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Meet Ginger Lim-Dimapasok of Cafe 86

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ginger Lim-Dimapasok.

Hi Ginger, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and raised in Manila and grew up in a family who loved to cook. My love for food started at an early age as I watched my Mom in the kitchen and eventually fell in love with baking. Growing up, I would be constantly baking for friends and family and eventually did it for my Mom so she can gift her business clients with sweets. After a short stint in college, I decided to get my parent’s blessing to leave Manila and study Culinary Arts in NYC. After finishing the course, I got married and eventually had my two kids, and cooking and baking became something I just did at home for my family. In 2014 was then things changed. My husband, James, decided to leave a dead-end job and open up a business. We toyed with the idea of franchising a boba shop, but that quickly escalated into the idea of opening up with our own concept based on his love for his 1986 Toyota Corolla mixed with my love for Filipino flavors, then Cafe 86 was born. Cafe 86 was first opened in our hometown, Chino as a little dessert spot that hosts numerous car meets for the Ae86 (Toyota) Community and also takes pride in being able to serve desserts and drinks that showcase our beloved Filipino flavors such as Ube and Calamansi. We have, since then, opened up branches in Artesia, Chula Vista, Mira Mesa and Las Vegas.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I wish I could say owning and operating a business was a piece of cake, but it is not. It has come with a lot of struggles because you are trying to juggle so many things like production, administrative duties, human resource, quality control, and on top of that, still being able to take care of the kids at home. It truly takes a village to keep things running as smooth as possible, and we consider ourselves truly blessed to be able to work with an amazing team of people who care for the business as much as we do. We are also a family-run business, so a lot of times, we have our amazing family helping us out and backing us up when needed. At the end of the day, as hard as running a business sounds, it also is very rewarding for us as we get to do something that we truly love and take pride in.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Cafe 86?
Our business is somewhat hard to classify into a category because we do a little bit of everything! We do milk teas and iced teas, milkshakes, coffee, desserts and some sandwiches, but what sets us apart from is the fact that we take pride in being able to integrate and highlight Filipino flavors into the products we serve. We are known for our unique desserts that feature Ube, a purple yam that is commonly used in desserts in the Philippines, but, apart from being able to serve delicious desserts and drinks, we are mostly proud to be able to showcase our Filipino heritage as well.

What are your plans for the future?
Before the pandemic happened, we had plans of expanding further out in LA and even in NorCal, but as we all have seen, 2020 truly took us for a tailspin and things became so uncertain that all those plans had to be put on hold. Now, looking forward into 2021, we have gone back to the drawing board with hopes that we can resume all the plans we had and hopefully be able to expand and find a home for Cafe 86 somewhere in LA.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Headshot: @lykscreatives

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