CALGARY - A long time Filipino bakery bids its loyal customers goodbye as owners set their eyes on retirement.
For 20 years, Melly's Bakery in Calgary has been part of the lives of many kababayans with their one-of-a-kind cakes for weddings, birthday parties and other events in the city.
The city's first Filipino bakery store has also become synonymous with Pinoy taste through its sumptuous home-cooked meals.
“Kasi iyong dalawang anak ko, every year ang aming cake para sa kanila, birthday cake ay galing kina aling Melly's kaya parang tradisyon na sa amin dahil napakasarap at lasang Pilipino,” said loyal customer Vangie Caoile.
Their bakery products have also become the favorite pasalubong of kababayans and other nationalities. Their products reach as far as Edmonton, and are even sought by other Filipinos as far as Manitoba and Quebec.
“Name recognition and good customer service from the Melly's…and we have nothing but praise for them,” said Lorry Oranchuck with his Filipina wife Maria.
But the husband-and-wife team behind Melly's Bakery success is now retired after having sold their business, much to the disappointment of their loyal customers.
Many still call the home of Jose “Pepe” and Melly Abesamis to order baked goods from them.
“Marami talagang disappointed at saka especially hindi namin pinublish sa mga diyaryo na ibebenta na namin ang business. Siyempre, iyung Pilipinong bumili ng business, gusto rin naming matulungan pero they are trying to copy Melly's, to duplicate, which is impossible to do it because Melly has been a legacy for 20 years," the couple said.
The owners said kababayans keep coming back because of the exotic flavors of their cakes such as ube, mango, pandan and mocha.
They were also the first few bakers in the city who could build wedding cakes with four to six tiers.
The business all started with Melly’s passion for good food and cooking at a young age.
Melly's Bakery then became a labor of love for the whole Abesamis family.
“Actually, ang ginawa ko ay parang family business. Gawa ng kung si Melly lang di niya masyadong magagawa ang lahat. Kaya ang nangyari, mga anak ko katulong namin ganyan, pati ako pagkagaling ko sa opisina tumutulong ako kay Melly para makapag-ano ng production. Kaya yun lang ang naging sikreto ng bakery," said Pepe.
Melly's Bakery proves that hard work, passion and belief in one's talents and skills are the recipe for a business to succeed.