown to Manila and equips them with lodging, food, water, and electricity. This generous initiative has helped alleviate the employees' living expenses and allowed them to provide for their families back home.
Lastly, the business aims to end hunger and achieve food security by giving out free bread and pastries to the community, such as the Quiapo Church and nearby barangays and donating bread and pastries to Hospicio de San Jose as its annual family tradition. Moreover, Vienna Bakery, Manila is ready to serve the community all year round (open January 1 – December 31). In a country where it is common to have families and friends bond over a hot drink and pandesal and where bread is arguably the second most consumed food next to rice. A bakery open every day of the year is a way to contribute to ending hunger.
Vienna Bakery | Manila located in Quiapo, Manila
Knowing that most of her employees are breadwinners and providers for their families has inspired Ms. Josephine Co Leng, the owner of Vienna Bakery, Manila to motivate her employees to work better and be better versions of themselves. Their hard work and loyalty are rewarded with a living wage and basic needs to alleviate their living expenses in Manila and support them in helping their families back home. She always reminds her employees of the importance of hard work, especially when they want to go home but do not have the money to provide for their families. As compassionately shared by Ms. Josephine, "If we don't take care of them, nobody is going to take care of them and their families."
Quiapo is a tight-knit community. "It [Quiapo] is a devoted community. Giving donations is our way to give back to the community who supported us being sila din naman talaga ang bumibili sa amin (they are our patrons)." Businesses support businesses. Owners support owners. Without the community that has shown unwavering support to Vienna Bakery for the past 100 years, it would not be as successful as it is now. It has inspired Ms. Josephine and Vienna Bakery Manila to continuously give back to the community that has given them so much, especially during the most challenging times.
It's not uncommon for Vienna Bakery Manila to support its employees by providing their basic needs such as lodging, water, food, and electricity, which, in turn, has helped the employees and their families have a better life. "Kahit may mga umaalis sa amin, proud and masaya ako kasi mas maganda na yung buhay nila ngayon. (Even though some employees leave us, I'm proud and happy because they have a better life now)." As proudly shared by Ms. Josephine, one of her employees was able to buy land and build a house in the province by working in Vienna Bakery. Aside from this, that employee also started her own bakery. "More than the money, ang importante sa akin (what's important to me) is that they can stand up on their own feet and use the skills they learned working for me and with me."
In addition, Vienna Bakery supports the community by donating bread and pastries. Through the help of the employees and the community, Vienna Bakery, Manila and Vienna Cakes have expanded, offering a wide variety of bread, pastries, and cakes perfect for all occasions. It now boasts a menu of not less than 50 different pastries and customized cakes.
It also meant expanding the team to cater to the growing number of customers and orders daily. Vienna Bakery, Manila and Vienna Cakes have around 10-15 employees, a relatively large number for a small bakery business. It shows that not only Vienna Bakery is growing but also the team that makes it all possible. Vienna Bakery has also reached new markets outside the Quiapo area and built a positive reputation as a bakery that offers affordable, quality, and fresh products. Vienna Bakery, Manila sells around 100 pieces of bread and pastries daily, while Vienna Cakes receives 6-10 orders weekly. The impressive number of loyal customers and repeat orders that they have received show how the innovations have affected the business.
Vienna Bakery Manila's innovations have not only contributed to social and environmental development but have benefited the business as well.
By giving decent jobs to its employees and freeing them from the costly living expenses in Manila through providing an acceptable living situation (i.e., lodging, food, water, and electricity), the business has helped improve employee well-being and retention. Vienna Bakery has gained employees' immeasurable loyalty, trust, and hard work in exchange for the owner's generosity. "I always remind them of the importance of hard work. That's the most important thing. Pag masipag sila, magtatagal sila dito (If they are hardworking, they will stay here long)." Most employees have been with Vienna Bakery for 4-5 years. During the pandemic, some decided to go to their hometowns or work abroad, while some stayed working in the bakery. Ms. Josephine proudly shared that one of her employees, who started as a tindera (shopkeeper), is now the head decorator of Vienna Cakes and has been in the family business for more than 15 years - one of their tenured employees. It shows that it has gained loyal and capable employees who are vital in growing the business. It is imperative to say that these employees have made Vienna Bakery, Manila the successful business it is now.
Vienna Bakery, Manila might be a small fish in a big pond, but this did not stop them from establishing its place in the bakery business with one of its well-known staples – hopia. "Our main goal really when we donate is to help. That's it. But somehow, it also helps us market our products for free. Nakatulong na nga kami, may free marketing pa (We were able to help and at the same time get a free marketing)." Word-of-mouth marketing has helped the business reach new markets and boost a good brand reputation. For example, they not only cater to residents around Quiapo but also those who are from other areas. They receive a lot of inquiries and orders for their pastries and cakes. While this is only a secondary effect of their innovation, this has remarkably benefited the business in ways it did not expect.
Despite being a small business in a competitive industry, Vienna Bakery, Manila has had a notable impact on social and environmental aspects.
By providing decent jobs and living wages to its employees, it supports the employees and their families to experience a better quality of life. More importantly, while these job opportunities bring tangible rewards, such as money, they also lead the way to intangible rewards, such as life and work skills and experience, which the employees can use in the future. "Hindi lang pera yung gusto kong makuha nila sa pagwo-work, pati na rin yung life and work skills na they can use in the future (It's not only the money that I want them to gain from working, but also life and work skills they can use in the future). In fact, we have employees na hindi nakapag-tapos (who were not able to finish their studies), and then after a few years of working here, nakakapag-abroad na (they get to work abroad)." In addition, by handing out free bread and pastries to the community, the business contributes to ending hunger and achieving food security in the simplest yet most significant way possible. For example, they donate large amounts of bread and pastries to the Quiapo church, especially during massive events such as fiesta. It helps the church feed its parishioners, particularly those who are underprivileged and hungry. It might not be the most sumptuous meal that people would have. However, by providing readily available and accessible to people, particularly those who are vulnerable and in need of nutritious and adequate food, we are, albeit small, one step closer to ending hunger.
Vienna Bakery, Manila is known for its quality and delicious products. However, these products are not only as good as they look but are also safe and environment-friendly. The bakery does not use preservatives in its bread and pastries. "We do not use it [preservatives] kasi gusto namin fresh and safe products namin (because we want our products to be fresh and safe) for the customers and the environment." While preservatives prevent food spoilage and improve appearance, they negatively affect people's health and the environment. Preservatives have chemicals that are harmful to the environment that pollute the air, soil, and water. Vienna Bakery, Manila has continuously held its ground to eliminate preservatives and only use natural raw materials in its products.
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Josephine Co Leng, Owner
Established in 1901, Vienna Bakery, Manila is best known for its variety of non-preservative bread and pastries. Since the Co Leng Family’s acquisition in the 1990s, the business has since expanded by offering its famous hopia (a bean-filled moon cake-like pastry), cream puffs, and cakes sold under its branch – Vienna Cakes. This small business is based in Quiapo, Manila.