Friday, May 21, 2010

LA Times features Dumagueteno’s pastry shop in US

A Dumagueteno family enterprise has successfully exported their local pastry business in the United States.
After thirty years, House of Silvanas, maker of the tastiest crunchy silvanas has reaped rave reviews from discriminating taste buds of American consumers.
The Los Angeles Times recently featured House of Silvanas bakeshop which has opened branches in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The popular pastries traces its origins in a quiet kitchen at the corner of San Jose Street and Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete.
It was the late Trinidad Teves-Sagarbarria (founder of San Rival) who crafted the recipe of the widely popular silvanas and other pastry products.
Trinidad then shared the recipes to daughter-in-law Mary Ann Demandante Sagarbarria, wife of Martin ‘Cholong’ Sagarbarria to make the delightful pastry products like silvanas and sans rival.
After a while, MaryAnn made some experiments and adjustments to the Silvanas products and added other cake products.
Mary Ann recalls she just baked cakes and made silvanas to close friends while they were living in Manila.
Friends enjoyed Mary Ann’s products and prodded her to open up a pastry shop.
Not long after, in 1978, Mary Ann Sagarbarria opened House of Silvanas in their home in San Lorenzo Makati.
Mary Ann was assisted in Manila by daughter Tricia Abregana.
Through the years, their home became the go-to pastry shop and was frequented by celebrities including Sharon Cuneta, Juan Miguel Salvador, who bought pastries in bulk.
Mary Ann later opened branches in malls in Metro Manila.
Soon, Mary Ann with daughter Kay and sons Manu and Don, with only US$15,000 capital, ventured to the United States and opened the first international branch of House of Silvanas in the city of Torrance.
Since, then House of Silvanas has received rave reviews from the American community.
Early this year, the Los Angeles Times ran a feature of House of Silvanas bakeshop, in its January 16 issue.
Here is that article by Miles Clements

The Find: House of Silvanas offers colorful, classic Filipino cookies

Crisp, impossibly airy cookies served straight from the freezer, their centers stuffed with slick buttercream, seem almost Space Age. They're somehow both sturdy and weightless. They dissolve the second they touch your tongue. These otherworldly treats are silvanas, colorful and classic Filipino cookies that could easily be mistaken for oversized French macarons.
They're the namesake of House of Silvanas, a months-old sweets shop at the confluence of Silver Lake and Little Armenia. You won't find the place without some confusion -- it's but one of many stalls located inside Kusina, a surprisingly spacious cafeteria-style turo-turo joint where buffet trays are loaded with ruddy links of longganisa sausage and steaming cups of sinigang, a sour tamarind soup, serve as makeshift palate cleansers.
Never mind its humble surroundings -- House of Silvanas has a long, multi-generational history. Its cream-filled tradition began a world away in the Philippines, where Trining Teves-Sagarbarria's pastries were so popular that a business bloomed to satisfy demand. Those renowned recipes became heirlooms, passed down to daughter-in-law Mary Ann, who has now bestowed them upon her daughter Kathryn.
The first branch of House of Silvanas, like Teves-Sagarbarria's L.A. shop, was born out of necessity: Mary Ann launched it in 1995 after neighbors complained of the flood of customers overwhelming her metro Manila home.
An extended network of the Sagarbarria family tends to House of Silvanas' stateside branches, with dessert-driven relatives operating outposts in the Bay Area and the South Bay. Stand-alone stores in Torrance and Carson have come and gone, but the new stall inside Kusina marks a milestone: the bakery's first foray into Los Angeles proper.
Silvanas remain the bake shop's hallmark. The mystery of the cookies is revealed in their deconstruction: a layer of flavored buttercream is sandwiched between a pair of cashew-meringue wafers that are coated in microscopic cookie crumbs. The puck-sized indulgences are available in seven color-coded flavors: ube, buko-pandan, chocolate, strawberry, mango, mocha and plain buttercream.
House of Silvanas in LA is at 4716 Fountain Ave ( )

In the photo above: Daughter Kay and Mery Ann Sagarbarria personally manage the US branches of House of Silvanas

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