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Page 1 of 1Total of 1 messages
Posted by:Apr 16th 2004, 05:03:07 pm
Fig Tree News TeamSailor's Choice opens
- By LINDSAY THOMPSON,Guardian Business Editor lthompson@nasguard.com

A new business establishment has taken up residence in eastern New Providence - Sailor's Choice restaurant boasting tasty Bahamian dishes at competitive prices.

Located at #307 East Bay Street, opposite the former CIBC Bank, the idea of the business was born in the early morning hours while sailing partners Whycliff Albury, Richard Munroe and James Wallace were playing dominoes and travelling to the National Family Island Regatta.

At the official opening last Thursday, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Michael Halkitis commended Mr. Wallace and his partners on their new venture.

"It is indicative of the ingenuity of Mr. Wallace to fit into this space an enterprise that not only promises to bring financial reward to its operators and to provide employment, but equally as important it will be a place where patrons may take a break from the daily hustle and bustle and enjoy the beautiful scenery, the ambience and hospitality, and to fellowship with kindred spirits. In moderation, of course."

Mr. Halkitis said that the venture demonstrates that the key to success in business is providing the customer with what he wants, where it wants it and presenting it in a way that will have the customer satisfied and eager to return.

"This is a bold and courageous step in that you have taken responsibility for your own financial security as well as providing employment for Bahamians," he said. "It would have been easier to work for someone and have the assurance of a paycheque at the end of the month.

"What you have chosen instead to do is become a part of the business community. In this way, you are contributing to the further development of our home."

Mr. Halkitis told Mr. Wallace that by his example, he has sent a message to other potential entrepreneurs that in seeking out possible business enterprises, look beyond the traditional and develop innovative projects.

According to Mr. Halkitis, Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB), as government agencies primarily charged with assisting small and medium-sized businesses, "stands ready to fulfill this mission, despite their challenges primarily in terms of availability of resources."

But he said that as The Bahamas continues to grow and develop, new business opportunities would arise.

"It is our challenge to ensure that these opportunities are exploited to the fullest extent possible by Bahamians," he said.

In this vein, Mr. Halkitis noted that the government is exploring several initiatives to make BAIC and BDB more responsive and effective in aiding entrepreneurs not to only start their business but to ensure to the extent possible, that the venture succeed.

"We look forward therefore to playing an even greater role in the development of small and medium-sized business enterprises," he said.

Co-proprietor Mr. Wallace said they were skeptical about transforming the "little" building with its physical conditions, into a viable business.

Also, they were disappointed with the general direction in which the sailors and skippers were taking sailing and decided to do something to bridge the two sailing clubs - Bahamas Boat Owners Sailing Association and the Commonwealth Sailing Association.

"Sailor's Choice mission and objective is to prove tasty quality Bahamian foods at very competitive prices," Mr. Wallace said. "We believe that this restaurant affords Bahamians from all walks of life the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance of a fast disappearing waterfront here in Nassau Harbour."

To patrons he said: "The response from you our customers has been great and the feedback very encouraging."

Mr. Wallace noted that tourists are already finding it a popular spot, asking taxi drivers to take them to "the little green Bahamian water front restaurant on East Bay Street."

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