Behind The Brand

Whisk Pastry NYC

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Tell us a bit about yourself 

My name is Michael Betito-Nogoy. I am based in Sunnyside, Queens but I grew up in Manila, Philippines. Food has always been a part of my story since both of my grandmothers cooked amazing food. Because of this, there certainly are flavors that I grew up eating that you don’t necessarily have here in the United States. This definitely influenced me to try recreating these flavors here that eventually made it to the menu that I offer. There is still so much that Filipino flavors have to offer in the food scene and I am very happy that it is being recognized a lot recently in very ‘instagrammable’ desserts like Ube. I like combining traditional Filipino flavors and ingredients with familiar American desserts. That way, I get to introduce flavors like jackfruit and calamansi in beloved American desserts. When I am not baking, I enjoy taking walks, trying out new restaurants or just relaxing by playing video games.

What made you start your company?

Like a lot of new small businesses, ours started during the start of the pandemic. I unfortunately got furloughed from my job and just like everyone who had to stay at home during the lockdown, I started to get into bread making. I got a few orders, and I slowly added items to our menu as we got busier, and now, I’m just really happy that I can do this full time.

Tell me about your product and brand?

WhiskPastryNYC is a home-based bake shop. I make seasonal Filipino inspired pastries, bread and custom cakes. I would really like to introduce products that I grew up enjoying like Ensaymadas (Brioche topped with buttercream and cheese), Sans Rival (Cake made of Cashew Dacquoise with French Buttercream), and ingredients like Single Origin Chocolate from a southern province in the Philippines highlighted in our Chocolate Chip Cookies.

What struggles have you faced when starting up a business?

Where to source ingredients. I think just as I wad starting out too, there was definitely a shortage of Dry Yeast and Flour. Doing pick-ups and deliveries have also been hard since we were right in the middle of a pandemic – I wasn’t sure if people would go out of isolation for bread and desserts from a fairly new brand.

How did you get over them?

The community in Sunnyside has been very important in how much our business grew during the pandemic. Joining Facebook groups and tagging relevant Instagram profiles definitely helped get our name out there. Also, believing in your brand. I put so much thought into everything I make, and highly encourage friends and family to make comments and suggestions so I can improve for the better. It definitely is a lot of hard work but I believe it is all worth it.

Any advice for others just getting started?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is always something that we can learn from other artists like ourselves and you can probably teach them something new as well. We learn from all the achievements and disappointments that happen throughout this journey.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Not a quote per se, but since we all experienced taking all the smaller things in life for granted, I say, if an opportunity presents itself to you (no matter how big or small), Go grab it! You won’t lose anything, just gaining experience from it.

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