Stirring up startups

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ON A visit to Paseo de Santa Rosa in Greenfield City, Santa Rosa, Laguna, there is this Weekend Market setup every Saturday and Sunday where startup food entrepreneurs market test their products and get a hands-on experience of operating their business.

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Al fresco dining at Plaza Regina.
Al fresco dining at Plaza Regina.

The good thing about the venue is that the owner and developer of the shopping mall, Greenfield Development Corporation (GDC), offered spaces in a portion of the mall complete with tables and tents for the vendors rent-free. Moreover, one plaza was also fitted with wooden dining tables, where customers of the vendors can eat, and a stage where bands and singers perform live for entertainment. In other words, the food vendors sort of got an open restaurant with live music at no cost. The property developer doesn’t even take a cut from their sales income so that the vendors’ profit are all for themselves.

The generosity of GDC to small entrepreneurs is something that should be emulated by big businesses. While the arrangement also helps GDC in getting the needed crowd to the mall, which also has a lot of indoor stores that needed customers, giving small or startup businesses that less costly jumpstart promotes entrepreneurship, encourages people to put up their business. The more business there is, the economy grows.

GDC encourages vendors of the Weekend Market to offer unique products to attract more people looking for something new to Paseo de Santa Rosa. So there is this Beanstalk Roaster stall selling coffee made from roasted soybeans and chilled taho, which are both good. There is the Your Neighbor’s Sushi Takoyaki selling delicious octopus balls. There are many other stalls selling sisig, churros, isaw, roast chicken, juice, beer, etc.

Chilled taho and roast soybeans. (WJG photo)
Chilled taho and roast soybeans. (WJG photo)
Takoyaki stall. (WJG photo)
Takoyaki stall. (WJG photo)

Of course, selling unusual food makes sense especially these days when consumers always look for something new to eat and drink. The Beanstalk Roaster’s soy brew is coffee made from soybeans. It really tastes like coffee, but it’s soybeans.

Beanstalk Roaster owner Alan Argosino said soy brew is not really new, though his stall is the only one offering that kind of caffeine-free drink at the Weekend Market. The soybeans are organic, sourced from Isabela province and not genetically modified, according to his wife, who helps him man the stall. From its coffee flavor, the soy brew looks very promising and the entrepreneur couple is getting more orders online.

Another interesting product of the Beanstalk Roaster is the chilled taho with jelly topping. It’s different from the traditional taho sold by the magtataho as it is solid and firm and served cold, not hot. This chilled taho is also promising because it’s really delicious, not to mention healthy. With it’s unique and delicious products, the Argosinos’ business really has a big potential to grow big.

By the way, GDC welcomes additional vendors to the Weekend Market at Paseo de Santa Rosa. Joining the open market is easy, interested entrepreneurs just need to get in touch with them and apply.

Barbecue and isaw. (WJG photo)
Barbecue and isaw. (WJG photo)
Ice cream. (WJG photo)
Ice cream. (WJG photo)
Juice drinks. (WJG photo)
Juice drinks. (WJG photo)
Limbo rock. (WJG photo)
Limbo rock. (WJG photo)
Giant board game. (WJG photo)
Giant board game. (WJG photo)
Live music. (WJG photo)
Live music. (WJG photo)
Fashion accessories. (WJG photo)
Fashion accessories. (WJG photo)

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