There is always a risk when you start up any business and a big part of making any venture a success is networking, making the most of your opportunities and bouncing back from adversity. You also need a dash of perseverance mixed in with a winning attitude, which is a great way to describe Nakedough’s immigrant business owners Carmina Paterno and Ivonne Chan. Vancouver-based Nakedough is the first ever premium cookie dough company in Vancouver providing safe to eat, and ready to bake cookie dough and its gluten-free. Interested customers can order online or a local pick-up and delivery option.
Originally from the Philippines, the Nakedough duo first developed the concept of starting their own business not long after immigrating to Canada. Paterno immigrated to Canada in 2012 and Chan in 2014.
“My inspiration to start Nakedough originated from researching food trends I thought were interesting. One of the food trends that really caught my eye was cookie dough. My goal was to have my business on the side, gain experience, and learn the industry,” said Chan.
When Chan’s family decided to move to Canada, it was a smooth application process but it didn’t happen right away. It was almost ten years before her family officially immigrated to Canada.
“I was a Sales Manager for three years working for Nestle in the Philippines. I had already graduated university prior to immigrating so I already had work experience. I would say I was pretty well equipped to move to Canada,” said Chan. “I had people and communication skills. I have excellent English language skills and I even took French in university. In terms of leadership, I had the experience, so I was already set up for success moving to Canada.”
Paterno said her family's reasoning to move to Canada was seeded in her brain at a young age. She estimates that it only took a few years from the start of the application process to permanent residency in Canada.
“It wasn’t just me who initiated it. It would be my mom. She was a single mom with two daughters and basically she wanted a better life for both of us. The quality of life is far better than what we had in the Philippines,” said Paterno.
Paterno, who is a Food Scientist by profession was asked by Chan if she wanted to team up and help her run Nakedough shortly after they began working together in Vancouver.
“At first I was speculative but honestly at the time I really wanted to have a business. I was burning out at my current job, but I was willing to trust Ivonne. It was also nice that she was Filipino,” said Paterno.
After almost a year Nakedough is still getting off the ground but growing. The concept of the business was brainstormed in November 2020 but it wasn’t until April 2021 that it officially took off.
“We have our own fan base now. We have a steady number of customers who purchase from us. It is doing good despite the fact that we are full time employees at our other jobs,” said Paterno.
Immigrating, embracing a new culture and starting a business involves new learning curves. Ivonne noticed right away that business, law and marketing was different in Canada than in the Philippines, but it didn’t take long for her to catch up. Another thing she noticed was that not all of her education skills were transferable. Chan used her sister as an example, explaining that she had one year left for her degree in the Philippines but in Canada her education was only equivalent to one year, which was discouraging.
Paterno also noticed that when she attended university in Canada she had to do a lot of English tests to confirm her credibility, which reminded her that improving skills don’t necessarily stop when you land in Canada.
“For me as an international student I still had to enrich myself with more English courses. I utilized testing bodies or resources that allowed me to practice English writing, language comprehension. It’s what I had to do to be at an academic English standard which was already supplemented with what I already had in terms of training in the Philippines,” said Paterno.
Despite what would seem to be setbacks for some people both Paterno and Chan chose to accept these challenges in a positive way. They also believe that success comes with embracing change and never giving up.
“I had a job after only a week of immigrating to Canada. I understood that embracing change is also about welcoming opportunities and having a game plan. I know some people who have failed because they didn’t want to do a blue collar job or work at a fast food restaurant. No that’s not it. It’s about building your experience and just waiting for the right opportunities to come,” said Chan
Until they both reach their goal of working full time at their Nakedough enterprise, they are content to increase their work experience, build their business and one day look back in fond memories of where it all began.
If you’re interested in immigrating to Canada like Paterno and Chan, you’ll benefit from finding the best immigration consultant for your unique situation. Visit ImmiSearch to find the perfect licensed Canadian immigration consultant!
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