11 Feb Mercedes Bakery – The Home of the Famous Pineapple Crumble and Unique, Mouth-watering Pastries Never Tried Before
Mercedes Bakery is a purely Kagay-anon bakery specializing in breads, pastries, and cakes being targeted as the ultimate pasalubong products identified with Cagayan de Oro. The bakery is the sister company of SLERS Products.
When they started rolling the dough
Mercedes Bakery started everything in February 2007. It was Ms. Mercedes Mejia who started the Mercedes bakery by incorporating it as SLERS baked products in order to serve cold cut sliced sandwiches. Since they wanted the high quality bread similar to the bread served at the Del Monte clubhouse, Ms. Mercedes decided to bake the bread themselves.
The original bakery was located in Tablon. Early last year however, a fire almost devastated the bakery. Transferring the bakery to its present location beside its sister company store, SLERS, in Gusa, in less than a year Mercedes recovered fully and is now at more than full production capacity. The Mejia family considers this event to be somewhat of a test and blessing for their family business.
Arthur Daniel P. Mejia has earned the moniker “Mr. Crumble” for creating the original Cagayanon fresh baked apple pie they call the Pineapple Crumble. He graduated from Xavier University with a degree in Management Accounting. In college he was already a businessman of sorts by managing a SLERS sandwich stand. Admittedly, Daniel confides that he is not a chef and never took up any baking or culinary classes.
He simply learned the basics of baking by tasting the different products produced by Mercedes and by observing their family bakers when he started managing the production business side. He eventually took over the reins of Mercedes in 2012.
Originally, Daniel’s dream was always to eventually manage the SLERS business, but now that he has Mercedes, he considers it a better trade-off. Because of his degree, Daniel was able to gain experience from sales and manufacturing from different companies in Manila before coming home to CDO to manage Mercedes.
That Mercedes Experience
Mercedes is not your typical bakery that bakes the daily bread. Since 2007 Mercedes has been known for their sizable Pan de Sal and the pasalubong delight called Biscocho.
Their pan de sal is bigger, fluffier, and fuller compared to your usual neighborhood bakery pan de sal that tends to be hollow and full of air. They’re also tastier than your average pan de sal. The biscocho is made from butter and sugar and goes well with your cup of coffee. It’s crispy but not hard because the butter used comes from local producers from Bukidnon and is therefore fresher than most commercial brands. They also serve really good oatmeal and choco chip cookies.
Most recently, the bakery came out with a couple of new products. Butter Browns are basically the mixing up of brownies and butterscotch. In Cagayan de Oro, Mercedes is the only bakery making butterscotch products.
The Chunky Monkey Muffins is your larger than standard muffins that are sprinkled with really large chunks of dark chocolate. The dark chocolate sprinkles are made in the bakery rather than purchased commercially. The chunky monkey originally was sold in loaves, and is naturally banana based.
Another bestseller is their large Meat Buns that is really filled full in the middle. Mercedes is the exclusive supplier of third-party meat buns for Chams Convenience Store.
Currently, Mercedes is supplying bread products for Chino’s Deli, the local Kenny Rogers restaurant, the pizza dough for La Tango Pizza, and of course, SLERS. They used to supply the bread for Backyard Burger when the latter was still in CDO.
Naturally, Mercedes is coming out with their line of homemade cakes, especially ones created for the coming Valentine’s Day.
The original Pineapple Crumble
The Pineapple Crumble freshly baked pie is fast becoming a favorite snack and pasalubong food item made from fresh (not canned) pineapples from the Del Monte plantation in Bukidnon and home-made butter locally produced in Bukidnon as well. It is solely made by Mercedes solely in Cagayan de Oro.
The family recipe all started with their mother, Mercedes, who loves to bake pineapple pie, and so Daniel sort of revised it to create the “crumble.” They introduced the crumbling pie to the CDO market in 2013, and it hasn’t crumbled ever since.
Although baked fresh without preservatives and additives, it can actually last around 3 days in room temperature and 7 days when refrigerated. It can even be served cold or heated and goes well with coffee or milk, making it a really healthy treat.
According to Daniel, because the pineapple is the universal symbol for hospitality, it goes well when tied up with CDO being the “city of golden friendship.” This symbol originated from Christopher Columbus and other European sailors during the age of sail when they would return from a long voyage from South America bringing with them this rare (for that period) fruit that they would hang or spear on their front porch to welcome in visitors.
So far, there are three major locations for Mercedes products, these being their main store along the C.M. Recto National Highway in Gusa (beside their sister store, SLERS), at their kiosk at the Robinsons Center, Limketkai Center Mall, and the Mercedes pasalubong kiosk at the Laguindingan Airport. Mercedes products, especially the pineapple crumble, are also available at the SLERS Café at the corner of A. Velez and Del Pilar Streets, Chingkeetea outlets, Ababu Persian Kitchen, and Dahilayan Forest Park and Adventure Park. Outside Cagayan de Oro pineapple crumble is now sold in Davao City at the Backyard Burger.
For Valentine’s Day, here are Mercedes Bakery’s offers:
For the future, Daniel envisions Mercedes Breads and Cakes as CDO’s “friendliest bakery.” They plan to expand their Gusa store to make this their flagship store, complete with air-conditioned café area and a glass display area where people can see the baking going on. For this they are planning to create more fancy cakes, bread, and yeast-based quality products that people would want to come back to again and again, similar to their pineapple crumble.