Competition to find new food concepts

THE curator of the Sugbo Mercado Food Bazaar is staging another campaign aimed at finding a new breed of food entrepreneurs to introduce new food concepts.

Called Foodtrepreneur, the new campaign, which will be in the form of a competition, hopes to introduce new culinary concepts that have huge growth potential.

At least 10 aspiring foodtrepenuers will compete this May 13 at the Sugbu Mercado IT Park. Their food offerings, some of which are heirloom recipes, will be judged by the first 100 guests at the bazaar. The organizers will also tap big names in Cebu’s culinary and business industries to serve as judges.

The winner gets to take home P20,000 cash plus one month’s free lease at the Sugbu Mercado IT Park and some mentoring sessions.

Sugbo Mercado Food Bazaar Inc. (SMFBI) president John Paul Chiongbian said Foodtreprenuer is their way of introducing new concepts in the local culinary scene of Cebu.

“The dynamics of a food bazaar should constantly introduce new food concepts, the reason we are holding this competition,” said Chiongbian, adding that mounting this competition would provide a venue for aspiring entrepreneurs to get a market feel for their products before they launch it commercially.

SMFBI marketing and communications director Michael Karlo Lim said the competition will also serve as a mentorship platform for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to get serious in the business and who want to see their ventures successfully take off.

Lim said the team is still accepting and screening applicants. So far, there are already two mothers, a call center agent/chef and two young brothers joining the competition.

“The goal really is to help them set up the business, capacitate them and see them and their businesses grow,” said Lim.

Since its three-year operation as a dining lifestyle destination, Lim said they have seen their tenants grow, with a number of them operating stand-alone shops in malls and around the city, while some have penetrated online shopping sites like Zalora and Lazada.

“We hope to see more of these business stories in the coming months,” Lim said.

Sugbo Mercado was recognized by the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Tourism as an official food market bazaar.

The Cebu City Government has also recognized the potential of the activity in terms of creating business for people and engaging young individuals to venture into entrepreneurship.
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