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The rise of Buko Pandesal: How a unique bread became a Filipino favorite

Buko Pandesal Bakeshop, a family-run bakery in Laguna stands as a testament to Filipino entrepreneurial spirit, weathering challenges with a unique take on a classic Filipino bread.

Aira May Cueto and her family, inspired by generations of baking heritage, took a traditional favorite – the pandesal bread roll – and infused it with a modern twist: the luscious sweetness of buko (coconut) pie filling.

The resulting Buko Pandesal quickly became a local favorite, attracting customers with its delightful fusion of tradition and innovation. However, the pandemic cast a shadow over their flourishing business.

Undeterred, the Cueto family pivoted, embracing adaptability and resilience. A relocation closer to their Los Baños home presented an opportunity to rebuild.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) emerged as a crucial partner, offering support through the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) program, which provided essential guidance and tax breaks.

Despite the hurdles, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop continued to thrive, their story resonating with Filipinos seeking success. Awards and a growing customer base solidified their place in the community. Now, the family envisions expansion and diversification, inspiring a new generation of Filipino entrepreneurs.

Looking ahead, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop is actively participating in DTI and DOST seminars on food safety, demonstrating their commitment to continuous improvement.

With a branch now established in Mandaluyong, Buko Pandesal’s aspirations extend beyond local horizons. The Cueto family dreams of introducing their unique Buko Pandesal to a wider audience, potentially even exploring international markets, and leaving a lasting mark on global baking culture.

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