23 Sep Dulceta Jam Tarts: Starting to Become Cagayan de Oro’s Signature “Pasalubong”
“Pasalubong” or literally, giving a small present or gift after arriving from a trip, has become a unique Filipino character and behavior. This present or gift usually is a certain specialty or delicacy from the place traveled to and distributed to close family or friends. In the Philippines this specialty or delicacy for purposes of pasalubong is normally what identifies the city or province.
Everyone knows the special strawberries and handicrafts from Baguio. Bohol has its Bagol and Peanut Kisses. Cebu has its dried mangoes and otap. Davao is identified with those “Lola brand” Durian candies and other different variations of durian products. And Cagayan de Oro is identified with… well, come to think of it, what does CDO have as pasalubong anyway that it can call its own? Vjandep Pastels? Those are from Camiguin, though with branches in CDO to sell them commercially. Pineapples? That’s in Bukidnon. Dulceta Jam Tarts? Ah, now you’re talking.
Dulceta Jam Tarts has finally put Cagayan de Oro on the tourism pasalubong specialty map in the country by being a product that can fully identify with the city. Innovated by Cagayanons, manufactured by hand by Cagayanons, and sold only in specialty shops in the city as pasalubong items, this is a product that can finally be called CDO’s own novelty and specialty.
Handmade and hand baked by Cagayanons
Dulceta Jam Tarts cute and delectable pastries made from natural fruit. The fruit jams inside the pastries are handmade from natural fruits while the tart itself is hand baked into pastry crusts. This product is strictly homemade but are all guaranteed to be fresh and safe. These jam tarts capture the essence of the fruits coming from Cagayan de Oro or Northern Mindanao. There are seven flavors to choose from, namely, mango, pineapple, strawberry, ube, buko pandan, jackfruit, and durian. As you sink your palates into the tarts you will really savor the real fruity jam flavor since the jams are all made from natural fruits and not artificial flavoring.
Of their different flavors, mango, pineapple, and strawberry are their best seller classics since these can be manufactured almost all year round. Their other flavors are also picking up in popularity, though buko pandan is a bit difficult to manufacture since it is milk based. This year the owners hopefully can introduce a new flavor, melon.
The fruit jams are manufactured usually depending on the availability of the fruits. The making of the jam tarts can be labor intensive, and for the jams alone, they can manufacture around a thousand jam bottles daily, all to be ready when the pastry crusts are baked and then ready for distribution.
Each pack containing 10 jam tarts can last up to a month and requires no refrigeration. Dulceta has no physical store, so the tarts are available at the pasalubong shops at the Laguindingan International Airport, Vjandep Bakeshop in Bulua, the Pelaez Sports Center, Dahilayan Adventure Park, selected Nai Cha Milk Tea outlets, Oroham outlets, Magnum Express at Limketkai Center, and at Taco Bistro in Rustan’s at Ayala Centrio Mall.
The Name Created from ‘D’ and Sweetness
When the owners were asked about the name Dulceta, they simply wanted a product name that started with the letter ‘D’ and to mean something sweet. After several failed attempts with names that could pass with the DTI registration (since the names they came up with already existed), they finally came up with the present name since ‘dulce’ means sweet.
The product itself was conceptualized way back during the owner’s college days when they were looking for a farm or food product that could utilize local and natural ingredients. This is how jam tarts came to be, since the product also needed to have a somewhat long shelf life. Because the jam tarts are made from natural fruits, sometimes you can actually taste the fruity bits when you bite into the crusty tarts.
For purposes of identification and marketing, the owners make an effort to join trade fairs and shows sponsored by POPANORMIN and DTI-X. More recently they had a table at the KUMBIRA 2015 Culinary Show and Competitions.
The owners are graduates of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, both from the College of Agriculture. One is a Marine Biology major and the other is a Food Technology major. Formerly running a catering service, they decided to hit on the jam tart business because while the catering service has its ups and downs, the jam tart business remains a consistent constant, plus the fact that they wanted to give Cagayan de Oro a signature specialty product of its own. For a time they even ventured into the insurance business, finding that the food service business is more lucrative and also provides opportunities for local employment.
Dulceta for the Future
As mentioned earlier, aside from a new flavor, melon, one of the owner’s long range plan is to sell bottled jams as another pasalubong product, similar to the durian jams from Davao. They also plan to penetrate into other outlets like Chingkeetea and local coffee shops.
Even for the future, the Dulceta owners have no plans to penetrate into groceries because according to them this would make their product “too mainstream.” They would like to keep and value their novelty as a pasalubong product that can be found only in select shops. They want a pasalubong product that can be purchased only in Cagayan de Oro and not from mainstream groceries all across the country.
As a pasalubong product, Dulceta has no similar competitor, making it a standalone pasalubong product that Cagayan de Oro can identify with. It can stand on its own novelty and specialty. It is this novelty that makes their jam tarts stand out in any pasalubong novelty store. As a product, the fruity jam tarts are really delicious; but then again, don’t take our word for it. You need to go out and have a taste yourself.