By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Kape’t Torta evokes the warmth of home through the aroma of coffee and home-made cupcakes that I have known growing up in my dear grandmother’s old house in Larena.
Torta, as we call it, are perfectly baked by the coconut embers of clay ovens – a little moist on the inside and golden brown on top. My grandma and aunt have their signature flavor on it with anise or vanilla. Pretty much a Spanish legacy, Lola’s cupcakes make up for a delicious breakfast with pure tsokolate (yes ground chocolate beans from the farm) and coffee for the adults in the best summers of my life with my grandparents tender loving care.
Today, Kape’t Torta is born in the Big Apple, a bakery and cafe on 83-13 Queens Boulevard, a business acumen of three women entrepreneurs – Nora Galleros, Kathy Gadingan, and Jeanette Uy. The conceptual process took a year, until finally the ladies incorporated into Sweets Market New York with Kapet Torta as their DBA.
On its clear glass display shelf, Pinas USA editor Muriel Ituralde and I saw the Torta, some plain, another one infused with raisins. There were ensaymada, Spanish bread, coconut bread as well which brought our memories back home.
Galleros, an accountant by profession and native of Gingoog City in Mindanao, is determined to make Kape’t Torta a “destination for the home-made Torta and ensaymada” Filipinos lovingly grew up with.
Her team’s concept of farm to table industry is at play now. Galleros scouted for sources of their coffee Barako in Batangas. And soon will procure from Sagada and Bukidnon. They also buy coconut-based products that flavor their Torta, giving it a distinctively delicious taste.
“I’d like to do business that makes sense of helping our own farmers boost their incomes and providing employment for locals. In the same manner, I’d like for us to continue tasting our kind of pastries while we are here and the broader market to taste our delicious pastries,” Galleros said.
Her team has also developed some quick meals for the busy New Yorkers. For now, there is the rich pork adobo on rice with ampalaya and mango salad. So good, Muriel and I couldn’t stop digging in although we just got out from a birthday party.
There’ll be more exciting things coming up in Kapet Torta sooner than you think. But go to Elmhurst and try it. I thought it would be a good place for coffee meetings, enjoying Philippine Torta and other pastries, which thankfully and deservedly been elevated by the three Filipino women entrepreneurs.