AAPI Heritage Month: Hood Famous Bakeshop

In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are hosting a series of profiles and stories to amplify and honor people, businesses, organizations, and projects connected to the history of Seattle’s AAPI community.

In a way, husband and wife team Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen ended up in the food-service industry by accident. In 2013, the couple organized a Filipino-American pop-up dinner to raise money for a family trip to the Philippines. The meal was received with such enthusiasm that they decided to grow it into a monthly series called Food & Sh*t. Soon after, requests came flooding in for Amlag’s neighborhood famous ube cheesecake, which inspired the opening of Hood Famous Bakeshop in 2014.  

Hood Famous Bakeshop ube cheesecake

The shop initially focused on event catering and wholesale ube cheesecake batches for Uwajimaya. Eventually they expanded their line of Filipino-flavored desserts and made their way into other grocery stores, markets, and local restaurants. In 2016, Amlag and Quibuyen opened their first brick and mortar location in Ballard. The space was primarily used as a production kitchen, but also offered a variety of grab-n-go baked goods, single-origin Philippine Coffee, and specialty items from fellow Filipino-run businesses.  

In 2019, the couple opened a second location, Hood Famous Cafe + Bar in the Chinatown International District’s newly rehabilitated Publix Hotel. Patrons in a hurry can still drop in for a to-go pastry, but there is also table space if you want to enjoy a meal on-site. The menu is a nod to their early pop-up dinners, incorporating savory Filipino fare alongside rotating desserts and craft cocktails that feature vibrant flavors from Southeast Asia.  

Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen pictured with their children.

Today, the duo continues to focus on the fan favorite dessert that gave them their name, while also striving to expand their menu and contribute to the rich food culture of the neighborhood. They both have roots and memories embedded in the Chinatown International District and are honored to be part of a neighborhood resurgence and reconnection to the Asian American community. 

“It definitely means a lot to know there’s a Filipino presence in the neighborhood,” Amlag and Quibuyen said in a 2019 interview with the International Examiner. “We hope to fill and be part of a multitude of spaces that are an homage to the historic nature of the neighborhood but rooted in what’s going on now.”  

The Cafe + Bar is currently open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. and offers pick-up and delivery with pre-order at www.hoodfamousbakeshop.com.  

This AAPI Heritage Month profile was recommended by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Committee Coordinator, Nelson Pesigan