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Opening Of Talanoa Garden Sparks Public Interest

A multi-cuisine restaurant at the World Harvest Complex in Kinoya, Suva, Talanoa Garden has generated great public interest after its launch on January 22. Co-director, Emosi Sawailau said Talanoa Garden
02 Feb 2021 10:08
Opening Of Talanoa Garden Sparks Public Interest
Talanoa Garden restaurant in the World Harvest Complex in Kinoya, Suva.

A multi-cuisine restaurant at the World Harvest Complex in Kinoya, Suva, Talanoa Garden has generated great public interest after its launch on January 22.

Co-director, Emosi Sawailau said Talanoa Garden aimed to provide people quality food at affordable prices with an environment that would encourage conversations (talanoa).

“We wanted to do something different for the Nasinu area,” MrSawailau said. “We realised a lot of youths would run to Suva city for something specific – submarine sandwiches and burgers.”

“So, we decided to open a restaurant which would give the youths a chance to try the same things at a more affordable prices and at closer proximity.”

Talanoa Garden is a joint venture by four business partners; Emosi Sawailau and his wife, May Sawailau and Sowani Yaca and his wife, Tulia Yaca.

 

Target Market
“The priority are the young people around this area who travel to Suva for the submarine sandwiches and burgers.”

“Along with the youths, the restaurant is also targeting families and average income earners.”

Mr Sawailau said the prices for the dishes in the menu ranged from $7 to $12, with the most expensive dish being $18.

With the onset of COVID-19, Mr Sawailau said it was imperative for the restaurant to provide affordable food, especially to the average income earners.

The restaurant can cater for 50 people at one time.

 

Menu
“Talanoa Garden aims to be inclusive of everyone,” Mr Sawailau said.

“We understand youths and most families who come here love the burgers and sandwiches but we understand there might be some in the crowd who would prefer eating something else.”

“So we provide Chinese, Indian and local Fijian dishes as well.”

“Our steaks have been a hit as well among the customers.”

He said the restaurant provides varieties of cuisines so they could facilitate customers with varying tastes.

“We do not want any customer who comes to this place to feel left out, because there’s nothing here for them to eat.We want to make everyone feel welcomed here.”

 

Employment
“There are 12 employed staff in total,” Mr Sawailau said.

He said the staff included two head chefs, kitchen hands, cashier, cleaners and waitresses.

“With COVID-19 causing a lot of job losses, the opening of the restaurant became a good opportunity to help those in need as well.”

Mr Sawailau added the opportunity to employ people through therestaurant also promoted growth and creativity in the market.

From left: Co-directors of Talanoa Garden May Sawailau, Emosi Sawailau, Sowani Yaca and Tulia Yaca.

From left: Co-directors of Talanoa Garden May Sawailau, Emosi Sawailau, Sowani Yaca and Tulia Yaca.

Expansion
“There are indeed plans for expansion. We are making the Suva to Nasinu corridor a priority for now, so we will be taking things slowly and expanding our business in this area,” he said.

“Hopefully, in time, this restaurant becomes as popular as foodchains such as McDonald’s and Burger King and is able to reach at least the regional market.”

“I want this restaurant to be the name that reaches people and provides quality food at reasonable prices which average income earners can afford.”

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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