Friday, October 3, 2008
The shop, “Kirimetta Handiya” which I constructed and opened at the entrance to the farm in Godagama, on April 1st 2006 is the best use I had made of a small inheritance left me by my mother. I am able to sell everything I produce, both in Polonnaruwa and Godagama as well as produce I am able to purchase from my neighbors, and sell at retail prices. This has stemmed the losses from the farm, by bank rolling the expenses of the farm. While it takes management time to purchase produce etc. I am now toying with the idea of renting it out so I can ensure a market for my produce, but also not worry about the running costs, and pilfering from the shop, as well as the unexpectedly large rodent spoilage losses.
The design is eye catching and my initial plans were big, but here again cash flow and unreliability of staff played its part, and no one worked on the shop with as much diligence as I did when I was running it single handed when the revenue was at its highest. So the extrapolations made there from were not achieved. I still would like to open it in the evening as a café, but that idea will only come into fruition when I can find someone to run that side of the operation as the location and the setting is ideal for a very novel place.
The kade has wood panels, doors and windows, made from the very rare margosa or khomba wood, as are the 4 tables and 8 benches, which can be used to seat over 24 people at a sitting. So some of the infrastructure is in place for the restaurant. The location under the Bo tree with no house or building view anywhere near the place lends itself to an idyllic setting.
My original intention to stock it with products of Sri Lanka owned companies was stifled firstly, by the heads of those companies not subscribing to my theory and giving me a break on prices for their produce in return for exclusivity, which is a common idea in the west. They have a lot to learn about competitive business practices as they are still being trounced by the multinationals, and no wonder with that attitude! Secondly, the superb marketing undertaken by the multinationals due to their greater resource base, has enable them to loss lead and capture market share, and sometime transfer price across countries that are detrimental to local businesses in being able to compete in a level playing field.
This long- term and worthwhile investment will cost twice as much if constructed today, and I am therefore happy with it on all fronts.