Lifestyle

Club Owner Turns Fishing Hobby To Business

The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted local club owner Krital Kriteshma of Nadi to diversify her business into other income generating alternatives. One such alternative was turning
04 Oct 2020 10:00
Club Owner Turns Fishing Hobby To Business
Krital Kriteshma out at sea onboard her ‘Rum & Cola’ boat.

The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted local club owner Krital Kriteshma of Nadi to diversify her business into other income generating alternatives.

One such alternative was turning her fishing hobby to a business that would supply fresh fish for her Bounty Restaurant located in Martintar.

“As a businesswoman, it is quite a challenge but I’m the type of person who will not sit back and just watch so I got myself a boat masters licence with a commercial fishing licence as well.

“I am able to operate a boat and stay overnight fishing at sea so we can bring back fish to use for our restaurant. Life is really tough and we have to make changes with time to adapt,” she said.

Before the pandemic, Ms Kriteshma was the owner of three Club Phoenix nightclubs, a hotel, gym and a restaurant.

“Since the announcement of the club closures, we had to give up our club in Labasa due to the travelling restrictions and it was a bit hard to manage it from here, even though it was closed and we have had to send home 60 staff members.”

Ms Kriteshma also said that they had to close their club in Nadi Town because she claims her landlord wanted three months’ full rent with three months’ notice despite not having any income coming in. She said he brought in the Bailiff and closed it along with the hotel and gym.”

This was not the case for her other club in Martintar. She was thankful towards the other landlord there, who she said was helpful and understanding of the current COVID-19 business situation.

Pub License Challenge

Moreover, with a few club owners venturing into converting clubs into taprooms (pubs), Ms Kriteshma strongly urged relevant authorities to provide more clarity and information on the process of getting approval for taproom licences.

“We have been talking with other night club owners in Suva about what they are doing and they are confused.

“We have contacted Ministry of Health and they sent in their COVID-19 response team to inspect our club and to see if we will be able to turn it into a taproom. Then they are going to give us an approval letter and with that approval letter, I don’t know what to do with it going forward.

“I called Liquor Licensing and they haven’t received any instructions from anybody on how to process applications, they said it is going to be a whole new application which means I have to pay $1000 for a liquor licence fee, go through advertising in the newspaper.

Ms Kriteshma said: “It’s going to cost me more money and time and then when the nightclubs will be announced to be open then I have to transition back to a nightclub licence which means again paying the liquor licence fee and going through that whole process again. Basically, I am going to lose six months of business again.”

Despite Club Phoenix in Martintar still closed, her Bounty Restaurant also in Martintar, is still in operation and is currently her main source of income.

There are future plans to convert a part of the building into a mini mart and have a bakery from the restaurant.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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