BEING self-employed and being empowered as a chef was the best thing that has happened to Nadira Gildharry, a resident of Massiah #71 Village, Corentyne, Berbice.
She works with herself from her home and prepares tasty, finger-licking foods and would sell it at her roadside food stall at Public Road, Cromarty Village, also on the Corentyne.
The mother of seven told the Pepperpot Magazine that she first started out making dhal puri and roti on orders for people in the village and as word got around of her cooking, she was encouraged to start preparing more dishes.
Nadira Gildharry in her kitchen cooking various dishes
As such, the small business blossomed and customers began asking for more and she would make at least five different dishes every day to sell.
That day when the team visited, even though it was a very rainy day, the outdoor fireside was going with a pot of cassava and eggs boiling which would be used to make egg balls.
Inside the kitchen, a series of activities was ongoing, fried rice with fried chicken, potato wedges, pizza and channa were being prepared simultaneously on a four-burner gas stove.
The vegetables and everything for the pots were prepared ahead of the cooking and things were moving swiftly, because she had to be at the food stall for a certain time every day.
The 45-year-old stated that cooking is her passion and she is doing what she loves and it makes her very happy to be busy and earning at the same time.
“I love to cook, to be quiet and I don’t go anywhere, except to sell food and keep to myself and I am comfortable with this way of life,” she said.
Gildharry explained that at first, she used to sell in front of her house and later got the food stall at Cromarty Public Road, where she relocated her food vending small business four months ago.
She added that due to COVID-19 things got a bit slow in terms of sales, but it is slowly gaining momentum and she is of the view that she will cope.
Gildharry stated that having a small business takes a lot of time to prepare foods, but she doesn’t mind, because working with herself is the best option since she had worked with food places as a chef and it was even more time-consuming.
She had worked in Trinidad and Tobago as a chef in the food industry for 10 years before she returned to Guyana and began working with several large food businesses, but the shift system wasn’t going well with her and she quit.
She talked things over with her husband and they decided to start their own food business several years ago.
Gildharry began making dhal puri and roti on orders on weekends and people began asking for more and she started to make other dishes and her small business turned into a catering one, where she would make many dishes for special events, such as birthdays.
“I would take orders for dhal puri and roti and if they want other dishes, I would also make it and they would collect same and I would earn,” she said.
Gildharry would do some barbeque on weekends and her husband and daughter would be on hand to assist her in all the preparations.
Recently, she started to buy fresh fruits and started to make homemade fruit juices, due to her customers’ demand.
Gildharry disclosed that since she started her small food business, there haven’t been any complaints about the service or foods and she is quite pleased about that and it serves as an encouragement.
This Massiah #71 Village resident would get up at 06:00hrs to prepare and would start cooking at 09:00hrs to ensure that she is at the food stall with the foods at a given time, so customers would not have to wait or return.
Her husband Leo would transport them and the food to Cromarty Village and they would set up the stall and sell daily.
Gildharry is a smiling, generous woman who is full of energy and takes pride in what she does and it is evident in her personality and attitude.