Potenciano Couple Tastes the Sweet Taste of Bouncing Back from Adversities

There are a lot of risks and setbacks involved in running a business. While setbacks get the better of some of us, there are those who keep moving and nothing can stop them from their bid to succeed.

Couple Nowie and Odette Potenciano established an ice cream shop which doing great until the frozen yogurt boom took over. Since then, their sales went 50 percent down.

“We needed to find a way to make our businesses relevant again,” Nowie shared. After a trip to Japan, they could not take mochi—the sticky, pillowy-soft Japanese treat—off their minds. They thought that it should be locally available in the Philippines. So, they decided to merge their ice cream with mochi and Mochiko was born.

It was a hit and for three years, they enjoyed putting up more shops and high sales. However, the market for mochi became saturated. “At one point, in one mall alone, there were seven other mochi shops apart from Mochiko,” Nowie said.

Not to be held back

Once again, the husband and wife have to figure out their next move.

From Mochiko, they made the brave move of running a full restaurant—The Sunny Side Up Café in Boracay.

“A space opened up beside our ice cream shop in Boracay, so we pitched for it, investing our remaining money, and opened The Sunny Side Café three months later in April 2014,” they explain.

For five years in a row, The Sunny Side Café has been consistently awarded as the Travelers’ Choice on Trip Advisor.

In 2018, the entire Boracay Island had to be closed down. They brought a handful of Sunny Side concepts to Manila and have exhausted their own resources to transport and accommodate a number of their staff to Manila.


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But just on September 16, they opened up Spicebird at The Grid in Rockwell, in the midst of the pandemic.

“This pandemic is especially difficult because it’s the business environment that has changed, and it has changed everywhere across multiple industries. It’s not a matter of waiting it out anymore. We have to do something proactive and again, use whatever resources we have at our disposal,” Nowie added.


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