Dessert lovers rejoice! The metro’s most popular Hong Kong dessert shop, Full House Desserts, is officially expanding into Yonge & Sheppard! The store has been delighting Richmond Hill with hand-made desserts prepared with extreme care and expertise for the past 18 years; from luscious treats like ooey gooey HK-style pancakes to a delicious mango & pomelo sago. Full House Desserts has been especially popular amongst the Chinese community. Now it’s time for this legendary shop to introduce a sweet slice of Hong Kong culture to all of Toronto!
The owner and chef, Johnny Ho, was born and raised in Sai Kung, a small town in northern Hong Kong, known for its fishing business and abundance of seafood restaurants. However, there lacked a place for people to enjoy something sweet. Envisioning an opportunity, in 1995, Johnny and his friends founded their first dessert brand, Honeymoon Desserts, where they served traditional Hong Kong dessert specialties. Six more locations opened within the first year, twenty within two years. Currently, the brand holds over 500 locations all over the world, with Johnny’s creations evidently becoming a huge success. Today, Honeymoon Desserts continues to grow and expand.
Yet in 2000, Johnny and his wife welcomed their first child. Becoming a father completely changed his life. Rather than devoting twenty hours a day into his work, he preferred to be a present dad. With a dream of living in a quieter, more comfortable place where his children would have space to play, Johnny decided to move to Canada with his whole family: “It was really hard for me back then; to give up everything I had built in Hong Kong and leave it all behind to start from zero again. It was a crossroad in my life. But the right decision to make was clear to me. Family should always come first. I haven’t looked back ever since”, Johnny says.
After moving to Canada, he opened another Hong Kong dessert shop with his original popular recipes and Full House Desserts as we know it, was born. Johnny chose this name because a “full house” with a loving family was all he ever dreamed of having.
During the first few years, the shop only opened from evening to night for 5 hours a day, closing on Wednesdays so Johnny could spend more time with his kids. These unusual business hours didn’t stop customers from coming. If anything, they made the store even more popular. Customers travelled all the way from Hamilton and London just to try his desserts. The Mango and Durian Pancakes, as well as the Full House Sago sold out consistently every day for the past eighteen years. Full House Desserts became the most beloved dessert shop amongst the local Asian community.
Now that his kids are older, Johnny’s goal is to focus on his business. Since the first Full House Desserts location is quite far, many people have to drive almost 2 hours to get there. The intention behind developing the new Yonge & Sheppard location was to make it much more convenient for customers to get their hands on their sweet cravings.
“I’m looking to expand slowly. I am adamant my recipes must remain unchanged to ensure the quality of the food is maintained, but also that people who work with Full House in the future value family and Hong Kong cuisine traditions as much as I do”, explains Johnny.
Hong Kong-style desserts are not a new concept in Toronto. Though many people still think Full House Desserts’ products taste much better than other shops, “It’s because of the recipes,” Johnny says, “I’ve been using the same recipes for the past twenty years. We use high quality ingredients and fresh fruits. I know it costs more but the taste is incomparable”.
One of their best-selling desserts is the Full House Sago, composed of fresh mango, pomelo, sago, and coconut milk. The refreshing, lightly sweetened, icy taste is a definitely a fruit-lover’s fantasy. Another signature item, the Mango Pancake, is popular with Westerners and Asians alike. The mango tastes superbly fresh, enveloped in a meringue-like cream reminiscent of marshmallow, yet airier. While its thin, melt-in-your mouth bright yellow exterior skin holds everything together. All the desserts need to be freshly hand-made every day, resulting in a limited quantity daily. Moreover, most of Full House Desserts’ offerings are rich in whole grains, essential minerals, and anti-oxidants. Many are also low in sugar, high in nutrients, and vegetarian.
Soon, Toronto dessert lovers can enjoy the real taste of Hong Kong at Full House Desserts Yonge & Sheppard. Their grand-opening will take place on August 25th, 2018!
New Store Location: Suite#121, 4750 Yonge St. Toronto, M2N 0J6
Full House is giving out their signature, Full House Sago, for FREE on August 25th and 26th! The new store opens at 12pm, so make sure to come early and get your FREE Full House Sago!
Source and Photo Credit: Sweven Media/ Full House Desserts