It is now two months since Shakira Gafoor and business partner, Ramdeo Kumar reopened the Beacon Café at 127 Carmichael and Quamina streets in Georgetown, Guyana, for indoor dining.
The re-migrants, from Canada, who joined the restaurant industry six years ago, were forced to shutter their business during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, loosing some of their loyal customers in the process.
However, the owners of the spotless Café, that serves creole cuisine, are hopeful that their signature breakfast and lunch menu options, that include, Dhal Puri, Indian/Asian fusions, Halal dishes, stews, vegetables, fried chicken, cook-up rice, Jamaican dishes and other foreign cooked grub will lure customers back to the eatery.
The stewed pumpkin and fried fish, paired with vegetable salad and rice, certainly set the taste buds of this reporter reeling.
All dishes are served with local fruit juices, and purified, and coconut water. Pastries also make up the carte-du-jour.
The farm to table cooking, said Gafoor, helps farmers who are once again delivering produce twice weekly to the Cafe, after they too, were hit hard by the coronavirus closures.
Lush palm trees decorate the façade and sidewalk dining area that leads to indoor dining, accessible from 6:30 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday, and 6:30 am – 3 pm on Saturdays. Options are inexpensive during the breakfast and lunchtime only hours of operation.
Gafoor told Caribbean Life, now that sales are picking up, the twosome will very shortly launch their second outlet, that will be located on Sheriff Street in Georgetown, with a long term goal of providing a full service Café. This locale, will serve fresh fruit juices, coffees, lattes, and cappuccino, with a variety of pastries to choose from.
Gafoor, a former sales associate, who migrated in 2002, was inspired to return to her homeland after the passing of her husband, who was a strong influence in her life and help in her sales career. Unfortunately, without his help to continue in her pursuit in this field, she chose her other passion, love of cooking.
“When I returned to Guyana, I didn’t think I could get back into sales, because I could not do it alone, so a friend encouraged me to pursue my passion for cooking. I gave it a try, and I didn’t regret it,” said the businesswoman whose partner is a chartered accountant, a great asset to a successful business.
“I would like to get better at serving the public, while helping people to experience what its like to eat and enjoy good Guyanese food,” said Gafoor, who stayed committed to her staff by offering financial assistance for a period of time, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Gafoor and Kumar are setting their sights high for a successful future, as they feed Guyanese and foreigners who stop by for a taste of their mouthwatering fare, especially Dhal Puri, a menu favorite.
To book the Beacon Café for a party, religious gathering, wedding, or any event, go to [email protected]. @beaconcafeguyana, Facebook or call 592-225-9409.