28 Jul Feature Article: Mango Mania Healthy Dessert – A Taste of Sweetness and Health the First of Its Kind in CDO and the Philippines
Mango Mania is a warm and cozy place located inside the Lifestyle District along Corrales Extension, right in front of Capitol University (Main Branch) and 2nd Floor Ayala Centrio Mall (2nd Branch). It’s a quiet and relaxing place with an eye-catching store design that gets passers curious as to what they serve.
Mango Mania serves healthy desserts and snacks using only fresh fruits, mostly mangoes, with no artificial ingredients added.
So this is a healthy dessert restaurant that’s open for people of all ages. It’s the first of its kind to open in Cagayan de Oro and the Philippines. This health restaurant was opened all thanks to an idea that popped in the mind of its proprietor.
It All Started with the Proprietor – Ms. Janice Ratunil
Ms. Ratunil is a native of Naawan, Misamis Oriental. Even at a young age she was already fond of eating healthy foods, most especially fruits. Now at 25 years old, she used to travel around Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and still does for business purposes. In her travels, she noticed that mango and other fruit-based desserts were the native favorites. Ironically many of the fruits especially the mangoes are imported from the Philippines. An idea thus popped in her head: Why not open a specialty health restaurant in Cagayan de Oro that serves only healthy fresh fruit-based foods? Another irony is that although there is a growing health consciousness among Filipinos, there are virtually no restaurants that specialize in fruit-based health foods.
In 2013, Ms. Ratunil gathered a small team of trusted people and began experimenting with mangoes and other fruits without the use of artificial ingredients. This was the main feasibility study aside from the business end, since Ms. Ratunil wanted to serve only the finest tasting fruit-based foods in her store.
Mango Mania opened only last April 10, 2014. It’s the first store of its kind to be conceptualized in Cagayan de Oro and the Philippines. The basic premise or concept of the store is simple: everything sold in it must at least be associated or related with mangoes, and must be healthy.
The Main Store Manager – Verna Khu
Mango Mania’s main store manager is 30 years, but doesn’t look like it, thanks to her hair color and youthful glowing face. Ms. Verna is very pretty, petite, smart and definitely knows how to run the business. She is a graduate of Management-accounting at Capitol University. After graduation she spent 7 years managing her aunt’s dental clinic. By accident, she met Ms. Ratunil through a mutual friend. Being eager to go into business or manage one, Ms. Ratunil offered Ms. Khu a management position and she was one of those in the conceptualization team.
Centrio Mall Branch Manager – Rielyan Harmony Dadole
Now at 26, Mr. Dadole was born and raised in Naawan and is the third degree cousin and childhood buddy of Ms. Ratunil. He finished his Marine Engineering degree at Capitol University. He was a scholar under Astro Shipmanagement Inc. based in Cebu during his college days and passed the nationwide scholarship exam as one of the Top 10. By accident, while he was building up his own buy-and-sell business, he approached Ms. Ratunil, who then offered him the manager’s position for the Mango Mania, Centrio Mall branch. He is the perfect package of good looks, marketing and sales skills plus great customer service skills. He gave us all the important details we need to know about the establishment which only shows how knowledgeable he is in his field.
Foods, Desserts, Drinks, and the Overall Mango Mania Experience
At the start of the business, only a few items were made available since many of the food items presently on their menu were still in their “discovery and experimental” stage.
Slowly however, Mango Mania added to its food lineup.
The basic rule for Mango Mania is that only fresh fruits are used; no preservatives, no artificial fruit powders or artificial flavoring, and no food coloring are added.
The sweetness of the food items comes from the sweetness of the fruits and what little sugar they use is natural cane sugar similar to muscovado.
Because they need to keep their fruits fresh after delivery, they have large storage areas. Their fruit suppliers come from all over Misamis Oriental (Naawan, Initao, El Salvador, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon) and some parts of Cebu.
They have 5 basic categories on their menu:
- Mango Mania uses mostly mangoes and mixed fruits. Their bestsellers are the fresh mixed fruit mango, mango sago, and mango mania coco ribbon.
