The Bostonian Bakery remains true to Japanese roots

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The Bostonian Bakery now on its 24th year in operation on Saipan is located along Middle Road on Gualo Rai. (Bea Cabrera)

Soft, milky, and the right amount of sweetness are the words that best describe the bread from The Bostonian Bakery located on Gualo Rai, Middle Road.

It has been 24 years since the bakery opened shop on Saipan and owner Yayoi Kado-Obligacion believes that sticking to the true taste of Japanese bread is what makes them stand out.

“The original Bostonian Bakery opened in Kyoto, Japan 39 years ago and it was my late husband’s (Masahiko Hokado) business. He worked hard alone… we actually met at the shop as I worked near the shop and I was a constant customer,” Kado-Obligacion said.

“A year after we got married, we moved to Saipan in 1995… a friend who was already living here on Saipan encouraged us to open a bakery on island because there was not a lot of bakeries then catering to the Japanese market. There was a Japanese supermarket and inside was the only Japanese bakery so we saw the potential to open,” Kado-Obligacion added.

Kado-Obligacion said it wasn’t easy opening the bakery. “It was hard when we started as we had to import flour from Japan to keep the quality of our bread. We were able to find ways to get suppliers as maintaining the quality of our bread is our priority then and until now.”

The Bostonian Bakery’s best-selling tiramisu cake. (Contributed Photo)

“Another obstacle was when my husband passed away in 2001. I was tasked to continue the business even though I didn’t know how to make bread. My family in Kyoto was worried because I was here alone but with the help of my brother-in-law who was also a baker in Kyoto. He trained me little by little,” she added.

Kado-Obligacion’s persistence sustained her and the support she got from her family led to the success of the Bostonian Bakery today. They used to only cater to the Japanese market but they have become a household name in the community and tourists seek them and try their bread.

“We started with just French bread, croissant, and white Japanese bread but now we have expanded our products to also cakes and pastries… it is funny because in Japan, when you want to buy a cake, you go to a cakeshop and not a bakeshop which only had bread,” she said.

“When our customers started asking if we had cakes, we knew there was a market and we started making them. Now, we supply cakes to different establishments like Café 670, Japanese bread to ABC store, and bread and pizza dough to Restaurant 360. Our tiramisu cake is very popular and we also do cakes for any occasion,” she added.

The Bostonian Bakery staff Herminia Campollo and Ruby Aboy and owner Yayoi Kado-Obligacion. (Bea Cabrera)

Other products include cakes in different flavors like macha or green tea, chocolate, and strawberry, macaroons, cookies, and pastries.

Kado-Obligacion said that she will never get tired of bringing to the community the true taste of what a Japanese bread should be. After all, she comes from Kyoto, a place in Japan known to consume most of the bread in all of Japan.

“All of our products taste like what I know about bread when I was still a small girl in Kyoto. Taste is very important and we will never sacrifice it. Now, when people want the Japanese taste for bread, we are top of their minds.”

“Aside from quality, being humble helped me sustained this bakery over the years… I have been here on Saipan half of my life and part of that is dedicated to making bread that people appreciate and love,” she added.

The Bostonian Bakery is open from Monday to Saturday from 6am to 4 pm. For inquires, call (670) 235-4310 or go to their Facebook account: The Bostonian Bakery Saipan.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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