Looking back to the history of this famous local brand, it’s hard to believe that VjANDEP pastel has been putting smiles on our faces every time a relative brings home a couple of boxes of these delicious sweet treats for almost three decades now.
For 27 years, VjANDEP Pastel of Camiguin has been satisfying our sweet tooth, giving us a lot of fond memories, and filling up the carry-ons of travelling Camiguingnons and Kagay-anons to bring home to their eager relatives and friends.
This is truly an amazing feat, celebrating 27 years of perfecting the creation of these delicious pastries of world-class quality.
The History of VjANDEP
Twenty seven years ago, a Camiguingnon named Eleanor Popera Jose introduced pastel to unsuspecting consumers by commercializing the product on January 8, 1990. With an initial capital of only P120.00, (what was left of her husband’s Christmas bonus), Eleanor quickly gained back the capital and even doubled it in the ensuing days and months.
Pronounced with a silent “j”, the name VjANDEP is actually a combination of the initials of Eleanor’s and her husband’s names. It stands for Virgilio Jose and Eleanor Popera, VJ AND EP.
When asked, Eleanor, or Ella, admitted that making and selling pastel was initially a mere hobby for her. It gave her something to do and satisfied her passion for cooking and baking. It wasn’t until she saw great potential in the product that she decided to take it more seriously. To this day, VjANDEP Pastel of Camiguin is still one of the best exclusive products of Region 10.
Although VjANDEP pastel is essentially a product of Camiguin, its biggest distribution center and market is its neighbor to the south, Cagayan de Oro City. The City of Golden Friendship is only a few hours away by ferry and by bus. So it makes complete sense for the city to serve as the main market and distribution center for the product.
From then on, travelers from all over the country visiting either Camiguin or CDO will always seek out VjANDEP pastel to bring home to family and friends.
27 Years Later . . .
After almost three decades, VjANDEP Pastel of Camiguin is still as strong as ever. It has been copied many times, but no one can successfully replicate its succulent sweetness, the tenderness of its bun, and overall quality of the product.
Now, VjANDEP is celebrating its 27th year anniversary, as well as the 1st year anniversary of its three new sub-brands in Camiguin:
- Samuel by VjANDEP – A restaurant serving authentic Filipino dishes that both locals and tourists can enjoy. The restaurant offers a homey feel with every dish prepared homemade style. And it doesn’t hurt that the prices are very affordable.
- Ba’ay by VjANDEP – A hostel and B&B that caters to all kinds of tourists visiting the island of Camiguin, from vacationing families to backpackers. It is located at the heart of Mambajao, the capital town of Camiguin, with easy access to most of the tourist attractions of the island.
- Gasa by VjANDEP – A pasalubong shop where you can find all sorts of island souvenirs and food products, from printed shirts, caps, handmade artworks and decorative items, as well as everyone’s favorite pasalubong, the pastel.
As part of VjANDEP’s expansion efforts, Gasa by VjANDEP will be implemented as a rebranding for all their souvenir shops and pasalubong centers located in Cagayan de Oro City, as well as any branch they may put up in the near future.
The VjANDEP brand, today, doesn’t just produce pastel. They also produce a wide range of baked goodies, from bread creations to flavorful loaves and special cakes for every occasion.
Some of their popular products outside of the pastel include:
- Mongo Bread
- Cheezy Desal Bread
- Biscocho Bread
- Puto Bread
- Egg Desal Bread
- Ham and Cheese
- Ube Macapuno
- Choco Mongo
- Potato Bread Loaf
- Pineapple Raisin
Cakes and Pastries
- Custard Cake
- Upside Down Cake
- Banana Cake
- Cheezy Bingka
These are just a few of the many delectable products made by VjANDEP. Based on this brand’s history, it’s easy to see how a little bit of passion, cooperation, and effort can go a long way in starting a family business. From a mere P120.00 capital, VjANDEP is now one of the most easily recognizable brands in Mindanao and the Visayas regions, and maybe even in Luzon.