DAVAO City-born enterprise Apo ni Lola has proven once again that there is more to processed durian than just candies and tarts.
Some might have been thinking that aside from being sold fresh, durian can only be offered in candy form or tart. However, this famous durian by-products producer has continued to emphasize that there is no limit to innovation.
Arnel Raakin, the man behind the company’s increasing number of products, has introduced another sumptuous baked delicacy that will surely delight its customers, especially the durian lovers.
Just recently, Apo ni Lola introduced its own version of Otap, a popular pasalubong treat from Cebu. Their take on this oval-shaped, thin pastry has a twist, though; from its smell to how it tastes, one can immediately sense the flavorful durian.
The company’s operations manager, Imee Marie Añabesa-Acopiado, said the clamor for durian Otap was their reason to develop their own recipe of the well-loved food product.
“Before we launched our durian Otap, we carefully studied first not just our recipe, but also the possible reception of our market as a whole. Despite the fact that there was clamor from some clients, we wanted to make sure as well that the market for the new product would be enough,” she explained.
After their thorough study of these concerns, Apo ni Lola finally decided to launch its durian Otap in time for the city’s Kadayawan Festival. The people behind the sustained success of the company were pleased that on the first day they offered the product, everything was sold out.
“We started offering 80 boxes of 10 pieces, and right on that day, nothing was left on the shelf,” Añabesa-Acopiadore called.
To date, the latest addition to their wide array of durian delicacies has been among the most sought-after from their walk-in buyers.
A believer of sustained innovation
The company, which has been appreciative of the Department of Trade and Industry’s technical and marketing assistance, is said to be a believer of sustained innovation, and their numerous durian products are actually the proof of this. Apart from the mouthwatering durian candies mixed with butter, peanut, buko pandan, raisin, mangosteen, mallows, langka, mocha, yema, mango, coffee and chocolate, Apo ni Lola likewise offers durian ice cream, tarts, pie, jam and spread.
Meanwhile, their refreshments nook inside their store in Matina gives satisfaction to durian lovers who love hot and cold drinks. With their in-house barrista, customers are offered with durian-based drinks concocted with other flavors, such as chocolate, mocha, and hot chili.
As what Añabesa-Acopiado revealed, it is in embracing innovation that Apo ni Lola thrives in the face of stiff competition.
“Whenever there is an opportunity to improve our present products or introduce a new one, we will always consider that. Of course, we will do our own research before adopting such to ensure that what we are about to do is for our clients’ utmost satisfaction,” she said.
In the coming weeks, who knows, Apo ni Lola will be introducing once again another product of their commitment and continued innovation. A durian coffee shop inside a mall, perhaps?
“Well, that is possible,” the company’s ever-hardworking operations manager quipped.
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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 18, 2017.
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