4 Interesting Finds at the Salcedo Community Market

4 Interesting Finds at the Salcedo Community Market

Every Saturday, the Jaime C. Velasquez Park in Makati City transforms into a gathering place for a growing community of food enthusiasts. More popularly known as the Salcedo Community Market or Salcedo Market, it offers everything from fresh produce and ready-to-eat homemade meals to local delicacies and specialty cuisines from different parts of the world.

Salcedo Market is one of the first food markets that started the food stall trend, going as far back as 2004. Nowadays, setting up food stalls is a popular venture among entrepreneurs. Through this concept, food entrepreneurs and vendors have the opportunity to put their products out in the market, serving as a test run for their food offerings or as their lower-cost entry into the food business. After all, stall rental in community markets are cheaper compared to renting a space in a mall or a standalone lot.

Through the years, Salcedo Market has established quite a reputation for serving up new and unconventional dishes. Here are four food stalls that bring something new and exciting to some of the cuisines we are familiar with. These food entrepreneurs say that diners keep going back to them because of their unique offerings – making creativity a must-have ingredient in the success of any food business.

Read on and learn all about their fascinating foray into the food business:

Rita's Kitchen (Indonesian cuisine)

Rita's Kitchen
(Indonesian cuisine)

Before setting up a stall at Salcedo Market, Chef Rita Binibule used to prepare home-cooked meals for her friends. They started to order food from her until it became known in their circle as the unofficial “Rita's Kitchen”, serving authentic Indonesian cuisine for any occasion. The Rita's Kitchen stall at the community market has been around for three years now and is known for its bestsellers such as beef rendang and nasi goreng with chicken sate peanut sauce.

Chef Rita takes no shortcuts. The secret to her delicious beef rendang is that it's cooked slowly for five hours in 20 different herbs and spices. And while nasi goreng is usually eaten for breakfast, served with fried egg and shrimp crackers, it is considered comfort food any time of the day at Rita's Kitchen.

Tita Ope (Home-cooked meals)

Tita Ope
(Home-cooked meals)

Ofelia Lopez, better known as “Tita Ope” among her regulars, is no stranger to the food business. The caterer-turned-food-entrepreneur used to have food court stalls around Makati and Ortigas, but age made her retire. When Salcedo Market invited her to join the community, Tita Ope started selling ensaymadas and eventually added more items to her menu. She shared some of her family recipes with her helpers who now sell their own specialties at the stall too. The stall is popular for its different lasagnas, including everyone’s favourite: the extra-creamy and very tasty Meat Lasagna! “Tita Ope's offerings will remind you of the food your Mum or grandmother cooks for you,” Lopez says.

Margarita's Paella (Spanish dishes)

Margarita's Paella
(Spanish dishes)

When she was cooking at home, just like any other housewife, Margarita Sy of Margarita's Paella considered cooking only as a hobby – but a lot has changed since. Margarita was one of the pioneer food entrepreneurs in the Salcedo Market, serving her specialty Spanish dishes like paella and callos. Her famous paella negra is a modified version of the usually bland paella, better suited for the Filipino palate that always craves flavourful food. Some people may consider Margarita's dishes costly, but rest assured that the dishes are prepared fresh using the best ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil. She places great importance on the food's taste and how it would satisfy the patrons, making it worth every peso. As Margarita said, whatever food she serves her family, that's how she will prepare it for the people.

Jaq's Kitchen (Gourmet sauces)

Jaq's Kitchen
(Gourmet sauces)

Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention. Jennie Orros likes cooking for her family, but she does not eat beef and pork, meats very common in Filipino and international dishes; so she looked for ways and means for her husband and her to eat the same dishes but with the flavours she prefers, and one way of doing this is by using sauces. She took bottling lessons at the Department of Science and Technology after a friend suggested that she create her own sauce concoctions. Named after Jennie’s daughter, Jaq's Kitchen was born, and it serves unique homemade sauces, spreads, and dips. Coming up with products that are uniquely Filipino, Jennie excites tastebuds by adding different local ingredients into her original creations. Her bestsellers include Vodka Tinapa and Tinapa con Malunggay with jackfruit seeds, among other wholesome gourmet products. The thought that goes into all her food products makes Jaq's Kitchen a must-try.

Setting up your own food stall or food business? We have a wide library of articles to help you out. From managing the back of house to serving and handling diners, check out our tips to achieve success for your food business here.

Salcedo Market is open on Saturdays from 7AM to 2PM.

Disclaimer: Neither Salcedo Market nor any of the food stalls mentioned is affiliated with Unilever Food Solutions

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