A story of creativity and resilience
For Ramón Alberto Ortegano, his original cake business with a history, called Amaretto’s, located in the city of Lima, is his great passion. Although it was not easy for this creative university professor to leave his family and his country of origin, starting from scratch in another country, weighing all the situations, was worth it, and as he himself confirms: “the new land received him with open arms.”
Two years after his arrival, even after dedicating many hours of work to his entrepreneurship, the situation of his business unexpectedly changed. Added to the lack of capital due to the abandonment of his partners, which left his company with only an asset of just $20, was the mandatory confinement due to Covid-19 and the return of strong feelings of nostalgia for his home country. However, Ramón did not allow himself to forget his dream, and transformed his difficult situation in an opportunity to increase his strength, and decided to give forced confinement a new meaning: he studied to impement in his pastry creations the element that until now had ignored: innovative decorations that arouse emotions in customers.
He discovered that lockdown was the ideal time to dedicate himself to discovering innovative decorations that could add value to his business. This is how Amaretto’s Tradition was born, a new line of “personalized cakes”. The truth is that it did not take long for him to have a large client portfolio, which allowed him to participate in the IOM project aimed at obtaining seed capital, together with the excellent training that he needed for his entrepreneurship. And his dream gradually came true, the business began to expand more and more.
“Another of IOM’s great contributions was the mentoring program, which I personally did not know what it was about, but there is no doubt that it came just at a time when I was feeling very low, wanting to abandon everything, and although there were so many negative things in the environment, I asked myself “what do I lose by doing them?” It was then that Nora, our mentor, with a vibrant energy and professionalism, managed to get me involved in that program without any possible excuse to leave. I remember the first session perfectly: I was decorating a cake, and then she told me: “don’t stop doing what you’re doing, you’ll see that you can still share your thoughts with us” .
“From that moment, with each exercise of self-reflection, with each strategy of inner strengthening, I was rediscovering myself, and I could explore my new abilities. Mentorships have allowed me to scrutinize very deep inside who I am, and as it happens with computers, I can put my mind in “original version”, valuing the abilities I have in a very short time, and the change is brutal, as they would say in Venezuela . I am deeply grateful.”