Pili + Pino Takes Pancake Breakfasts to the next Level with Their Selection of Mixes, Syrups and JamsDecember 6, 2017
Julie Vergara and Vivien Go founded Pili & Pino in 2012 with the desire to shows off their pride in the Philippines and what the land and its farmers have to offer. ‘Pili’ comes from the Filipino word for choose ‘choose’ and ‘Pino’ from ‘fine’, and together the words represent the finest ingredients and level of work that they put into their products. Pili & Pino believes in small batch preparation to ensure top quality in every product they create, using only fresh local fruit and whole ingredients with no preservatives or additives. They pride themselves in their short ingredients list that showcases their dedication to using the best components as a testament to the flavors.
The brand started off with distributing coco nectar syrup (from coconut sap, where coconut sugar comes from), which Go admits the distribution of came with a “strong consumer education component.” While coconut sugar was growing in the market thanks to its low-glycemic index (making it a healthier sugar), many people were unsure of how to use the syrup version. From what could have been perceived as an issue with the brand instead became an opportunity, as it inspired Pili & Pino’s creation of coco nectar syrup-based jams, coco nectar syrup-sweetened granola, pancake mix to pair with the syrup, and even cookies.
We cooked up some of their pancake mixes in the Pepper.PH headquarters and were delighted with the result. The beautifully packaged pancake mix was as simple to put together as any store-bought box mix from the grocery, but its results were outstanding: the original pancakes created a fluffy and thick yet light pancake, while the chocolate variant was a little flatter but rich in cacao flavor and had the added chunky texture of cacao nibs. The coco nectar syrup dripped over it clear and viscous like maple syrup, but instead of being sickeningly sweet as many pancake syrups tend to be, the coconut version hit it just right, with a hint of the island taste of coconut. The dry and loose granola went well with the pancakes to give the breakfast meal a crunchy texture.
With the help of the GK community, who have been supporting the mission of Pili & Pino for three years, Go tells, “They have thrown challenges our way that we thought were impossible or impractical for a start-up, and they just would not have it any other way. Our quality standard today is in no small part due to this partnership. It has been very rewarding.” Vergara and Go have gone a long way in the past 5 years but are proud of their progress and know they still have quite a road ahead for the scaling goals of Pili & Pino so that they can create a larger impact in the lives of their partner farmers. Go tells us, “We want our coconut farmers to be meaningful participants in our success.”
PILI & PINO
A local food brand that specializes in coco nectar syrup and coco nectar-syrup based jams, granola, and cookies, as well as pancake mix.