After lockdown restrictions eased in 2020, Macoi Camposano returned to his hometown of General Santos City from Davao, hoping to relive childhood memories through the local staple, Pastil. However, he was disheartened to discover the pandemic’s devastating impact on the once-thriving Pastil stalls and eateries, leaving a void in the city’s culinary scene.
Upon this realization, Macoi and his business partner Mark found inspiration to establish a business centered on Pastil, a beloved food staple in GenSan. And as the local economy reopened with the lifting of strict lockdown measures, they were joined by numerous other entrepreneurs, helping fuel the local economy, providing job opportunities, and revitalizing the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Pastil for every General and foodie alike
After launching their business ‘Mamastill Atbp.’, they slowly began noticing more Pastil businesses following suit. Macoi narrates, “We noticed many new Pastil businesses opening, and it’s heartening to think that we inspired them. We don’t view them as competition; rather, we believe coexistence is the key to success, and it brings us joy to witness other vendors selling Pastil along the streets again.”
Recognizing the significance of promoting the local delicacy from the Islamic community, they embarked on a journey to understand Pastil’s cultural roots. Exploring various types in Mindanao’s Islamic cities, they finally decided on their version.
Mamastill Atbp. offers a new twist to the Pastil dish while preserving its authentic style inspired by the Islam dish. Other iterations of their Pastil menu include chicken wings, pasta, and silog. “We really wanted to promote our local culture so that those unfamiliar with it will get to know the local flavors,” he says. “It warms our hearts to see that our Muslim brothers and sisters also patronize our brand.”
However, Mark also admits that they faced challenges due to limited brand awareness and reach. Upon onboarding with online food and grocery platform foodpanda, they were able to tap a broader wider market, especially those who reside from the farther parts of the city or those who are still afraid to go out. “When we started our business, there were still people who felt apprehensive about going out. They discovered Mamastill Atbp. through the foodpanda app,” Mark retells.
Aside from capturing the city’s consumers, they aimed to expand their reach. “Those in the upper parts of the city who cannot visit our physical stores, can easily order through the app, and try out Mamastill Atbp. This not only promotes our business further but also brings in extra revenue.”
A preferred partner
Mark attributes their enhanced digital presence to foodpanda and admires the hands-on assistance they received from foodpanda.
Then came the opportunity to become a pandapick preferred partner, where they can enjoy elevated benefits as one of the partner vendors under the preferred partnership program. “Since becoming a pandapick partner, our sales have doubled as we receive prominent promotions within the app. Sometimes, our app sales surpass those from our physical store, so it balances things out.”
“In Gensan, Pastil is considered a local street food, so witnessing our brand on the billboard along the city roads was a truly proud moment for us.”
Marketing support is just one of the few perks and privileges that pandapick partners are accorded to. “With the help of our Account Managers, we try to monitor and mentor our partner vendors to see which area we can support,” explains Luis Yanga, foodpanda Philippines Commercial Director. “These encompass additional visibility on the app, marketing support through various channels, and access to tools and services that drive growth and boost revenue.”
Pay it forward
From their humble beginnings of selling at stalls, Mamastill Atbp. has achieved remarkable success, now operating two branches in General Santos with plans to open a new one in Davao.
Given their achievements, they also want to give back, especially to the Muslim community, who welcomed and supported their brand. Every quarter, Mamastill Atbp. initiate “Pay it Forward Pastil,” where customers can order and choose to donate the food items to the chosen beneficiaries.
“We are thankful to those who believed in us and supported our brand, including foodpanda, who recognized our potential.”
Yanga says, “By also helping small local businesses in the provinces maximize the potential of online digital platforms, we are also, in a way, introducing consumers to a wide variety of local dishes present in that region.”