- Mango Ice MM Ice or Mango Mania Ice uses shaved ice and mixed fruits. Their bestsellers are the mango mania ice original, mais con yelo, Fruity Ice and mango ice choco banana
- Smoothies basically consist of mango original (Sweet/Sour), mango banana, Mango Pina, Papaya Milk, Melon Milk, strawberry banana, Strawberry Mango, Strawberreo and mango pandan.
- Snacks/desserts have a unique lineup such as mango float, banana muffins, green mangoes with special bagoong dip (a healthy pairing for beer or other drinks), DUO consists of Mango Slice + Puto Maya + Drink, TRIO consists of Mango Sago + Muffin + Drink-Lemon Tea, and mango moochi. Other retail products Cheese Cake, Choco Cake and Mango Pie.
- Drinks are basically Sikwate (pure hot cocoa), Milk Tea (Hot/Ice), Lemon Tea (Hot/Ice) and French Press Coffee.
Miscellaneous “pasalubong” or gift items are their bottled bagoong, mango rum liqueur, and dried mangoes with Belgian chocolate.
The rum liqueur is a Philippine product Bottled from Quezon City and the dried mangoes are from Guimaras, with Mango Mania serving as distributor.
Their sikwate is made from pure and fresh cocoa and not the commercial ones sold in supermarkets. The shrimps for the bagoong are also delivered fresh from a supplier and is processed and bottled by Mango Mania.
Since all of their food items are made from fresh fruits and no preservatives added, items like the moochi, muffins, and cakes only last for 5 days but Mango Mania Team sets a Standard Operating Procedure to dispose it on 3 days rather than 5 days for Food Safety and Quality purposes.
Dessert of the Year Award
Just last March, Mango Mania received the Dessert of the Year Award from the Urban Life Awards by Gold Star Daily.
Winning the award for them was their Mango Ice Choco Banana, the first of its kind in the Philippines. It’s a bowl of their signature mango ice, served in between halves of a fresh banana, sprinkled with cashews and chocolate chips, decorated by cubes of fresh and ripe mangoes, crowned with a scoop of mango ice cream, and finished-off with a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup.
To give back in return for its blessings, Mango Mania donates P1.00 from every P100.00, or 1 percent of its monthly sales to the Balay Cannosa Orphanage.
Other Features of the Restaurant
One of the unique items decorated on the restaurant’s decorative shelves is a ceramic (plaster of Paris) replica of the actual Biggest and Heaviest Mango in the World as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. This mango was harvested in Iligan City in 2009, weighing at 3.435 kg or 7.57 lbs.
It was presented by Sergio and Maria Socorro Bodiongan at the Sundayag Celebration Pinaka Contest in Cagayan de Oro City on August 27, 2009. The Florida Keitt mango variety measured 30.48 cm (12 in) in length, 49.53 cm (19.5 in) in circumference, and 17.78 cm (7 in) in width. It was harvested from a tree in the couple’s yard that yields an average of 100 larger-than-average mangos every season. After Mango Mania opened, Mrs. Bodiongan herself wanted to present one of the ceramic replicas she had that was molded by the staff from the MSU-IIT Ceramics Department.
Board games and a classic miniature soccer table game are available for people who want to have some fun without the use of gadgets while enjoying their healthy desserts or snacks.
Promos and Upcoming Events
They have an ongoing Daily Happy Hour promo (11am – 2pm) wherein for every order of Mango Mania or Mango Ice, you get a free banana muffin. For the coming city fiesta celebrations and in the coming months they are hoping to create their new mango-choco muffin as well as apple, guyabano, and avocado based desserts and snacks.
During the interview, Ms. Khu and Mr. Dadole gave our group sample tasting from their menu, most especially their bestsellers.
We dare say that that the Dessert of the Year Award was truly deserved.
Description for their Video Invite
Looking at Verna and Rielyan do this “invite the customers” video, one would think they were auditioning for a hosting show. It’s really fun to watch. The video will be published soon at our website so watch out for that!