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“It’s Not A Little Stall”

The owner of Lioness Sushi On The Go talks about the blood, sweat, and tears required, even when the business is still in its budding stages.

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A small business owner wants members of the public to be more aware of the investment it takes to even open what some may call a “little stall” on Arawak Cay. Jared Higgs spoke to the owner of Lioness Sushi On The Go about the blood, sweat, and tears required, even when the business is still in its budding stages.

That was the message of Lioness Sushi On-The-Go owner Chef Evita Carey-Smith, in a viral Facebook post where she spoke out about the realities, and challenges of being a small business owner in The Bahamas. She says that little stall costs big money.

Smith-Carey started Lioness Sushi On-The-Go as a sushi delivery business in 2017, while she was unemployed. Eventually, she expanded to a food truck on Arawak Cay, and now a building at the same location.

Giving insight into the sort of investment required to progress in the restaurant business, the chef tells us the total investment for the food truck was $13,000. Building a stall cost more than $34,000 which Carey-Smith paid with cash as she couldn’t qualify for a loan. That’s part of the reason that she takes issue with people when they downplay her efforts.

Carey-Smith, like so many small business owners, had to think on her feet during the pandemic. With Arawak Cay closed, she had to shift back to a home based business. It would be a blessing in disguise.

Carey-Smith is a married mother of one. Lioness Sushi made history by being the first sushi food truck in Nassau, then by being the first restaurant to offer sushi on Arawak Cay. She has two employees- both UB graduates with associate’s degrees in culinary arts.

Besides inflation bringing about price increases, one of the biggest challenges is the lack of running water and electricity on Arawak Cay. While grateful for what successive governments have tried to do on the Fish Fry, the budding entrepreneur thinks there are enough long serving businesses that would benefit from the added utilities.

Carey-Smith wants to continue growing her business to a point where it doesn’t require her presence to operate. As it stands, she puts in about 60 hours a week. In the future, she hopes to open more locations, including on the family islands and even outside The Bahamas.

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