Sisters, both nurses, try another way of earning dough in Canada
Two Filipina sisters in Waterloo Region, Ontario, are getting noticed not because they are both trained and experienced nurses, but because their now full-time baking business is rising.
Food writer and broadcaster Andew Coppolino learned of Joanna and Jamie Undag’s Sugbo Cakes and Pastries in a small commercial plaza on Weber Street in Waterloo, and introduced his readers to goodies from the sisters’ oven.
Among the Undags’ offerings are ensaymada with buttercream and mozzarella, ube cake and crinkle cookies and Filipino-style gluten-free coconut macaroons. They spend more for ube imported from the Philippines because they want the authentic ube taste.
Sugbo shares kitchen space with Gayuma Catering, who helped the sisters establish their business. It will have a stand at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market in the spring.
The Undags are using their grandmothers’ recipes. “We followed our mother’s mother for the pastry and our father’s mother for the breads and savory baking,” Joanna told Coppolino.
“We want to bring customers to our home. For those who haven’t been to the Philippines, our food will take you there,” Jamie told Coppolino.
Montreal was the sisters’ first stop when they immigrated from the Philippines in the winter of 2016, but the winter cold drove them away to relatively warmer Ontario.
“We didn’t expect it would be -40 C, and we weren’t prepared for the cold. I even got a nosebleed while waiting for the bus,” Jamie said.