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Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Michael and Sunita Shiwdin, owners of Mahalo New York Bakery.

The owners of Mahalo New York Bakery have turned their small bakery in Glendale into a top-rated business on one of the internet’s most popular customer review sites, Yelp.

Through hard work, dedication and community outreach, Sunita and Michael Shiwdin were able to garner a 4.5-star rating on Yelp, with rave reviews from customers who couldn’t get enough of their delicious desserts.

 

Both Sunita and Michael make it a priority to engage with their customers on Yelp and in-store, listening to feedback — both positive and negative — and even asking for their opinions on new recipes.

“Sue’s relationships that she makes with her customers, she always treats them like family,” Michael said. “Especially on Yelp I think people appreciate that. Whether if it’s a bad or good review, there is generally some sort of dialogue we try to have with the customer, whether it’s on Yelp or here in the store. We also use that feedback to better our products or better our service.”

A prime example of this community dialogue is that this is the first year that Mahalo is making pumpkin-flavored desserts, simply because they had an overwhelming number of requests for it.

You can’t have a successful bakery without delicious food. Michael and Sunita also attribute some of their success and high Yelp reviews to the desserts they serve. The bakery is known for having unique flavors that aren’t found at many places in the neighborhood, with some of their most popular items like Pineapple Guava Cupcakes, Hibiscus Cupcakes, Matcha with Blueberry Vegan Cupcake, Haupia Pie and Mango Passion Fruit Whipped Cheesecake.

“I think bringing quality dessert at a decent price definitely plays a role in it,” Sunita said. “We do try to fit as much tropical flavors into our desserts as possible, and I think that makes us stand out.”

As part of being named to Yelp’s top 100 businesses, in November Michael and Sunita will be brought to Yelp’s headquarters in San Francisco, CA, for the company’s second annual business leader summit, Coast-To-Coast: Community Powered Progress!

The Shiwdins are looking to make the most of this opportunity and learn as much as they can from the other businesses at the conference and bring that knowledge back to Glendale to better Mahalo, for themselves as small business owners, and for their customers.

“It would be nice to get the feedback and experience from some of the businesses there that have multiple locations,” Michael said. “Should we continue at this pace and want to open up a second location we would want to know from them, what’s that process like, what are some things we should lookout for?”

Mahalo New York Bakery is located at 66-40 Myrtle Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

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