chuvaness
Estrel’s is not gold
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A door greeter is someone who welcomes visitors and customers as they arrive at a restaurant, retail store, or other businesses. The greeter may also bid people farewell as they exit the premises.
Their job frequently calls them to provide answers to questions regarding store hours, merchandise location, and the like. But most of all they are supposed to make the customer feel welcome upon entering the store.

In Manila, we don’t really have greeters. We have security guards.
At S&R there are greeters and security guards, but their main purpose is to check your bag and your membership card.
Last week I was in Quezon City to take my son to a vision and hearing test required for school.
After the exam he wanted french fries and ketchup, so we made a quick drive through Jollibee.
I was still holding my pack of fries when I saw the sign Estrel’s from the car.
I had never seen the Estrel’s mothership, and the sign that said “Since 1946” made me very excited.
I told the driver to make a U-turn.

Estrel's

Estrel’s is a caramel cake I’ve come to know through dinner parties at home. Grace, who lives in QC, used to bring them until she had a bad experience after many years.
Estrel’s are the prettiest, daintiest cakes you’ll ever see. But I might add, they are prettier than they taste.
I think I like them more because they remind me of my grandmother’s simple, homemade cakes, God bless her.

Estrel's caramel cake

The thing with Estrel’s is you can’t just walk in, buy a cake and walk out.
There are rules: You have to order three days in advance, you have to pay a deposit. The rules are listed here.
That sounds fine to me, a would-be customer. What I didn’t appreciate was how the security guard greeted me.
It wasn’t a hi, hello, or good afternoon. Instead he said, “Anong sadya niyo?”
“What?” I said, clutching my bag and fries.
May pi-pickup-in ba kayo?”
“Nope.”
Bawal yan dito,” he was eyeing my fries.
Ganon? Hindi ko naman kakainin dito.
I really didn’t want to throw the fries or walk away. I just wanted to see the store.

Normally you’re not allowed to eat in the supermarket or a clothing store for obvious reasons. But a cake shop that doesn’t even sell cakes to go??
I ignored the guard and pushed the door open. Once inside I saw the strangest cake shop scene of people behind desks taking orders from customers seated in front. No pretty cakes on display. Just desks, people, and papers.
Nobody greeted me. Nobody said, hi, may I help you? Nobody looked up and smiled. It had the warmth of a gestapo office.

So I left. On the way out I got myself a leaflet but not without telling the guard how I felt:
“Anong bang tinitinda niyo diyan? Ginto??”
I couldn’t believe what serious business it was to order an Estrel’s cake. No wonder Grace stopped bringing them.
I was so upset I started tweeting in the car.
Since presscons are all the rage in Manila (what with Kris Aquino and her sisters and Heart Evangelista’s parents), someone suggested I call a press conference to talk about Estrel’s.
Of course that sort of thing wouldn’t happen in real life, so I asked my sister Ana to draw me and my sisters in a presscon.
ATE
“Inapi ako ng guard sa Estrel’s! Huhuhuhu….”
My sister Diday is in the middle, my sister Ana, the artist is at right.
Makes you wonder how a place like Estrel’s has lasted since 1946 with this kind of service.

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DrP

I’ve bought from Estrel’s at least 10 times,from elaborate multi-layered cakes to the “baka-sakaling may extra sila na 8-inch round cake”, the last 3 all walk-ins to buys cakes (without a prior order) and all went smoothly. I would’ve tried leaving the fries on the guard’s table while I peek inside.

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M

Hi! I just want to say that I feel bad for those people who have been treated unfairly inside Estrel’s shop. I have tried working in the food and beverage industry and I can say that good customer service is what people are coming back for besides the product. However, I think blogging about the rudeness of the staff at Estrel’s is unfair and rude, too. I’m not expecting you to understand but just imagine the pressure when you have to book a lot of orders, answer phone calls, and talk to people for a whole day and the pressure… Read more »

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Dee

I just wanna share my experience last year (sa bagong shop nila). Since I checked the website and read that they now bake small batches of cakes for walk-ins, I urged my mom and sister that we drop by their store for the first time. I noticed that the gate was closed although there was still light from the store and a guard and one staff was still inside. So, I assumed that the store was still open and was trying to open the gate to get inside. The guard saw me but never approached the gate and asked me… Read more »

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Emerald

The caramel cake posted was not a genuine Estrel’s caramel cake just looking at the color and how it was designed. I can tell ’cause our family is a regular customer for decades now and they are very consistent on their quality and total appearance, believe me. Copycats are always around but the real one never fails.

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D Reply:

If you read the blog, the pic posted was her Grandma’s caramel cake and not Estrel’s.=)

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D

If you read the blog, the pic posted was her Grandma’s caramel cake and not Estrel’s.=)

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carol

I have ordered cakes from Estrel’s a few times already. Yes, sometimes it is hard to get thru their phone lines but I always do and I always get what I ordered. Its good now that they have cakes for walk-in customers (8in) but before its really pre order basis. One time that I was there to pick up an order, maybe it was the owner or one of the owners who went into the shop ( she came in thru the back door), she was kindda nonchalant,not friendly at all, even the people behind the counter are like gestapo… Read more »

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Nix

This really makes me upset. I’m planning to order cakes for christmas and new year. This will be my first time to order cakes from them. So, despite the poor feedbacks that are coming why not still try it and from there i will judge and give opinions about it. I just hope i won’t receive the exact treatment from others bcoz i have high expectations for their service and ofcourse their cake! But then, just to share a little bit of my experience with Estrel’s, i was calling them all day to place orders but their lines were continuously… Read more »