Mangoes in a new light

Luis A. Quibranza III
·2 min read

Cebuanos can be picky eaters. Most of us like our dishes direct-to-the-point, downright delicious. However, we are also a lot that loves experimenting with food. And that moment when something hits our palates just right, is when the line between reluctance and curiosity blurs.

When most of us think of mangoes, we think of the green and yellow variety. However, a trio of sisters decided to share their own version of pickled mangoes.

“We grew up eating pickled mangoes made by our father,” shared sisters Hannah Dychangco, Debbie Gabutin and Sarah Campos. They recalled how the “smell of fresh green mangoes soaked in a perfectly mixed sweet and sour brine” was a big part of their childhood.

As witnessed by the community, the lockdown due to the pandemic gave people stuck at home an opportunity to build on their dream businesses. For the sisters, they weren’t thinking of serving their own brand of pickled mangoes to the public at first. It all started with a simple craving during meals.

“The pandemic brought a lot of hardships and challenges to all families and we decided to rise above the challenges and see it as an opportunity to start an online business,” shared Debbie. “We took the opportunity to start an online business during the lockdown since most people were getting food and supplies online.”

Enter Kael’s Pickled Mango, a home-made pickled mango and a local product of Cebu. “Online shops, especially home-made products, became popular during the lockdown period. That is how the business came into fruition,” said Debbie. The sisters named the product after their father’s nickname, Kael.

Pickled mangoes bring a ton of flavor—sweet, sour and a bit savory. These also offer health benefits like providing vitamin C and maintaining healthy gut-flora. Needless to say, while preparing a plateful for home is one story, packing hundreds of jars more for public consumers is another.

“We experienced a lot of challenges when starting up the business. From business registration, storage and handling, achieving the perfect sweet and sour taste, to marketing our products online. We are now running eight months in the business and we are continuing to improve and grow as we learn along the way. We hope we can inspire and encourage people to also make that big step and come out bigger amid this pandemic,” said Debbie.

The sisters hope that their father’s inspiration, now in glass jars, will grow and put a smile to Cebuanos’ faces, especially during simple family meals.

“We also wanted to bring to other families’ tables the sweet memories of our childhood. We believe that great conversations and best memories often happen over good food during family meals and gatherings.”

Check out Kael’s Pickled Mangoes on social media.