Ono Bakehouse, a Hawaiian shop started by Desiree Valencia, is set to open in Berkeley this November.
The Hawaiian bakery will be located in Berkeley Plaza on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, but its exact opening date has yet to be determined. Valencia said Ono Bakehouse is going to have a limited menu that is reflective of her cultural background and will be run by a small team.
Valencia was born in Hawaii and went to culinary school at what is now the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. After graduating, her culinary abilities took her across the country, moving her from Napa to Miami before she settled down in the Bay Area, Valencia said.
“It’s just more personal if it’s something you grew up with,” Valencia said. “Something to share with others that comes from your background.”
Valencia runs Ono Snax, which sells Hawaiian food and mostly operates in the form of pop-up sales. Businesses such as Magnolia Mini Mart have taken up her brand and sell her desserts for her in a more formal setting, according to the Ono Snax Instagram page.
Additionally, Valencia emphasized that she is not focused on expansion but rather on creating a place where she can feel happy going to work every day.
Valencia said people are particularly excited about one menu item: the Queen Emma Cake. She described the dessert as a chiffon cake with three layers of passionfruit, coconut and guava cake and mousse. In an Instagram post showing the cake’s colorful cross section, Valencia detailed her excitement, adding that “nobody” makes the cake anymore and that she misses it.
“I just want to create a nice workable environment,” Valencia said. “Not going to be anything crazy, it’s just going to be good. Good, simple food.”