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Squamish food beat: Unique Slow Rise Bakery brings Hong Kong to Squamish

The new dim sum eatery recently opened at Klahanie Campground.

When asked about why Unique Saguindan wanted to bring a dim sum eatery to Squamish, her answer was simple: She longed for a taste of home in Hong Kong.

“I actually just have this idea to fulfill the food gaps in Squamish, to bring something in that's more of my own culture so that I can have it and everyone else can have it,” she said. “Because I'm sure I'm not the only one that's craving these things.”

With her husband Gabriel Saguindan, the two recently opened Unique Slow Rise Bakery at Klahanie Campground off the Sea to Sky Highway. The eatery boasts walk-up ordering and many picnic tables for outdoor seating that is also dog-friendly. 

Unique said the bakery is styled similarly to yum cha in Hong Kong, where plates are shared among a group, and people might help grab items for others. For Unique, this was a Sunday tradition.

As for the menu, Unique wanted to highlight all of her favourites from around Hong Kong. 

This includes shrimp, soup, and pork dumplings—which come in four or eight-piece servings—plus a variety of bao, or buns, like BBQ pork bun or Chinese sausage bun. There are also sweet buns, like the pineapple bun, or bolo bao, and a classic Hong Kong egg tart.

Of course, there is also plenty of coffee and tea, with several specialties, like milk tea, iced lemon tea or Ovaltine.

Just before opening, Unique was uncertain about how well the new venture would be received. But on opening day, she said there were folks already lined up at 7 a.m. excitedly waiting.

“I was in tears. Tears of joy,” she recalled, saying the customers were extra supportive as the staff were getting their footing. “That was really moving.” 

“I don't think I've ever bawled my eyes out like this in the kitchen,” she said with a laugh.

“It was a little intimidating,” Gabriel recounted, also laughing. “It was very exciting to see a lot of people coming to support.”

Unique said those very first customers even signed an encouraging note for the team on a used take-out bag, which she plans to frame and hang at the bakery.

Outside of the restaurant, a few items from Unique Slow Rise Bakery can also be purchased for those on the go at Stong’s Market in downtown Squamish.

Looking ahead, the two said they are already dreaming about ways to add more dishes to the menu and to continue service through the winter months. They are also planning an official grand opening event in the coming weeks.

Yet mostly, Unique said they are focused on adding elements that will make visitors feel like they’ve been transported to Hong Kong for yum cha and are sharing food while bonding with their families.

“Through that sharing food with people that I have in common with or with our community resembles Sunday family gathering time,” she said. “You kind of show love through this way.”

Stop by Unique Slow Rise Bakery from Wednesday to Sunday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or check out more at

The Food Beat is a new series from The Squamish Chief newsroom focusing on restaurants, cafés and eateries in Squamish that are newly opened or have something newsworthy about them. If you think your business fits that bill and would like to be considered for this series, reach out to [email protected].


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