Kimberly Camara, a Filipina chef, and a Queens, New York native, has been through an eventful 2020: She lost both her beloved Lola Corazon due to pulmonary fibrosis and her job at Eleven Madison Park because of the pandemic. Then halfway through the year, things turned around when she opened up Kora, an online-only bakery that captured the hearts of dessert lovers in New York City.
“This year has been a challenging one for all of us as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on countless changes and even losses,” Kimberly wrote in Kora’s Instagram account.
“We hope that in our small way, we can help to keep your precious smiles alive through sharing Filipino culture and food with you all.”
New York success
Kora was founded by Kimberly, together with her boyfriend Kevin Borja, in June 2020. From selling 175 doughnuts a week, they’re now accepting orders of up to 275 because customers really love their pastries. The mouth-watering doughnuts are so in-demand, they reached an 800-person waitlist!
The Filipino doughnuts of Kora bakery (priced at USD 6.50 each,) come in flavors such as leche flan, ube, halo-halo, pinipig, and buko pandan.
Kora also releases a “new flavor drop of the week” every Monday. Lucky New Yorkers got to taste doughnuts filled with flavors of champorado, sans rival, itlog na pula, keso, calamansi amapola, maja blanca, and turon.
Photos: Instagram/kimberlymcamara, Instagram/fromkora
Kim’s grandmother, Corazon Almero Mendoza, passed away in January 2020. “After I lost her, I had a new outlook on life; how short it is, and how I need to take the chance, no matter what,” Kim said in an interview with NY Eater.
Kora is named after her Lola Corazon, whom Kim described as the “heart of [their] family.” The Kora website shares the inspiration behind the sought-after doughnuts: “The flavors of each pastry are inspired by the loving memories of cooking [that] Chef Kimberly Camara shared with her late grandmother.”
Lola Cora may no longer be with Kim, but she will continue to honor her through the food she makes. “She is and has always been the driving force behind Kim’s passion for food.”