Mercato innovates, helps food entrepreneurs to bounce back

The people behind Mercato Centrale may have been faced with numerous challenges lately but instead of backing down, they continue to innovate to help food entrepreneurs and the economy bounce back.

Mercato Centrale is a popular food and lifestyle night market in Metro Manila. However, it had to contend with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the resulting lockdowns and quarantine status.

And just when they found a way to survive through a day market, they had to dismantle the entire Mercato High StrEAT market setup at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre recently because of Typhoon Rolly.

But here’s good news because they will be re-opening the market on Sunday, November 8.

“Bravo to the Mercato team that has worked day and night to get the market up and running again,” said Vanessa Pastor Ledesma, Founder and President of Mercato Centrale.

Ledesma said right after the pandemic, they had to look for another platform where the Mercato vendors can sell their products even under lockdown.

“This is why we pivoted to day-market to serve the community at Bonifacio Global,” she said.

It was not easy though.

“Para kaming dumaan sa butas ng karayom just to get the permits and to get approval from the City of Taguig.”

After all, Mercato Centrale used to accommodate up to 5,000 people per night and it scared the city government.

She said they had to follow every single protocol from the distance of the tent, vendors and tables.

“The usual process pre-pandemic was only two weeks to get a permit but this time it took almost two months to make sure we follow all the protocol and health safety.”

Ledesma urged people to help food entrepreneurs, but make sure the health protocols are in place. 

“We have to help one another—we cannot stay home and be scared—walang mangyayari sa economy,” she said.

Mercato plans to open a similar market in various locations including the Ayala Malls, Pasig and SM areas.

If you want to have a satellite store, specifically an outdoor alfresco store then there is an opportunity for you in every Mercato market even during the pandemic.


Mercato High StrEAT 


Open daily 11am-9pm

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