Adria's Cafe opens up in Savai'i
Offering a safe place for people in Savai'i to dine and enjoy good quality coffee and pastries, while also promoting healthy eating, is the main drive behind a newly opened cafe on the big island.
Located at Lalomalava, Adria's Cafe is the first of it's kind in Puleono.
The place is named after the owners, Va'aelua Fa'apoipoi and Nola Gidlow's eldest daughter, Adria.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Va'aelua said that opening a cafe in Savai'i was something he had always thought of doing.
"I wouldn't say that this is a dream, but I always knew I would end up opening a cafe in Savai'i," he said.
"There was a great need for a cafe to cater for the needs of us and the people in Savai'i.
"We don't have a cafe per se here in Savai'i, I mean we do have places where we can get coffee but not a cafe. So I've always wanted to open up one for us here in Savai'i.
"It's like a trend now and people in Apia are already ahead of us here in Savai'i with all the nice cafes in Apia. So I thought, why not open one in Savai'i?"
Va'aelua, who is also a hotelier and owner of the Savai'ian Hotel, said the opening of Adria's cafe was perfect timing.
"We planned to open up a cafe, and half-way through with the works for this (cafe), then the tourism and hotels collapsed because of coronavirus," he said.
"You know some people may say that it's a bad time for us to open, but I think it was the perfect time to open up. We started off with takeaways and orders from the window before we officially invited people in."
Since their low-key opening three weeks ago, they have received nothing but positive feedback from their customers.
That, according to Va'aelua, is "encouraging."
"We're happy with the progress so far and people are starting to find out about us," he said with a smile.
"It feels nice when someone comes up to you and say, "oh nice soup" or say that they've enjoyed their coffee. We sell more pies each day and it's a good thing for us."
Why should people try our Adria's Cafe?
"First of all it's new," Va'aelua said.
"It's new and its something that we (the people of Savaii) should try. We promise to serve you with nothing but the best, good quality, and a healthy diet. We understand how important it is to eat healthily and we do promote that with our sandwiches and soup.
"We try and keep them as low-fat and as healthy as it can be. Not only that but we support local farmers and producers. I buy my coffee from a local supplier in Upolu and all of the beef I used for my pies and sandwiches, they are all local beef."
Lastly, Va'aelua wanted to convey a special message to the people of Samoa.
"This worldwide issue we are facing will soon be over," he said. "We should not be blaming each other for what's happening and for the coronavirus.
"We just have to accept whatever comes our way and do our work and just hold on.
"There are so many ways that we can turn to, to help us get through tough times.
"While working for this cafe to be opened up, the hotels were in a bad situation and I had to do something to make sure that our businesses survive and that our workers will be able to get something too.
"I've managed to bring half of our staff who worked at the hotel to help us with the cafe. Which is a great thing for us to see that they are happy they still have jobs. We will all survive this if we hold on and be patient."