The USA's leading awards celebrating the bread community

Veda Karlo

Home Baker Tiptree World Bread Awards Hero USA supported by IBIE

Veda grew up in the Philippines where she spent summers playing in her grandmother’s hotel bakery next to her home in Cebu City.

From the age of 8, Veda watched the bakers make bread by hand, using 200-300 kilos of flour per day, without mixers or any equipment other than their own hands. The traditional bread was baked in brick ovens. She learned all she needed to know from those bakers.

For over 10 years, Veda has volunteered at the Union Square Farmers Market, slowing down only recently due to her husband’s advanced Alzheimer’s condition. Baking is her therapy and sharing the bread makes Veda feel part of a community. She frequently bakes ensaimadas, challahs, brioche and many other baked goods for neighbors, friends, the staff of her building and homeless people.

During the Covid lockdown, Veda baked for the ambulance crews at Lenox Hill Hospital. Every Wednesday and Saturday, Veda bakes 8 boxes of bread, as much as her cart can carry, boards the MTA bus and heads downtown to the Union Square Market to bring the vendors something nourishing and tasty for their coffee/lunch break. The vendors in turn share their fruit and produce which Veda makes into jams to give away with the bread.

It is a wonderful instance of community support for each other, especially during the pandemic when worry, fear and economic chaos has challenged everyone.

"Veda means the world to those of us who represent at the Union Square Greenmarket/GrowNYC," says Catherine McWeeney, one of Veda's many nominators. "She goes above and beyond as a baker and as a dedicated volunteer and representative of the success of the GrowNYC greenmarket."

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