Love at first bite with Pik-a-Pikel

CEO, Tony Nola

Do you believe in love at first bite? Founder of Pik-a-Pikel, Victor Antonio B. Nola Jr, also known as Tony believes in it. It all started back in 2011 when he had a first taste of pickled mangos. “I discovered burong mangga  from Chinatown, Manila years ago. I suddenly fell in love with.  In fact, I would go all the way there just to buy it,” he recalled. Due to the stressful commute and traffic, he decided to create his own pickled mangoes and the rest was history. “It was such a hassle to go there every week given that it was really traffic. There are also times when it was not available so I decided to make my own,” he shared.

Tony with his partners

Tony worked in the corporate world for 15 years and had no background at all on food technology and preservation. “I enrolled in Google university and read a lot of articles about pickling, food processing and food preservation.  I eventually gained a little knowledge and furthered this by attending training and seminars given by the different government agencies. I tried a lot of recipes and ingredients. It took some time to achieve that perfect formula,” he shared.

In the latter part of 2011, Tony started to join bazaars but by the end of 2013, he launched his company Sangkutsa Foods which includes the brand Pik-a-Pikel. “We manufacture pickled fruits and vegetables. Everything we offer is made in the Philippines. Our goal is to become part of every family’s meal not just in our country but all over the world,” he shared. Aside from pickled mangoes, Pik-a-Pikel now offers pickled papaya, pickled guava, mango salsa, and papaya salsa.

In 2017, they started to export to countries like USA, Canada, Singapore, Guam, and South Korea. “If people think that pickled food is just a side dish then they are wrong. We want to change how people see and think of pickles.  Pickles are not just a side dish or a condiment; instead it can be enjoyed as a healthy snack alternative too.  It can be used as an ingredient and an appetizer as well to add a layer of flavor or twist in your typical recipe.  In other words, the limit on how you use our pickles is within the bounds of your imagination. In addition to this, we want to reach Filipinos abroad who miss eating seasonal fruits like green mango,” he pointed out.

Pik-A-Pikel has grown tremendously since it was launched. Their sales have doubled every year since 2016 and currently, they have partnered with almost all supermarket chains in the country. According to Tony, they have a lot of things in store for their customers. “By 2020, we expect our export sales to surpass our domestic or local sales.  We shall be expanding our product lines as well with 2-3 new product lines employing more than sixty (60) employees.  More importantly, we should be able to penetrate the food service industry (hotels, restaurant, catering, etc) already and therefore when you eat tapsilog, don’t be surprised when you see picked mango as a side dish instead of acharang papaya,” he concluded.

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