little leos toronto

Toronto nurse starts up side hustle with sister that regularly sells out

A Toronto nurse has started up a side hustle with her sister who's also in healthcare, and they keep selling out.

Nurse Tiffany Mallari started up Little Leo's Bakeshop with her sister Jennifer Mallari (a health information specialist) at the beginning of April 2022, though they had been talking about it since the beginning of lockdowns in 2020.

"My birth month is August which makes my horoscope sign Leo," Tiffany Mallari tells blogTO. "This resonated with my sister and I because lions represent courage and strength, and let me tell you, those two are much needed when you're stepping out of your comfort zone and chasing your dreams."

Little Leo's deals in Asian-inspired cookies, with options like Matcha Madness, Milo Bear, Ube-lievable (with ube halaya jam filling) and Milk Tea (with brown sugar infused cream cheese), with a half dozen of one flavour priced at $13, and a dozen with a mix of three flavours for $25.

"Although we are Canadian-born, we very much grew up in an Asian predominant household. We were very blessed to be able to indulge in Filipino, Chinese, and Vietnamese dishes, sweets, and snacks," says Mallari.

"One thing we love is how Asian desserts are not too sweet and just right. We take snacks and sweets that we would enjoy in our home and incorporate those flavours into our desserts. Flavours that we develop always serve as memories of our past. We try to share the same warm memories with others in a handheld form."

They accept orders via DM on Instagram and are hoping to launch a website in 2023.

"Since kids, we were very close and still are till this day. From rollerblading, watching our favourite cartoons, becoming mad scientists concocting potions, and to baking up a storm with Jenn's easy bake oven that was gifted to her during Christmas. Soon enough we upgraded to big girl baking making many baked goods including, you guessed it, cookies," says Mallari.

"Fast forward to 2020, we picked up on baking again and it immediately brought back many fond childhood memories. We first started baking for fun, then we shared them with our loved ones. The support of our family and friends encouraged us to share them with others. An added bonus was that L.L.'s created the perfect balance between our stressful healthcare jobs."

So far in 2022 they've sold out for Mother's Day, Easter weekend, and during the month of October because of a combination of birthdays, Thanksgiving and Halloween.

"Having your own business does allow some flexibility in how I accept orders and schedule them in," says Mallari. "If there are work schedule conflicts, an order would be offered for the next available date."

She does recipe development during her off hours and days off and makes sure to shoot and film content for social media during recipe trials for later use. She's hoping to continue doing markets and pop-ups, and in the future hopes to possibly sell the cookies in local shops and even open up her own cafe or bakery.

Lead photo by

Little Leo's

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