Davao’s leading durian candy maker gains popularity
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (June 22, 2014) — A durian candy maker based here, is gaining popularity among local and foreign tourists after its operation started five years ago in Davao, the world’s largest city in terms of land area and one of the country’s leading tourist destinations.
Apo Ni Lola, which started its operation in 2009 has its production area within a three-storey building at Matina, here with an outlet at the Waterfront Insular Hotel. And currently, its management is working for the opening of new stalls at Abreeza, Ayala and SM, Davao
This booming durian candy maker owned by Arnel Raacin started with only 15 workers but doubled the number to 30 staff with the positive growth of production two years back. Apo Ni Lola, is currently a brand name being popularized by one of the children of the first durian candy maker here named Abundia del Fuerte Raacin, fondly called “Lola Abon” that has become known among the visitors from all over the country.
Apo Ni Lola Store Supervisor Imee Anabeza, said their operation improved through the years after they were able to access a grant from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Then the business hit a 27 percent growth rate.
Anabeza said their production is done manually, that is why they need more workers. Their durian candies come as soft and creamy as they use quality durian fruits which are now available, here the whole year round. Of the five lines of candy products that they offer, the most saleable is the durian bar.
She said their production is done daily of about 40 batches where one batch contains 1,200 pieces of mixed candies of either the yema, candy roll, bar and stick. Aside from durian, they also use mangosteen, and right now they are studying the use of nangka and marang as raw materials.
Anabeza said their buyers are 90 percent tourists and 10 percent local consumers. “We also want to capture the local market that is why we will embark on expanding the product to pastry making,” she added. (LOR VILLA ENCENZO)