“When you study everything can be achieved”

Leslie Aliaga is a young mother who lives in Huaycán, in Lima - Peru. Some time ago, at 3Love Inc. we had the opportunity to meet her. First she was a student of a baking workshop that we organized in the Yesenia Saenz Soup Kitchen. There we witnessed her joy, her energy and her ability to get ahead. Subsequently, 3Love Inc. decided to continue contributing to her learning, so that she could study the Pastry Assistant module at the Huaycán Technical-Productive Education Center. In this interview, Leslie tells us about this experience, about her passion for preparing desserts and about the importance of education.

Leslie Aliaga is a young mother who lives in Huaycán, in Lima – Peru. Some time ago, at 3Love Inc. we had the opportunity to meet her. First she was a student of a baking workshop that we organized in the Yesenia Saenz Soup Kitchen. There we witnessed her joy, her energy and her ability to get ahead. Subsequently, 3Love Inc. decided to continue contributing to her learning, so that she could study the Pastry Assistant module at the Huaycán Technical-Productive Education Center. In this interview, Leslie tells us about this experience, about her passion for preparing desserts and about the importance of education.

 

You have recently successfully passed the Pastry Assistant module at the Huaycán Technical-Productive Education Center. Tell us what this experience meant to you.

 

I feel happy. First of all because I didn’t think I could achieve all that, but everything is possible in this life. I have a young daughter and I have done everything possible to continue studying. I have not only been a student there, I have also been a secretary. We have done many productive projects, because in the workshop there are not all the implements we need. When we did the productive projects, we bought new mixers, cake bases, utensils such as measuring spoons. In addition, all the students learned to make nougat and Christmas cupcakes.

 

Previously you also participated in a baking workshop organized by 3Love at the Yesenia Saenz Soup Kitchen in Huaycán. What did you like the most about the learning you got in that workshop?

 

I have had a good base, because previously I watched videos on YouTube and learned, but is not a 100% apprenticeship. For example, I used to make my cakes, but they didn’t come out perfectly, I even have videos where you can see that my cakes overflowed, because there are some baking secrets too, you can’t look too much at the cake when it’s baking. In the 3Love workshop I have learned a lot with the teacher Nancy, how to make cookies, ice cream, etc. I thought making ice cream was easy, but it’s not. It is a long process. Professor Nancy has taught me a lot of things. I used to tell her: “I want to learn such and such” and that’s how she taught me.

 

How did your interest or taste for pastry originated?

 

I always liked baking cakes, but I never imagined studying baking. This career gives you many job opportunities. And I like it, because in baking everything is done with measurements, everything has to be perfect. Along the way I have had many people who have been there with me teaching me about baking.

 

You are a mother and you are also an entrepreneurial woman. Tell us how you have put your knowledge of baking into practice in a small business that helps you earn an income.

 

I have learned that to make a profit, we have to separate the materials and not even a little bit should be wasted. Even when there is leftover milk, you can freeze it, so that the day you make a cake, you can make the whipped cream using the frozen milk. You will not be able to use it in desserts, but you can make a cupcake with whipped cream. There you also make a profit. I have also learned that ice cream and cremoladas (soft drink made with fruit pulp or syrup or other components, essences and crushed ice) are quite profitable, but it is seasonal, the cakes are also sold more seasonally. In the winter season the cakes are in demand, in the summer season the cremoladas. As time goes by you learn with what you get more profit and with what you don’t get profit, because there are ups and downs.

 

You currently have a small business, you sell desserts that you prepare yourself.

 

Yes, I always hand out my business cards for orders. I also offer themed cakes, snacks and cupcakes for parties. In Huaycán some products are not sold a lot, but little by little, by making them taste the cakes and cupcakes, I know that they will place their orders. I am also in the field of decoration for children’s parties.

 

What is the greatest satisfaction you get from being able to prepare desserts that other people buy and enjoy?

 

For me it is a joy. Recently, a lady ordered two cakes for a school and she liked them, she told me they were delicious. I feel happy every time I get positive feedback. I have also been told that my cakes are not dry, but juicy. On the other hand, when they buy them on the street or in the stores, the cake is dry. The cost also has a lot to do with that. Sometimes the cake that has chemicals costs less. Mine doesn’t have chemicals, it’s natural, from home, and the cake from home costs a little more.

 

What new skills have you developed on a personal level during your learning process in the pastry-making?

 

I feel that I have developed my communication and sales skills. I have empowered myself to talk about everything I do. I am sociable, I talk to everyone, but before I used to talk about other things. Now every time I approach them, I tell them: “I also make desserts” and the neighbors already know me. Every time they saw me coming home from class, they would say: “And what did you do today?” So I didn’t talk so much about myself, but about the desserts I made.

 

What would you recommend to other women and mothers who also want to launch their own business? What aspects should they take into account?

 

They should feel secure, security is the first thing, have confidence in themselves, because before I used to say: “No, I can’t”, but when you study everything can be achieved. I can say that having a daughter does not take away your desire to achieve things. On the contrary, my daughter makes me improve myself. My daughter gives me motivation to keep going. You have to find a way to go on, because if you say “No”, you will always have that in your mind. Both women and men, we can all make it possible.

 

By: Juan Carlos Ugarelli

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