Pastechi house, a family business on the main street

It’s easy to find. Just walk down the street to the King & Queen pictures, and you have arrived at The Pastechi House on Caya Betico Croes. The full size images were created as décor, in honor of the royal visit to Aruba, and ended up as a landmark.

The way Justy tells it, every time her father, Justo Lopez, took her and her brother out, they had to have pastechi. The kids just loved the local filled pastry, and wanted to have it every day.

True to his businessman instinct, Justo came home one day and told his wife they will be opening a pastechi factory, and a store-front called The Pastechi House, just to make the kids happy.

Then during the FIFA World Cup Games Justo was inspired by Goal El Gaucho and booked Goal Pastechi House on ATV.  Overnight his brand became a household name with commentator Cadoshi Kock, announcing eleven scored goals in a row.

Justy feels that the Office System/Pastechi House promotion, that suggested grabbing the popular snack and sitting on it, also improved the brand’s name recognition in the community proving the inspired advertising works.

Today, while the factory assembly line  is located in Eagle, the outlet on the main street is a big attraction for locals and tourists, offering a variety of FOURTEEN fillings including Lobster, the real thing, Justo accepts no imitation, Smoked Salmon, Keri Keri, Chop Suey, besides the Ham, Ham & Cheese, Cheese, Chicken, Certified Angus Beef,  and the one filling about to become my favorite, I am sure, when I taste it on Monday, Samosa filling with garam masala, turmeric, chile powder, potato, peas and carrots. I can’t wait.

Justy started working in the factory fresh out of high school, following her father’s footsteps and becoming an accomplished businesswoman. Then one day she decided to add a bit of higher education to her resume, enrolling in a teacher’s training program, at IPA, Instituto Pedagogico Arubano.

She just recently graduated and is an elementary school teacher now, half day, the other half is dedicated to the family’s business. “ I fell in love with teaching,” she says, “besides, you can never be overdressed or overeducated,” she adds.

In May, Justy’s partner joined the family business, Ernon Croes, with a solid sales and marketing background, he is handling the store. Justy hopes that lil’ bro, the other half of the pastechi-loving duo, will take over the factory when he graduates university.

Then Justo can retire. Maybe.

What can you have with your Pastechi. Coffee, of course.  But the Pastechi House also makes delicious frappes, fresh fruit batidos, and frozen, slushy libations. You may eat in or take out. Besides Pastechi the store also offers croquets, deditos, and French fries. And more new products are forthcoming. The second-generation entrepreneurs are all full of ideas and energy.

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July 15, 2017
Rona Coster