A fast-food bakery that’s heaven-sent to busy housewives

Father and son Menard and Michael Leelin

Father and son Menard and Michael Leelin

By Ludy A. Ongkeko, Ph.D.

There are all kinds of business enterprises. Ostensibly, they are organized for obvious reasons – to thrive in the manner their owners hope they would do in a multi-ethnic environment.

In the Southern California area, when Leelin Bakery & Café made its debut in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock, affectionately identified as FilAm Town, it didn’t grow out of bringing in a ‘new enterprise.’ The Leelin Family did not start a ‘new’ business, but did launch an engaging outfit formerly by another name, manned by the same family that started their bake shop in 1978, reminiscent of the homeland; indeed, unwittingly, as a link to the homeland.

Since the above-named undertaking’s initial appearance was in Southern California where many Filipinos reside, its experiences in regard to the strident moves of Filipino businesses are useful. It represents a continuity of effort: that the Philippine bakery and restaurant cuisine line has offered to the region is alive and well.

Very well.

Those who have met the Leelin family believe that what makes it ’tick’ is the unselfish theme which has been behind the family’s story.

It is the human factor that is responsible for a great deal of family successes.

Were it not for the generous treatment of personnel under the guidance of the entire family, Teresa and Manuel Leelin, (lovingly called “Momsy,” and “Popsy”), the newly-named business enterprise would be unknown. The business has three generations all fully involved: sons Mendrei, Menard and a grandson, Michael.

Personal supervision is the guiding element no matter how large or small the tasks are.
No stone is left unturned by this highly dedicated professional group when it comes to living up to the quality name that is the company’s objective, already earned in their area of expertise. Not content with bakery and confectionery items, Leelin Bakery & Café will continue to be involved in their fast-food realm with equal success.

Ask any harried working wife what it means to have fast-foods to fall back on to spare her from the added chore of cooking. Fast-food choices are heaven-sent. Not only do wives and mothers hardly have the time to cook, given a hectic schedule and the heavy traffic of the metropolis; indeed, fast-food shops offer meals at reasonable prices.

Besides, Filipino food has no substitute. Despite all kinds of cuisines offered by several known restaurants, also from other ethnic origins, Filipino families always look forward to tasty choices from their own kitchen. A sign of homesickness, perhaps? A longing because it takes time to work on homespun goodies?

An array of delectable goodies

An array of delectable goodies

Behind the working scenes, Mendrei and Cecile, Menard and Michael, see to the health of their employees by allowing and encouraging them to compete in sports tournaments such as bowling and basketball.

Their employees will attest to their employers’ concern for them. Mendrei and Cecile are the first to appear when personnel need comfort in times of adversity.

The employees’ medical needs are taken care of through the company’s insurance coverage, but Mendrei and Cecile do not stop there. They see to it that their employees contact the best that medicine can offer in their respective areas of residence.

That personal touch is what Leelin Bakery & Cafe is all about. The family has presented a saga of dedication and concern for the larger community; it can be old and retold. Every member of that family defines what it means to be caring, multi-tasking, without underscoring what’s already known about them.

Southern Californians will know more about the just-inaugurated Leelin Bakery & Café; it shares what it receives.

On March 21 and 22nd, the Leelin Bakery & Café was one of the generous sponsors of the Creative Writing Workshop organized by the pioneer Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles, Inc., established in 1978. This is not the first time the Brothers Leelin have responded to the community.

Menard Leelin, when approached to provide their products that have their unique flavors, did not hesitate at all to join the hospitality gesture that the media group asked him to donate: as a participating sponsor; as Ateneans, Mendrei and Menard value the goals of education tremendously, and they are the first to encourage that such activities under the aegis of the above-mentioned media club should continue to be pursued for the Filipino American community.

The list is long: but FilAms do rely on such names from the Leelin culinary recipes as: Sylvanna; Buko Pie; Brazo de Mercedes; Mango Sansrival; Buttered Biscotti; Asado Siopao and a host of offerings that this writer is capable of, as a ‘recall effort’ at this time. She is consoled by what has been shown in the past: the clients are bound to remember what they have already found: “tried and true.”

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                                                           Leelin Bakery & Cafe

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