Filipino fusion bakery Marley’s Treats opening in Hayward – The Mercury News

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Marley’s Treats, a Filipino fusion bakery in Hayward, specializes in desserts made with ube, a purple yam. (Photo courtesy of Gemma Ballesteros)

At the new Hayward bakery called Marley’s Treats, the color of dessert is often purple.

As in ube, the purple yam so prevalent and popular in the Philippines.

For owner Gemma Ballesteros, combining the flavors of her heritage with American favorites like cupcakes made sense when she embarked on a baking career after her daughter, Marley, was born. After all, she says, “Every Filipino dessert comes in that flavor.”

Her maternity-leave project grew quickly. “As soon as I started posting pictures on my Facebook, I started getting requests and orders from family and friends,” she says on social media. “I then took the needed steps to get licensed and work out of a commercial kitchen. And business took off.”

She’s been catering, baking custom cakes and operating a food truck, the cleverly named Marley’s Streats, since outgrowing a small space in Oakland a couple of years ago. And now this Saturday, Feb. 1, she will officially open her new brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Hayward. The public is invited to the noon to 5 p.m. block party, which will also celebrate the opening of her next-door neighbor, the Black & Gold Barber Shop.

Ballesteros’ top seller is the Hella Ube, a towering confection that starts with an ube Rice Krispy treat base, then layers of ube ice cream, an ube cupcake and an ube macaron. Naturally, all of those are sold separately too.

Cupcakes come in a rotating series of flavors, among them red velvet, horchata churro, s’mores, banana split, blueberry lemon and buko pandan, the Filipino fave made with young coconut. Macaron flavors also vary daily; the rotation includes lychee, mango, dulce de leche and pistachio cookie butter. Also in the lineup is a dessert version of lumpia made with banana and jackfruit.

Details: Marley’s Treats is located at 838 B St., Hayward. Business hours are evolving; Ballesteros plans to launch with a noon opening Tuesday-Friday and an 11 a.m. opening on weekends. Find updates on the website,, Facebook and  Instagram accounts,

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