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New York City’s Iconic Magnolia Bakery Is Coming To Town—As The Brand New M Bakery

When did you first hear about Magnolia Bakery? If you’re a Sex and the City aficionado, it was likely that memorable scene in season 3 featuring Carrie and Miranda buying cupcakes at a quaint neighborhood bakery in the West Village, and discussing their love lives while sitting on a bench outside. This August 22, just like Carrie and Miranda, the sweet tooths of Manila will finally get the chance to experience Magnolia Bakery’s famous cupcakes for themselves when M Bakery opens its doors in Bonifacio Global City.


The M Bakery store at BGC


The Carrie Cupcake—vanilla cupcake with pink buttercream frosting and a daisy flower—named after the Sex and the City character


That one scene in Sex and the City—as well as other appearances on films like The Devil Wears Prada and shows like Saturday Night Live—solidified the fame of Magnolia Bakery, and likely spurred the huge cupcake trend that hit the United States and the rest of the world, including the Philippines, in the early 2000’s. Ever since, tourists, fans, and dessert lovers have been flocking to this bakery specializing in classic American baked goods.

While Sex and the City is no more, Magnolia Bakery has flourished and grown beyond its original NYC store. In 2007, Steve and Tyra Abrams bought the bakery from its original owner, and then expanded it beyond its West Village neighborhood. Today, there are Magnolia Bakery branches in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles in the United States and Seoul, Mexico City, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, Riyadh, Amman, and Doha internationally, with new locations in Washington D.C., Sao Paolo, and Istanbul opening soon.


M Bakery Manila franchisees Stewart Ong and Chef Candy Lu


Here in Manila, Magnolia Bakery opens as M Bakery—so named so as not to confuse it with a well-known local food brand—located at the brand new One Bonifacio High Street Mall in BGC. Despite the different name, Stewart Ong, Managing Partner of Phil Jacobe Ventures, Inc., the franchisee of M Bakery, assures, “The décor, the quality of the products, the feel is very much like Magnolia Bakery.” And Magnolia Bakery’s very own CEO Steve Abrams declares, “With the passion Filipinos have for food—and particularly sweets—we are excited to be bringing Magnolia Bakery’s iconic bakery experience to the Philippines.”


M Bakery’s signature cupcakes, bars, and cookies


What should customers expect from Magnolia Bakery’s Manila outpost? With its pastel blues, yellows, and whites, M Bakery BGC recreates the vintage vibe of the original, stocking its counters and shelves with its famous cupcakes, banana pudding, cheesecake, pies, cookies, and decorated cakes, among other goodies.

Stewart and pastry chef-partner Candy Lu promise quality as good as the original. Ingredients are of the highest quality, both local and imported, to ensure that the products meet the Magnolia standard. Chef Candy emphasizes, “We’re using the finest, most expensive butter available in the Philippines!” She further assures, “We bake in small batches. We have newly baked products coming out of the oven, every hour, even every 30 minutes.” Thus the bakery entices with that fresh-out-of-the-oven smell, and customers can always expect just-baked items no matter what time of the day.


Joely Anderson, Magnolia Bakery Chicago Production Manager, pipes buttercream on a two-toned Rosette Cake


Chef Candy trained in the United States for 4 weeks, and the Magnolia Bakery franchise team flew to the Philippines to check on the operations, ensuring that the products would be up to par by opening day. Stewart promises, “If customers come here, for sure they’ll be able to say that how it tastes in New York is the same as how it tastes in Manila!” Come August 22, customers will get a chance to taste for themselves any among the following treats:

The world-famous Cupcakes come in classic buttery Vanilla and moist Chocolate frosted with 100% buttercream icing, or the ever popular Red Velvet with whipped vanilla or cream cheese icing. The cupcakes are frosted fresh at the counter, with three icers doing the trademarked Magnolia swirl which, according to Chef Candy, took up to 40 hours to master!


Frosting cupcakes at M Bakery’s Icing Theater visible from the outside


The addictive Banana Pudding is made with layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and creamy vanilla pudding. Available in small and large sizes, it comes in a chocolate version with layers of Oreo wafers, creamy chocolate pudding, and chocolate shavings. Watch out for new banana pudding flavors to be introduced every month, promises Stewart.


The ever popular Banana Pudding


Other goodies to try include the Cheesecake, available in multiple flavors like Key Lime and Red Velvet baked on a cookie crumb crust, or the various Icebox Desserts which come in bars, mini pies, and 9-inch cakes.


Banana Pudding, cheesecakes, pies, and bars on display


M Bakery also makes celebration cakes to order for any occasion. Available in 6-inch and 9-inch sizes, cakes come in Carrot, Coconut, Devil’s Food, German Chocolate, Hummingbird, Red Velvet, and for advance orders, Confetti, Banana, Caramel, Flourless Chocolate, and Lemon flavors.


A festive Confetti Cake


For early risers, M Bakery offers baked breakfast treats like scones and muffins, together with great quality coffee. While the space is small, the bakery seats up to 8 people inside, and around 10 people in the al fresco area—perfect for a quick coffee plus cookie break any time of the day.

Even if the cupcake trend has come and gone, Stewart and Chef Candy are confident that M Bakery will find a place in the hearts of Filipino sweet tooths who appreciate quality products. Chef Candy proclaims, “Nothing can beat the freshness of our product.” Excited to finally open after more than a year of planning, Chef Candy adds, “From the aroma of freshly baked cookies coming out of the oven to the cakes and cupcakes being decorated in full customer view, M Bakery will be much more than just a bakery—it will be an experience.”

And we’re certainly looking forward to experiencing M Bakery first hand this August 22 at the lower ground level of One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City.