Small Business in Focus… Serving up flavour

Pergola- uniquely themed restaurant encouraging healthy eating habits.

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 26, 2019

Twenty-nine-year-old Kester Robinson is the Chef and owner of the Pergola Smokehouse and Lounge located at the Courtyard Mall on Robb Street.

With the environment in mind, Robinson designed his restaurant using 90% recycled materials. “A lot of the wood that we use here is reclaimed wood, some are new but most of it, it’s artistically done with lots of paintings and different sculptures that we brought into the space,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

But, while the design of the place is unique, the main attraction is the food. Chef Robinson uses only fresh organic seasonings to create mouthwatering healthy meals according to the unique needs of the customer.

“We prepare to order and it can be customised to our customer’s dietary needs, we pay keen attention to our customers daily lifestyle; many of them express that they either want to lose weight or they want to maintain weight, or they just want to eat healthier on the whole,” Robinson explained.

The young chef has worked with renowned chefs from Italy, Spain and from around the Caribbean in top restaurants, hotels and resorts. He completed his tertiary education in Trinidad and holds a diploma in baking and pastry arts. Robinson also studied for an Associate Degree in culinary management.

Upon his return to Guyana, he opened the restaurant. “My hope is to create jobs and opportunities, my main purpose is to contribute towards the development and the growth as much as I can, my little capacity to the culinary industry in Guyana.”

The new venture did not come without challenges; however, Chef Robinson is resilient and remained steadfast in overcoming those tests. “When I started it was really rough because I didn’t have much support, the location and all the overheads and all these different technical issues made it seem challenging starting up the Pergola but I kept the faith,” he recalled.

Robinson admits that initially, he was a bit sceptical whether the Guyanese would accept the cuisine he offers, but to his surprise, many persons were just waiting for something new.

Although the restaurant opened almost a year ago, it has managed to attract both local and foreign customers who have given positive feedback.

The Pergolia is a hit! “Our clientele always say how happy they are with the service, food, ambience and the overall aesthetics of the place, It is a great place where I want to expand so I see myself and the pergola and its team, moving forward to greater things greater heights,” Robinson said.

The young entrepreneur also has a passion for helping young people grow in the culinary industry, on our visit to his restaurant he was instructing students on some basic skills.  “What I hope to have started is a finishing school here at the Pergola for the young students who are leaving the Carnegie programme where they can be more exposed and understand how they operate in a professional environment,” he told DPI.

As he prepares to observe the first anniversary, Robinson is confident his business will continue to succeed.    “I think once you have a good product, once you have a niche and you have the clientele it will do well…With the Pergola, I use it as a prototype or a foundation I hope that it will grow into something even bigger.”

The Pergola can be contacted on telephone numbers 592-644-2221 or you can visit the location at the Courtyard Mall Robb Street Georgetown. Delivery is also available.