To Start a Food Business, You Need More Than Just Love for Good Food
Container Turf's Karylle Garcia and Benj Bolivar share what they learned from their experience.
Getting into—and succeeding in—the food business needs more than just passion for good food, but it's the spark you need to start your own culinary enterprise.
It also helps to attend a food enterprising community conference like Spark Fest 2018. Spark Fest was a whole day of plenary and breakout sessions that covered startups and scale-ups, social good, and creative capital supported by Globe myBusiness.
Held on March 3, the event brought together creative, social, and startup entrepreneurs as well as the industry's thought leaders and creative founders like Karylle Garcia and Benj Bolivar, co-founders of the Parañaque-based lifestyle food park Container Turf.
Container Turf goes beyond being a lifestyle food park—it has grown into a community for other creative food entrepreneurs to start and grow their own food concepts. Container Turf prides itself on being a creative "space" for both entrepreneurs and foodies to enjoy good food and a good time.
In one of the sessions, Karylle and Benj shared some of their tried-and-tested tips on how to launch and sustain a food business. Here are some of the things we learned:
Specify your target market.
Before starting any business, it's important to decide which specific market you wish to cater to. Do you want to focus on millennials, as Garcia and Bolivar did?
Next, ask yourself these four questions: "Who are they?" "What do they like to do?" "What do they want?" "How do we get and keep their attention?" The answers will allow you to build a unique concept for your business.
"We leveled up [the food park] in terms of design. The idea is to look creative for it to cater to millennials," Garcia says. "We also wanted the food to look deliciously unique and fit for social media. We even have walls with inspirational quotes and art murals."
"Constantly innovate," Bolivar says. "We knew right away that we needed to upgrade our concept." Bolivar and Garcia leveled up from a food park to a lively lifestyle hub. Container Turf also became a creative community for local entrepreneurs to flourish in—giving even artists, retailers, and musicians a space to thrive.
The co-founders simply wanted to add to the customer experience. With this move, Container Turf was able to stand out in the saturated food park scene.
Pick the right partners.
"Doing business is a team sport, not an individual sport," they point out. When choosing your business partners, ask yourself: "Do they have the same level of commitment as I do? Do they share the same vision for the business? Are our goals aligned?"