Francine and Francesca: The Sisters Behind The Daily Knead
If you love artisanal bread and pastries, chances are you’ve come across The Daily Knead’s delectable selection on Instagram or have already indulged in one or two of their irresistible offerings.
What started out in the home kitchen of co-owner Francesca Gacrama-Herring has now grown into a full-fledged bakery with branches in Paranaque (which is also their commissary), Power Plant Mall, and Sunae BGC.
For this edition of Style Stories, sisters and business partners Francesca and Francine talk about growing a business centered on family and community.
How did the Daily Knead start and how has the brand evolved since then?
Francesca: “The Daily Knead started in my very own kitchen at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown. It was quite difficult to find good bread anywhere, and a travel pass limited us 2 loaves. This proved difficult as we had a number of families and staff to buy for at the time. I just thought, I might as well bake sourdough since I was wanting to learn.”
Francine: “Francesca started baking out of necessity, and we really didn’t expect it to turn into a full-blown business!”
Francesca: “It was a fantastic way for me to involve the kids, and have them play and learn around the kitchen! My fondest memories of our early days are the kids and I making a mess, turning it all into a sensory, math, and clean up activity. It was something that we looked forward to doing together every day!”
“Since our early days in my home kitchen, The Daily Knead has grown into a brand that keeps true to why we started - making food with only wholesome ingredients with no preservatives, extenders, softeners or artificial coloring. We keep our family, and our clients’ families at the center of our “why.” It is because of this that we have built a community that trusts and knows that not only do we make balanced and delicious bread and sweets; they’re treats that you can trust are made with your health in mind.”
Where do you get inspiration for Daily Knead?
Francesca: “My kids and family have been the epicenter of my inspiration. That, and my childhood memories, and our love for travel. It keeps me daydreaming away, thinking about various flavor combinations and pushes me to try techniques I’ve never done before.”
Francine: “Family is at the heart if everything we do. We evoke memories of childhood and travel whenever we brainstorm. Since we couldn’t travel during the height of the pandemic, our taste buds became our way of exploring the world.”
For Francesca, how do you manage your time in between business and motherhood?
Francesca: “To be honest, I take it day by day. I try to be as organized as I can be, but there are days that I end up being a below average wife, mum and colleague to my team. And trust me, that’s okay. But, when things go swimmingly well, it’s usually because I allow myself to compartmentalize.”
“As an entrepreneur, I find it difficult to stop working as the boundaries of work and home are blurred. I unplug so I can be there for my kids and husband, and practice being fully present when I’m with my team so I can segment my daily to-do’s.”
What are the important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
Francesca: “I’ve always struggled to separate my home and work life. I’ve realized that I can’t do everything on my own, and there will be days that I will miss out on certain aspects of my work and home life. I’ve finally accepted that it’s okay, that delegation and empowering those around me allows me to be a better individual, wife, mom and work colleague.”
Francine: “From our team to our customers, it has always been important for us to keep people at the center and heart of what we do. Hard work on your own can only get you so far but anything is possible when you have an entire team supporting the mission and vision of your business. Our community has also been a pivotal part of our journey. Without their openness, we wouldn’t have been able to grow the way we have.”
What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Francesca: “Have grit, and when you start to doubt yourself give yourself some credit. We’re normally much better, stronger, wiser and kinder than what we usually give ourselves credit for. I had a lot of self-doubt because I’m not a trained chef, and if it wasn’t for my family and my self-affirmations, I don’t think I would be here today.”
Francine: “It’s essential to have an open line of communication with your team and your community. Being open to ideas, criticism, and feedback allows you to see from other people’s perspective. Bad feedback isn’t entirely negative - it comes with opportunities to learn and grow.”
What are you most excited about the holiday season?
Francesca: “I am so excited to launch our Holiday Collection! There’s just something about baking for others, and being a part of their celebrations and gatherings, that make it so special for me! I love feeding people!”
Francine: “We can’t wait to launch all of our new sets and holiday exclusives! We know how food brings everyone together so we’re really excited to be a part of holiday gatherings.”
On their future plans for The Daily Knead:
Francesca: “One thing’s for sure, we will never stop creating, innovating, and dreaming up wonderful bakes and flavors for our community. We have many plans for growth, but instead of diving in and taking all opportunities all at once, I’m taking it slow, planning wisely for my team, and allowing us to grow into what we have always envisioned at a pace where everyone is happy. We keep our people at the center of everything that we do.”
Follow The Daily Knead: @thedailyknead_
Follow Francine: @francinegacrama
Follow Francesca: @mfgherring
Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)