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Mai Life Cafe Brings Life To Ba

Mai Life Cafe Brings Life To Ba
Naziah Ali (left) with staff member Maria Ledua inside her Mai Life cafe on Main Street Ba. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
September 10
12:33 2018

The Mai Life Cafe in Ba is established with an aim to build a community that enjoys reading and sharing ideas.

The cafe is owned by Launch Lab Limited, a company owned by Mai Life Magazine publisher, Naziah Ali.

Ms Ali estimates the cafe is worth an investment of $60, 000.

It opened for business in May and is located on Main Street.

The cafe offers coffee-based drinks including the usual Latte, Cappuccino and cold drinks like smoothies and shakes.

They also do fresh juices and salads, a selection healthy sandwiches, subs, wraps and burgers as well as pastries and desserts.

They have expanded to offer breakfast since opening too.

Ms Ali said the project sprang from the novelty of a co-working space.

“However, to have an attractive co-working space, I needed to offer some extra services apart from desk space and management services,” she said.

“As a result, we set up a coffee kiosk and a lounge within the office.

“However, during the design and refurbishment process word somehow got around that I was setting up a coffee shop.”

Ms Ali believes a coffee shop could do well in Ba.

“I soon realised that Ba was ready to have a dedicated coffee shop in town and that’s how the co-working space transformed more into a cafe than a traditional co-working space,” she said.

“We’ve since found another spot next door for the co-working space to ensure we still served our clients who also as a benefit of their membership can access the cafe.

“The atmosphere is quiet and chilled out with lounge music to set the mood for relaxation and a space to hang out.”

 

What inspired the interior design?

“The interior is a mix of industrial and minimalism.

“The cafe has a mini library that patrons can access and it also adds to the vibe of the cafe. People can pick up the latest copy of the magazine or browse through old issues.”

 

What triggered you to set up the eatery?

“I was setting up a co-working space in Ba because I saw the potential of growing a start-up culture in the town.

“Ba has a history of successful businesses established in the town that have grown to become giants in the country.

“I managed to garner the support of a few former Ba residents living abroad to set up their own start-ups within the co-working space I was setting up along with a few other projects.”

 

What were the challenges involved?

“My biggest challenge was getting the funding and the buy in during the initial stages of setting up.

“The biggest setback I went through would have been the floods. A lot of people told me that opening a business in Ba was not a good idea due to the frequent flooding.”

 

Footballer

Ms Ali has overcome these problems.

Don’t be surprised to see a few famous football stars at the cafe.

Ms Ali is the wife of Wellington Pheonix and Fijian football team striker Roy Krishna is Ms Ali’s husband.

The cafe is a unique addition to Ba and is increasingly popular.

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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