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GRACE Road Group has already invested more than $2.5 million in its restaurant business and has plans to keep expanding in the sector.

The group opened its sixth Snowy House cafe in Mid City, Suva yesterday with an open area concept, which is expected to offer customers a clean and comfortable environment to enjoy their coffee and desserts.

Grace Road Group president Daniel Kim said their Snowy House cafe was part of a niche market.

“We sell coffee but it’s not just a coffee shop. We sell different kinds of desserts and cookies but we are not a bakery. This is a niche market,” he said.

Mr Kim said they wanted to offer a high quality, clean and comfortable space for customers to enjoy their coffee and dessert.

He said health was another major priority of the group and their restaurants and cafes were all about healthy food.

Under the Grace Road Group banner, Mr Kim said they had agriculture, construction, property development and Grace Road Restaurant.

Mr Kim said under their restaurants they had Grace Road Kitchen, Snowy House, the Noodle Story and most recently the Awesome Grill.

“All these restaurants and cafes have one thing in common and that is healthy food. Most of the ingredients in our restaurants and Snowy House come from our farm in Navua,” he said.

According to Mr Kim, there were some very popular brand names in Fiji but the special point about Snowy House was that it was created in Fiji.

“These brands are globally famous but Snowy House is all about Fiji and was created in Fiji. We will be opening our seventh Snowy House in Lautoka at the end of this month or next month,” he said.

Mr Kim said they had great response from members of the public on their restaurants and cafes, which was the reason they wanted to expand their chain of restaurants and Snowy House.

Grace Road farm

At their farm in Navua, Mr Kim said they had planted rice and their first major harvest should be in the market soon.

“At the Grace Road farm in Navua we have planted rice, vegetables and these are supplied to our restaurants. At the moment, we are not selling any to the local market because we do not want to compete with the local market vendors.”

He said furniture at the restaurants and Snowy House were made by Grace Road members using dakua and other woods that were available locally.

“Our concept is to use everything local. Some of the items that are not available in Fiji we have to bring them from overseas but most of the ingredients and items are available here. We support local products,” he said.

“We plan to keep expanding our rice production and this year we are looking at about 1500 to 2000 tonnes of rice.

“Next year will be 6000-10,000 and we will keep growing.”

Their rice farm in Nausori sustained damage from the floods after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

But Mr Kim said they were confident they would be able to perform stronger.

“With heavy rain, wind and more challenges, we learn more and our roots will get stronger. Life is similar. We need to keep expanding.

“We need about 13,000 acres of land to meet self-sufficiency. We have about six contract farmers in Navua and they have also planted rice. Without local help, we will not be able to achieve this.”