peek a boo packaging
Until I meet Jennifer Uy-Wong, for me, packaging is just packaging: sometimes pretty, sometimes eliciting an “ooh” and “ahh”, but most of the time quite forgettable. I’m always more intent on getting to what’s inside the box ”“ the result of being one track-minded when it comes to food.
Jennifer’s family owns and runs Scala, a printing and packaging company. Started by her dad, Goldilocks was their very first client. “We’ve been 40 years in the business now, and I can remember that Goldilocks had just one branch when they started out with us,” Jennifer, who handles Scala’s Marketing and Customer Relations, recalls. Goldilocks branches are now in the hundreds, and Scala still supplies their packaging. How’s that for a long-term relationship!
Scala offers all types of paperboard packaging: from food grade boxes to cake boards, liners, posters, flyers, and corrugated boxes too. “We prefer paper because it’s more environment-friendly,” Jennifer avers. Their packaging is made of different material, the majority of which are imported. Jennifer’s dad even invented a particular type of board for the local market, a result of fusing the various materials available locally and abroad. And everything is food-grade because this is packaging meant for food.
I’m beginning to see that Scala is a company that goes the extra mile. I notice that their cake boards have an extra white backing instead of the usual grey or cardboard support that common boards have. From the samples Jennifer sends me, I see that the boxes and boards are extremely sturdy ”“ I don’t have to worry about my cake collapsing in mid-transport from box to table. I’m amazed at the designs too, from classic rounds to squares and rectangles, even boards with scalloped edges and little boards for individual-sized cakes. Where was Scala when I was in the cheesecake business?!! If I’d known they were around, I wouldn’t have had to waste my time and scare the living daylights out of my Bin by dragging him to Divisoria! “We don’t really advertise because we deal more with industrial and commercial accounts, not retail,” says Jennifer.
When I interview her, we are sitting in front of the café’s display case. She points at the flimsy metallized boards which the cakes unceremoniously sit on. The boards are wrinkled and are beginning to curl up, like an over-the-hill cabaret dancer about to lift her flouncy skirt one last time. “A big selling point of companies now is the presentability of their products,” she begins, speaking almost pensively. “And when your packaging looks like that, you might not necessarily order that cake because of the condition of the cake board.” She shrugs. “But then again, it could be subliminal.” I look at the boards (and the cakes!) with new eyes and nod my head slowly. She has a point there. The cakes are beautiful, but the boards they stand on could use some work.
Scala also designs packaging for their clients. “It’s something I push for with our customers, identify yourself by branding,” says Jennifer.
Such quality doesn’t have to come at an extra cost. “People have the perception that we are more expensive, but if we were that expensive then I can tell you that the big companies wouldn’t have used us because they’re really price-sensitive due to the immense volume that they handle,” Jennifer expounds. With a client list that includes Bizu, Red Ribbon, and Bread Talk, as well as the aforementioned Goldilocks, she knows what she’s talking about.
Scala also has products for home bakers too, starting off with the cake boards and boxes as low as 1,000 or 5,000 in quantity. Man, if I’d only had these boxes when I was still in the cheesecake business, I may not have given it up so easily!
Scala Printing & Packaging
7 Tiyaga Street, Plainview
(632) 532-2020 / 532-1628