It all started with just one *special pie...
The iconic key lime pie started one dinner time at home back in 2018. Bea Ocampo, owner & co-founder of Lemonlime Manila, brought one over for the whole family to share. She knew it had to be a break from chocolate and veer away from the typical. It was new to everyone. Out of everything she has brought to family dinners, nothing has gotten the reaction like key lime pie. There were actual oohs and ahhs in the dining room. People who do not normally eat dessert take seconds – maybe out of curiosity or just plain craving at the sight of it. A family relative who is a chef even said, “This is so good! Why are you not selling this already?”.
After that, it was something that became a tradition in every family affair.
Being employed in corporate jobs back then, couple Bea and Japee didn’t think of starting a business out of it. Come 2020, the pandemic hit and everything stopped. They started conceptualizing Lemonlime Manila during the early days of lockdown. It was tricky. Most suppliers at the time were closed or had limited production capacity. They had to closely coordinate and check the reliability given the circumstances. Even up until today, they source their packaging needs, ingredients, and other consumables for daily operations from their trusted suppliers.
It was only in March of 2021 when they officially launched the brand Lemonlime Manila. Bea and Japee had to start from scratch. Unlike the usual pastry offers you see out there, they had to market key lime pie - the only product of Lemonlime Manila at the time - and make it more interesting to people given it is not the most common dessert you see off-the-shelf. They only had around 20 followers on Instagram – most of whom were close friends and family. They remember celebrating hitting 100 followers, and to see that Lemonlime Manila's account is now nearing a couple of thousands is surreal.
A brand that started through word-of-mouth and eventually grew like wildfire.
Bea resigned from her corporate job a few months after launching Lemonlime Manila to fully focus on the business. She never thought that she would ever have the guts to leave her comfort zone but it was the best decision she had ever made. From corporate 9 to 5 work, she spends her days doing R&D, product development, and enhancing brand pipeline.
Back when they first opened, 5 orders were already a feat for them. To date, Lemonlime Manila now has several commercial freezers to accommodate a minimum of hundreds of orders per week. After all, teamwork makes the dream work!
Bea and Japee wouldn’t have made it this far without their families’ help and support. Growing up seeing their own family’s businesses, they believed that was the starting point of Lemonlime Manila. They were exposed at such an early age to managing a business. Every small detail and crevice, their parents made sure they experienced it all. No shortcuts. Ultimately, their early training and exposure in operating a business is now their key and most valued ingredient in Lemonlime Manila.
Meet Bea and Alexander
Young couple and entrepreneurs Bea Ocampo and Alexander Baldonado have the same palate when it comes to dessert... and shall we also say, same passion for business.
Bea has always enjoyed baking ever since she can remember. Following her mom’s footsteps in the food industry, Bea spent hours in the kitchen with her mom to perfect the art of baking from a very young age. Growing up with a family business, she remembers sleeping in the wee hours to help with holiday orders and tagging along at the grocery store to buy supplies. It was a familiar and nostalgic memory, specially now that she operates her own business – Lemonlime Manila.
On the other hand, Alexander was more immersed on the management side of business. From finance, accounting to logistics, he gained these little roles from their family business growing up. As early as 10 years old, Alexander was already given the task to help man their gas station every school summer. He was responsible in helping document receipts, check facility protocols, and file the necessary paperwork and checks. Similar to how Bea was brought up, both started helping out since they were little.
Kudos to their parents for training them so early in life!