[KMME Mentees’ Stories] Blending Food, Art and Entrepreneurship

To satisfy his summer cravings, Xavier Mercado decided to start his own halo-halo store in April 2004. With a starting capital of 25,000 pesos, he started the business on his own. He then ventured into Filipino cuisine fused with even more local touch by adding his Ilocano roots.

Halo Halo De Iloko is an ancestral house turned into a restaurant. It is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations as it also features art pieces from local artists. It has already caught the interest of several television and magazine programs as the restaurant has been featured multiple times both locally and internationally. The Department of Trade and Industry has also promoted their products to reach more customers.

A business would not be successful without facing a few struggles. Undergoing registration process, employment management, and supply of raw materials were some of the challenges encountered by his business.

Attending KMME helped him fully understand the concepts on chain value, taxation, and business planning. “Ang KMME ay isang instrumento at gabay para sa pag-asenso ng negosyo sa bawat Pilipino,” he shared.

Halo Halo De Iloko now increased its sales by 90%. Security Bank also granted a loan worth three million pesos. A new branch that can cater around 400 people is currently being set up near the town mall. Xavier is planning to put up another branch near the baywalk the following year. He is also eyeing to improve the management of his finances as well as the quality of the restaurant’s food.


The Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) is a joint program of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry which aims to help Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs scale up their business through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship to be held in Negosyo Centers nationwide. New batches of KMME will roll out nationwide this 2018! #DTIGoNegosyoMentorME