Filipinos are known to be one of the most hard-working and resourceful people in the world. They have the skills to survive in any place they are in and excel at the same time. One of them is in managing businesses. Today's list shows us some of the California-based businesses with Filipino roots.

1. 676 Candles

San Francisco-based business, 676 Candles, was founded by flight attendants Tennessee Viduya and Eduardo Alcantara. Their vegan candles are all made from environment-friendly materials. They use 100% pure soy wax and all are handcrafted. What makes their candles extra special is that their signature collection are named after people who made a difference in their lives as a way of honoring them. Their products are the perfect gift and giveaway ideas!

For the list of their products and on how to order, please visit their website by clicking here. You can also check their official social media accounts:

Where you can find 676 Candles:
Walnut Creek
Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets
1799 Locust St., Walnut Creek, California, 94596
(Opens every Sunday, 9am to 1pm)
Contact number: (415) 797-8939

2. Arkipelago Books

First opened in San Francisco under the name 'Sulu Books' before founder and then-owner, Marie Romero, changed it to its current name. Arkipelago Books is the leading book distributor of Filipino-American specialty books to different educational institutions, libraries, etc in the United States. One of the main goals of the bookstore is to provide easy book-access to Filipino-Americans who are interested in knowing more about the Filipino art, culture, history, and many more.

For more information, please check their website or their Facebook page.

1010 Mission St., San Francisco, California, 94103
Contact number: (415) 795-3382
A clothing boutique that opened in 2011, ASMBLY HALL caters to young professionals, or as they call it, the 'Sophisticated Prep', who appreciates the craftsmanship done on their every product. It is owned by Fillmore Merchants Association President Ron Benitez and his wife, Tricia Benitez. The couple sell clothes and accessories from local brands and designers that they personally pick. One of the inspirations of their products' vibe, 'The Sophisticated Prep', was the fashion photography book, 'Take Ivy', which highlighted the style of Ivy League students from the 60's.

For updates online, visit their official website and other social media accounts:

Fillmore District
1850 Fillmore St., San Francisco, California, 94115
624 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California, 94117
Contact number: (415) 567-5953
Pastries with that Pinoy holiday twist! Binka Bites makes cupcake-sized pastries inspired by the pinoy-favorite, Bibingka! Siblings Jo Ongsiako and Jasmin Ongsiako, together with their team, developed new flavors that goes well with coconut and rice flour to complete the mouth-watering menu of the store. But of course, their bestseller is the classic bibingka recipe complete with salted egg and cheese. I guess, we all have to thank Chef Jo for coming up with this bite-sized bibingka treat!

Good news! Binka Bites have a delivery! Just download Doordash app now!
Binka Bites is on social media!

304 Alida Way, South San Francisco, California, 94080
Contact number: (650) 787-9010

5. Mestiza Taqueria

Mestiza Taqueria is a restaurant that serves a fusion of Filipino, Mexican, and other Asian flavors.  The name 'Mestiza' is a spanish word for 'mixed'. This is the fourth restaurant of Filipino-American entrepreneur, Deanna Sison Foster, in the Bay Area. Mestiza aims to promote Filipino food around San Francisco, which she believes, is the culinary capital of California.

Official website and social media accounts:

595 Bryant St., San Francisco, California, 94107
Contact number: (415) 655-9187
Her name is already a well-known brand in the fashion world. Cebu-raised, Monique Lhuillier started designing and creating beautiful bridal gowns after her guests at her own wedding became interested in the gowns that she designed for her and her entourage. The brand was established in 1996 and she opened her first flagship store on Melrose Place in 2007 and was followed by her second flagship store in New York in 2012.

To see the different Monique Lhuillier dresses and gowns, visit the official website or the brand's social media accounts:

8485 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, California, 90069
New York
19 East 71st St., New York, New York, 10021
Contact numbers: (323) 655-1088 / (212) 683-3332

7. Philippine Expressions Bookshop

Philippine Expressions Bookshop (PEB) was first opened in 1984 by Linda Nietes-Little in Los Angeles as a mail-order bookshop. 34 years and three locations later, they have settled down at their current location in San Pedro. Just like Arkipelago Books, the bookstore also houses specialty books on Filipino heritage and Filipino-American culture. PEB also hosts book events, publication parties, and lectures that are all centered on the Filipino book culture.

For more information about their books and activities, please visit their website.

Suite 105, 479West 6th St., San Pedro, California, 90731
Contact number: (310) 514-9139

8. Sari Sari Store

Owned by married couple Chef Margarita Manzke and Walter Manzke, this food stall in the middle of the Grand Central Market serves Filipino rice bowl dishes (Plus! They have Halo-Halo and Buko Pie for dessert too!). Chef Margarita was born and raised in the Philippines. She also studied at Le Cordon Bleu, London and The Culinary Institute of America in New York so it is exciting to find out how she incorporated what she learned in cooking the classic Filipino foods that we all love!

Here's their official website and their Instagram account!

Grand Central Market
317 South Broadway, Los Angeles, California, 90013
Contact number: (323) 320-4020

There you go! Eight Filipino-American businesses in California that provides high-quality products that are truly world class! Don't forget to check them all out once you are in the area! When you do, make sure to tell us your experience by leaving a comment below!

Original Article by:
Mikhaela Javier

Dalyn Sanie

Dalyn Melgar Sanie is a Civil Engineering graduate based in Batangas, Philippines.

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