The Next Big Food Entrepreneur: The Secret Ingredient

September 16th, 2016


Mercato Centrale founders Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma are often asked, “What is the secret to a successful food business?” And they will tell you: it is definitely more than just the food.

Now on its 5th year, The Next Big Food Entrepreneur makes sure all aspiring foodtrepreneurs understand the five things that matter most in starting a successful food business:
* Delicious Food
* Food Packaging
* Visual Merchandising
* Marketing
* Customer Service

In an intensive 4-week program, contestants are trained by industry experts in these five areas, the end goal of which is for each one to emerge with a stronger food concept that is built to last.

In the end, this year’s winner gets:
* P100,000 in startup capital
* 6-months rent-free stay in Mercato Centrale markets
* Mentorship by Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma and more!

How To Join?

#NBFE2016 is open to all ASPIRING FOOD ENTREPRENEURS ages 18 and above, residing and citizens of the Philippines.

If you fit the bill, simply download and fill up the application form here: 

The document also contains the terms and conditions with the full mechanics of the competition. Take note of the important dates so that you don’t miss out!

The application form, along with other necessary documents, must be sent to with the title “#NBFE2016” + [Name of Business]. Deadline of submissions is on October 7, 2016, 11:59PM.

Qualified participants will bring their best food forward and serve samples of their dishes to 100 guests and judges at The Grand Taste Test. The top 7 with the best dish will turn their hobby into an actual business by going through the Design Mentorship Workshops and The Real Market Experience.

For 4 weekends, they will operate in Mercato Centrale markets rent-free while testing out the feasibility of their business plan. The top 3 to win the hearts and taste buds of the customers will pitch their plans at The Finals – where only one will be crowned The Next Big Food Entrepreneur!

It’s time to put your love for food to the test! What is your secret ingredient?

For inquiries, contact Candice Gan (+639209453471) or email us at