Two years ago, Filipino-canadian couple Gilbert and Carmela Ramos introduced their product Creamela to the peanut butter loving kababayans.
It all started as a hobby and passion as the couple used to give them as gifts to their friends during special occassions. Soon after, they got good and sweet feedback from friends constantly prodding them to turn it into a business. After some push, they got inspired to give it a try.
From their small home kitchen, the couple now rents a commercial kitchen and hires a helper to mass produce.
They named their product Creamela — from the word “creamy” which the spread is known for and “Mela”–which is Carmela’s nickname.
Creamela, a taste of Home
Gilbert’s family in Malabon has already been using Creamela’s recipe for years. Labeled R&D (which is initials of Gilbert’s parents names- Ronaldo and Delia), the peanut butter has been available in small-scale Metro Manila market since 1996.
In Manitoba, to comply with quality standard, product had to be tested by the Manitoba Food Development Center. It is categorized as peanut spread.
Carmela shared it was not easy to introduce a new product to the market. “At first, it was a little bit hard for us to endorse Creamela. We sent samples to stores and bakery. There were some who declined because they have never heard of our product.”
Lucky for them, some business owners accepted the samples and displayed their product which slowly gained a fan base.
“Creamela is now available in most of the Filipino bakeries and Asian supermarkets here in Winnipeg”, Carmela mused.
Filipino families have loved its taste with loaf bread and is best with pan de sal. It is also perfect as a gift as proudly-Filipino made.
But what made Creamela peanut spread different from the same product in the market?
Carmela said it is 100 percent made of natural and locally available products, has no preservatives and is produced fresh like home-made.
Many love the creamy spreadable texture. It also has a sweet taste that according to Carmela is suitable for filipino pallete. “Some nationalities have tried Creamela too and have loved it.”
The success of Creamela Peanut Spread has also reached neighboring cities and provinces. It is also now available in Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton.
Gilbert and Carmela emigrated to Canada in 2012. Prior to coming to Winnipeg, the couple was also into business as merchandisers of bamboo and coal. Gilbert also worked in a Cruise Ship while Carmela was a Physical Therapist.
Here in Manitoba, while making Creamela, Carmela also works in a collections company while Gilbert is an operator with the Winnipeg Transit.
Carmela wishes that Creamela will reach more households. “I know it will take time before our product will be known but I’m looking forward that it will be sold in Canadian supermarket and groceries in all of Canada and the U.S. Border.”
Everyone who has ventured into a business will agree that success does not come easy.
Carmela shared her trade secret. “Siguro po para sa akin just try lang po ng try sa mga opportunity kasi di mo naman malalaman kung mag succeed ka unless you try.
Basta masipag at matutong maghintay. Saka lakas ng loob na salubungin ang mga lubak sa buhay.”
When you try Creamela Peanut Spread, think of it as a product of Filipino ingenuity, hard work and a labor of love.
As you spread it for your sandwich or put it on your peanut dishes like “Karekare“, you are bringing to your table a taste of Filipino. A taste of Home.
(Photo credit: Carmela Ramos, Bakerite)