Grace Road’s new $4m Rice Mill to be ready soon

Ex­pan­sion in restau­rant busi­ness con­tin­ues as another Snowy House Dessert Cafe opens in MidCity Com­plex in Suva

Fiji Sun - - Weather / Tv, Movie Guide - EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL AATIKA PA­TEL

The new $4 mil­lion Rice Mill, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion in Navua, will be ready to be­gin pro­cess­ing in a month or two. The South Korean Chris­tian Church-based firm, Grace Road Food Com­pany, be­gan con­struc­tion of the rice pro­cess­ing plant the past year. Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Daniel Kim, con­firmed the mill is about 95 per cent com­plete. He said the milling ma­chine is com­pleted and they are just wait­ing for the pack­age de­sign and pack­age ma­te­rial which they have or­dered from South Korea.

Se­nior of­fi­cer for de­sign and me­dia re­la­tions, Grace Park, said while the mill was al­most com­plete, they are do­ing some last minute work. She said they are en­sur­ing the land was per­fect and thus they are mak­ing tarseal road in­side their farm.

This state-of-the-art com­plex will be the fa­cil­ity that will see through and man­age ev­ery post-rice har­vest process rang­ing from dry­ing to milling and even­tu­ally to pack­ag­ing for Grace Road Food Com­pany. From land cul­ti­va­tion to seed man­age­ment, post-har­vest pol­ish­ing and pack­ag­ing, all rice pro­duc­tion process will be ad­min­is­tered by the com­pany.

Through this syn­chro­nised, holis­tic sys­tem, Grace Road is ag­gres­sively push­ing for­ward in mass pro­duc­tion of high-qual­ity rice.

Other ar­eas of in­vest­ment

Mean­while, the com­pany also con­tin­ues to push for­ward with its other in­vest­ments in the food and bev­er­age sec­tor. Yes­ter­day it opened yet another Snowy House Dessert Cafe at the ground floor of MidCity Com­plex in Cen­tral Suva.

This adds to the ex­ist­ing out­lets in Damodar City, Har­bour Point in Lami, Vic­to­ria Pa­rade in Suva, JetPoint in Na­maka, Nadi and one in Savusavu. Ms Park said the setup and de­sign for ev­ery out­let was dif­fer­ent as they want cus­tomers to feel re­laxed and in a dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment when they come. “Busi­ness is re­ally good. Many peo­ple like our dessert and bev­er­ages es­pe­cially the Snow be­cause this is the only place they can taste our Snow in Fiji.” One of the sig­na­ture dishes, Rice Cream, is made from the com­pany’s own or­ganic rice which it grows lo­cally. This is not the end of their ex­pan­sion as there will be another Snowy House open­ing

in Vil­lage 4 in Lautoka within two weeks af­ter it opens fol­low­ing ren­o­va­tions. In ad­di­tion, the com­pany also plans to open its other fran­chises, Grace Road Kitchen and Noo­dle Story in more places around the coun­try in ad­di­tion to its Awe­some Grill Restau­rant. Mr Kim con­firmed cur­rently, the com­pany has in­vested close to $2.5 mil­lion in its restau­rant busi­ness. The Grace Road Group is made up of agri­cul­ture busi­ness, con­struc­tion, pri­vate prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, trad­ing and restau­rant. Mr Kim stressed: “We will keep ex­pand­ing our busi­nesses be­cause we want to cre­ate our own iden­tity.”

Chal­lenges

While the com­pany con­tin­ues its ex­pan­sion, Mr Kim said one of their big­gest chal­lenges was hu­man re­sources.

“Ba­si­cally skilled labour is the chal­lenge. For ex­am­ple, in Fiji, we found it re­ally hard to find some­one who is a qual­i­fied bar­ris­ter so we had to get labour from South Korea,” he said. Another chal­lenge has been find­ing con­sis­tent sup­ply of fruits with rea­son­able prices. Ms Park said this was even worse fol­low­ing the dev­as­ta­tion caused by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston. “Maybe we can grow our own fruits like straw­ber­ries, blue­ber­ries or rasp­ber­ries and then we can be­come self suf­fi­cient,” she said. “Then we don’t have to de­pend on the over­seas fruits and we can solve this prob­lem.”

Photo: AATIKA PA­TEL

The Snowy House Dessert Cafe is now open in MidCity Com­plex in Suva.

Grace Road Foods man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Daniel Kim.

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