A brief summary of how En Casa has evolved since March 2020 from a food blog to a business. Get a nice cup of tea, coffee or mate, and enjoy!
Hola, my friend!! I feel it’s a long time since I’ve posted regularly here. My last two recipes were part of a roundup of recipes with some talented Argentinian bakers (Christmas Macadamia alfajores and Chocolate Chip Cookie Alfajores [“Alfacookies”]). Both delish, by the way! So give them a try next time you feel like baking something new.
I feel soooo much has happened that I owe you a little debriefing. And I also want to leave some record of what’s happening with En Casa and the progress we’ve made so far from a food blog to a business.
Lockdown here in Melbourne has been eternal, so lots of time to work on my business.
Get a cup of coffee/tea/mate, and read on!
May 2020: Launched the Online Shop
I announced it here, but maybe you missed it. After lots of work, thinking and planning, I opened my online shop, where I share the most authentic alfajores Australia-wide from my council-registered kitchen in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.
November 2020: En Casa Moved
Technically, I moved homes, but it was all for En Casa. I was living in a small two-bedroom apartment, which was beautiful, well located, very well lit, with an enormous balcony and fresh air.
However, the kitchen was TINY. And I mean the compact tiniest kitchen, almost non-existent. I’m a person that loves cooking, despite living alone and despite having a baking business. So it became a challenge to fulfil all the alfajores orders while keeping a kind of healthy cooking schedule.
So I decided that, even though we were in the middle of a pandemia, I was going to start looking for a better place, mainly prioritizing the kitchen. This time, I would sacrifice location if that meant I could move around easily and bake more and more for all of you.
Luckily, a dear friend of mine, when I was about to give up the research because Christmas time was approaching, told me her neighbours were leaving the next-door house… The rest is history!
As you can tell, there’s a huge difference in the counter space, storage (which you can’t tell by these photos, but I may elaborate about in the future). So I’m beyond happy with the change!
January 2021: Got my first KitchenAid
This spacious kitchen was screaming for a new mixer!! (or that’s what I wanted to believe).
I had my eye on a KitchenAid since I was a kid, I think. But it was never the right time. They were (and probably are) very expensive in Argentina, I was moving houses constantly when I first arrived in Australia or didn’t have enough counter space. Considering how heavy it is and how frequently I use it, it needed to stay in an open space.
So only a few months after I moved and got settled, thanks to En Casa, I was able to purchase the heavy-duty standing mixer of the dreams! Let’s say that it was quite a step up from my $65 Kmart one (which I loved, but it was time to retire).
February 2021: Rebranding
I loved my first logo and branding, especially for the food blog, designed by my generous and talented sister, Roci.
But when I launched my business, I felt the brand needed a revamp. The colours were not representing the true rustic warm tone I wanted to convey.
So I made the executive decision to change the logo and colour palette, and I’m in love with the end result! The new colours are more aligned with today’s En Casa, don’t you think?
February 2021: Added classic Argentinian cakes and desserts
In combination with the launch of the rebranded shop, I announced a new collection of signature cakes and desserts, delivering to all Metro Melbourne.
March 2021: Started markets
This was the idea from the start, but COVID made me postponed it for a few months (like a year actually).
I’ve been learning a lot from every market stall, from how to present the alfajores, my speciality, to how to educate people about Argentina’s spectacular baking treats and the king of them all, the dulce de leche caramel.
I have a few posts in mind about how I organize my market stall and set up, so let me know in the comments down below if that’s something that interests you.
July 2021: Created a YouTube channel
I recently discovered a whole different way of creating recipe videos, which are very addictive to me. So I gave it a shot and decided to create a YouTube channel, where I posted the first recipe you can see below.
I have in mind to post more recipes you already can find in the blog, always in the same format: silent recipes focused on the sounds of the kitchen for you to center your attention on the details and the textures of the food.
I still have lots of aspects to improve. And it’s so much harder than it looks, but I really enjoyed the whole process, from shooting to editing the images (and eating the alfacookies afterwards).
August 2021: New compostable labels for alfajores
Another great achievement that was in the works for MONTHS!!
What took the longest was finding a printing company that followed sustainable practices and that also offered home compostable labels at decent pricing.
You can see the evolution of the alfajores packaging below.
What the future holds…
I recently dropped a day at my office work to focus more on En Casa, so this has me super excited about the future!
I’m very focused on growing the overall business and being able to share more recipes and tips with you all. I also would love to explore the topic of sustainability both at home and as a business, so I hope I can share more info about that with you soon.
Things on my to-do list? Creating more recipes and a more consistent schedule both for the blog and YouTube. Getting more wholesale stockists for En Casa alfajores. Collaborating with some businesses I admire and look up to.
What are my long-term goals?
First and foremost, to work full time for En Casa (ah, a girl can dream… and dreams come true, right?)
One day, I would love to have my own small bakery here in Melbourne, offering the most classic Argentinian bakes in such a foodie city. And another project I have in mind is offering baking classes, hopefully in person and online (did you know I have a masters in teaching? So I would love to apply all this knowledge to the business as well).
OK, if you make it this far, THANK YOU for reading!
As you can tell, this is an ongoing process. Always changing ad evolving.
I’m pretty happy with how the business is slowly growing, very glad about the overall look and feel it portrays, and super proud of the community we are creating (the most important part of all!). I really hope you can see the hard work and love I put into everything I share.
Let me know your thoughts, comments, suggestions for the future of En Casa or questions in the comments section.
Until the next post!