Long Beach residents who have waited hours in line to try a certain Filipino pop-up can rejoice. San & Wolves will open its Belmont Heights brick-and-mortar in early 2024.
Kym Estrada’s bakeshop skyrocketed to popularity during the pandemic because she had tapped into a sorely underserved community—Filipinos who became vegan and missed the baked goods they grew up with.
Estrada had no intention of opening a brick-and-mortar when she held her first pop-up in 2018 in New York City.
“I didn’t even think it was possible, I don’t come from money,” Estrada said. “But then my mind switched.”
When she started seeing customers line up for hours outside of Teofilo Coffeeshop in Los Alamitos, with some leaving empty-handed after she sold out repeatedly, she opened up to the idea.
So, she spoke with a business coach and accountant. She also worked with Noel Aguirre, of Lee & Associates, about the possibility of opening her own shop. Aguirre, who is also Filipino, worked with Estrada for the past two years and has been advocating for the business for a while, Estrada said.
“Once I understood how everything works and my numbers are there, then I started opening up to the idea of having a brick-and-mortar,” Estrada said.
Long Beach was the only place she considered for her shop.
After living in both Los Angeles and New York City, she and her partner Arvin Torres, who is from Long Beach, moved to the city in 2019.
“I just feel like I’m more with the community here,” Estrada said. “A lot of our customers are here, I know a lot of them personally. I know a lot of businesses here so I just feel more comfortable here.”
While Estrada faces a long road ahead before her shop can open, from renovating the bathrooms to meeting ADA guidelines to installing a gas line, Estrada has a clear vision of what her shop will offer.
Favorites like the ube bun, the buko pop tart, the ube crumb cup, and more will be available daily and breakfast pastries will be offered each morning.
On weekends, Estrada plans to have specials, mostly fried items like donuts and turons (sliced banana rolled in a spring roll wrapper, then fried and coated with sugar).
After years of doing the baking almost entirely by herself, she plans to hire four bakers at the new shop as well as two more front-of-house staff. Torres, who has helped her with her pop-up from the very beginning, will assume the role of store manager.
“I’m excited, we’ll be the first vegan Filipino bakery—well, we are the first vegan Filipino bakery, but we’ll be the first brick and mortar,” Estrada said. “And in Long Beach. So Long Beach gets to claim that too.”
Until they open, the shop’s pop-up schedule and preorder drop information can be found here.
San & Wolves will be located at 3900 East Fourth Street within the former B & Q Art Gallery location.