A New York donut store has taken the city by storm, recently posting a waiting list of 10,000 pre-orders for Filipino-inspired desserts.
Kora, named after the store owner and chef Kimberly Camara’s grandmother, largely focuses on the founder’s closeness to her South Asian roots.
“Kora is the meeting of my whole life. It is impossible for my grandmother to despise us and not be so proud of all the work that we have accomplished ”, Camara told Eater this week. “Wherever Kora takes us, behind it all lies my connection to her and my connection to my heritage.”
“The recipe for flan au leche is taken from my grandmother’s cookbook that I found after she passed away,” she added, referring to one of the store’s most iconic donuts: a fried brioche dough filled with a whole custard.
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Other popular items include a shiny purple ube donut, which uses frozen ube Camara flights from the Philippines.
Kora’s unique flavors have drawn thousands of visitors to the bakery in Queens, NY, and the store recently closed its waiting list when it reached 10,000 new online orders.
The waiting list is currently around 5,000, Camara said, and orders are expected to reopen on Jan.10. according to the bakery’s Instagram page, which has more than 39,000 subscribers.
Camara started business in the summer of 2020 with her partner, Kevin Borja, after the couple lost their jobs at a hotel group when New York City was shut down by the pandemic. For the first few months, the donuts were made at Camara’s apartment in Woodside, Queens.
At first, they relied on friends and family to help deliver orders across town, but have since recruited more staff and moved the operation to an industrial kitchen.
“When we started Kora, we had no intention of making it a full-fledged business,” Camara said. “We kind of went with the flow. “
She added, “It’s really about the connection we’ve been able to make with people through donuts. Whether through nostalgia, storytelling – people can relate to a lot of the stories I would tell about how I came up with certain flavors and brought them to life through a donut.
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