AUCKLAND, Onehunga – These days the sweet smell of ‘Pandesal’ and ‘Star Bread’ fresh out of the oven can rock a Saturday morning in Pinoy households in Auckland, thanks to ‘Bread N Butter’. Filipino bakeries have come and gone, but this one, which opened its doors on 25 April 2013 in the Onehunga Mall, seems to have staying power. It’s the last remaining Filipino bakery in Auckland and attracts clientele from near – all over Auckland and afar – Thames.
When Cebuanos Nena Cang and her husband Alvin decided to setput up a business in Auckland it had to be a bakery by default. Back in the Philippines, Nena was owner/manager of four successful bakeries for over 12 years.
“When we first came here our children wanted to eat the breads they loved in the Philippines,” explains Nena. “As I was only managing the business in Cebu, not actually doing the baking, I had to start experimenting, hands-on. I relied on my old recipes to replicate the authentic flavours that had worked for us before.”
When the Cang’s emigrated to New Zealand in 2003, starting a bakery was one of their goals, but practical realities meant that the plan had to be put off for 9 years. In the interim, Nena worked in the Emergency Department and Admissions and Planning Unit at Auckland Hospital.
According to Nena, the funds they brought with them were not adequate enough to take the plunge into business. “So I just kept praying and trusted in God that one day He wouldill grant my heart’s desire.”
All the Cang’s research pointed to a demand for a chain of Filipino bakeries in Auckland. As there was no competition, it could become a profitable business. Furthermore, it could be started at home and as the business greows, capital could be amassed to invest in the first outlet.
“When I go to parties or gatherings I always bake cakes and bread rather than bring cooked food,” says Nena. “And through this hobby I developed my skills atin baking and cake decorating.”
The next step was to look for a location for the bakery. An agent led them to a 50-year-old bakery in Onehunga that featured fast -moving traditional Kiwi favorites. By adding Filipino breads into the mix they had a recipe for success.
When Bread N Butter opened, the Cangs found that business was brisk on Saturdays.
The locals love their traditional Kiwi favorites – homemade pies, savouries, creamy doughnuts, and a variety of cakes and tarts. “But they are also learning to appreciate the taste of our traditional breads,” notes Nina.
Pinoys come for their favourite Filipino cakes and breads. “The most popular are the Spanish Bread, Ensaymada and Ube Cheese Roll,” according tosays Nena. “Then there is Pandesal, followed by Empanada, Pan de Coco, Ube Cake and the popular Cebuano delicacies such as Torta de Cebu and Rosquillos.,
What, you may ask, makes this bakery venture a big success? Well, many factors come to mind.
Filipinos love to eat bread and it appears that they will travel to feed that craving.
Having set up shop back home, the Cangs know first-hand that Cebuanos are very hard to please – they expect value -for -money. So the Cangs offer a high quality products and their business is thrivinged. The same rules apply tofor the Onehunga operation and as you would expect, fame and fortune have followed them once again.
Editor: Bread N Butter is located at 236 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga, Auckland. For orders tel: 09 636 6297, mobile: 021 149 7358.
By Mel Fernandez, Editor, Travel Galore, www.travelgalore.co.nz