Even Filipino-Canadian comedian Jo Koy can’t get enough of Mary Grace Café and its menu of freshly-oven-baked pastries and homecooked meals!
Jo Koy expressed his love for the café, which Pinoys like to call the ultimate “Tita” hangout spot, during his “Funny Is Funny” standup show at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last August 31, 2022, claiming that he wants to invest in the business to bring it to the United States.
“Have you guys had Mary Grace? That s*** is amazing! Is she a real person?” he asked his audience.
He shared that he hopes to meet the owner of the café and wonders if they’re open to franchising. “I want to invest. I have money,” he said. “I don’t know why we don’t have it in the States.”
Chiara Dimacali-Hugo, marketing director and daughter of Mary Grace Dimacali, who founded the home-based baking business in 1983, told When In Manila that she and their whole family were “shocked” by the unexpected shoutout.
“It was a really happy surprise. The whole family is still in shock – and I mean that in a good way!” she gushed.
“It’s wonderful to hear Jo Koy speak about the brand with so much admiration and passion. Moreso, it’s so heartwarming to know that he celebrates Filipino culture, food, & talent, and takes so much pride in his roots and all things Filipino! This has always been the Mary Grace philosophy too, in that my mother believes we have a role to play in promoting & putting the Philippines on the map. She never fails to remind us of this mission/ purpose, and I personally believe it is part of the “why” of our business. In a sense, you can say that Jo Koy and Mary Grace share something in common,” she continued.
However, Chiara noted that expanding their business to the US is not something they have in their plans in the near future as they are still focused on opening more stores nationwide.
“At the moment, we are focusing on geographical expansion within the Philippines as we still have a huge market in our country and a lot of Filipinos to serve. The US is a horizon we have yet to conquer, but who knows, we might get there sooner than we expect. As my mother would love to say — Let us keep doing what we do best, and let us patiently wait for things to unfold — all in God’s perfect time!”
Mary Grace Café currently has 124 stores, including kiosks, across the Philippines. They recently launched their Manchego Ensaymada to make up for not being able to serve their classic ensaymada that is made with Edam cheese from Holland (locally known as queso de bola) due to a shortage of the said ingredient.
(ALSO READ: The Mary Grace Café Ensaymada Shortage Is REAL—Here’s Why and What They’re Doing About It)
Jo Koy traveled to the Philippines last week to also promote his first film, “Easter Sunday,” featuring an all-Filipino cast, which premiered in the country.
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