NEWS

Food And Beverages Worker Starts A Business

Tired of working long nights with less income, Jone Mateitoga decided to take his future into his own hands. The 38-year-old has worked in the food and beverages industry for
26 Jan 2018 11:04
Food And Beverages Worker Starts A Business
Jone Mateitoga beside the car he bought from his savings. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

Tired of working long nights with less income, Jone Mateitoga decided to take his future into his own hands.

The 38-year-old has worked in the food and beverages industry for decades in restaurants and resorts but he always felt there were bigger things out there for him.

In 2014, Mr Mateitoga left his job and started a modest catering business.

Through its capacity, he served lunches to about 15-20 workers a day.

Because he was serving a variety of meat and vegetarian meals and storing his lunch packs in the family fridge at home, his productivity and hence income – suffered.

So, in 2015, he made a successful bid for the Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) of $1000.

The grant is a Government initiative designed to encourage business ventures and start-ups.

It allowed him to serve more people and undertake larger catering gigs at functions or events. He also managed to save enough money from his earnings to buy himself a car.

“When I started, I used to travel by bus and then by taxi, but as my business grew I bought a car for myself and it does the job well from my family and I,” he said.

As well as providing funds to aid the development of business ideas, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism offers additional support in the form of training and mentoring.

Mr Mateitoga, originally from Avea Village on Avea Island which is off Vanuabalavu in the Lau group, was always interested in business from a young age.

“I used to collect bottle caps and sell them as a kid for some extra pocket money,” he said.

“I always wanted to be self-dependent and with my business I can be just that. But not just that, I also try and make sure my customers are dependent on my products.”

One day, he dreams of having his own food truck operating in locations around Suva. He said the idea behind it was to always strive for being unique and target bigger things in the future.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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