Patience (and perseverance) is bitter, but its fruit, in this in- stance—the cake—is sweet.
Valentine’s Day has passed, birthdays come and go, Christmases come but once a year, but there is always an occasion to give yourself, or someone you care for, something that touches the soul.
Mer-Nel’s baked goods take the cake—literally—their little heart-shaped chocolate cakes are to-die-for and has a cult-following amongst those who have tasted (or dare I say, ‘devoured’) the delicately soft, pillowy goodness that stays moist and perfect for days, that is if they would last long the moment a fork digs into it.
Fair warning: you may have trouble putting the fork down—every inch of any of Mer-Nel’s cakes hitting your taste buds is pure love.
Mer-Nel’s history started the same way. Merle Mendoza needed to take care of her family and siblings after the passing of their father. Her love for baking kept her family’s finances afloat at the same time working a day job where she met her husband, Nelson Balicao, and when two became a family of five, the budding homemade cake pursuit created a loyal following with the locals at the heart of Los Banos, Laguna.
Merle’s passion to persevere creating that perfect mix of chocolatey goodness that has touched the hearts of those with a sweet tooth or those who bought the cakes to celebrate monumental achievements in their lives has finally paid- off with the birth of Mer-Nel’s Bakeshop—now by itself an award-winning business that has helped the community by providing employment to the people of Los Banos and nearby towns, earning themselves several awards including the Best SME (Small/Medium Enterprise) Company of the Year 2021 by Asia Leaders Awards—the largest awards event in South-East Asia.
The success of Merle and Nelson’s sweet endeavor has brought in the birth of Mer-Nel’s Place, a restaurant slash bakeshop where one could indulge in local dishes, but like many businesses touched by the pandemic, they decided to seize operation of the restaurant for the time being but fear not—you can still have a slice of heaven sampling their cakes at the dine-in bakeshop or, if you’re in the area, have a cake or two to-go from their SM Calamba branch to share with loved ones.
It is inexplicable, a small gesture of selfless generosity makes the difference in the world, and as for Mer-Nel’s true core of giving back to the community, it is undeniable that their consistency to deliver an unforgettable cake has moved the hearts of many, and the truth is in the pudding-like the lengthy dedication written on a cake from a man wanting to propose to his fiancée, or the many shared stories of breakups and getting back together—the customers kept coming back—spilling their hearts out to the cake specialist as they wait for the delectable Chocolate Cake with Yema Filling, another bestseller, to be handed to them.
Those stories have the same themes—of milestones, of love, of bringing joy, and ultimate satisfaction. The essence of what Mer-Nel’s represent is that each cake is a token of love to their customers; they celebrate their success together with them. Mer-Nel’s gratefulness of their company’s triumph to weather through hardships from their humble inception to what Mer-Nel’s is today is a testament to the devotion of their clientele.
Aristotle (or Rousseau) may have uttered that famous quote, that the road to any attainable goal is through patience, of unwavering focus and perseverance. It might be bitter having challenges along the way, but the wealth you gain from the fulfillment of such victory is everlasting and what better way to reward your- self and your beloved is with a treat by having a taste of Mer-Nel’s chocolate cakes.
Heart-shaped Chocolate Cake (Small, 220Php Med. 280Php) Choco with Yema-Filling Cake (520Php)
Mer-Nel’s Cakehouse – 10442 Lopez Ave., Batong Malake, Los Banos, Laguna. Mer-Nel’s Place – Km. 65, National Highway, Los Banos, Laguna.
Mer-Nel’s Bakeshop – SM Calamba.
Orders at (63) 0917.638.2962.