North-West property developer John Briggs says he has discovered how tough the restaurant game can be after opening an Italian eatery and wine bar in Devonport.
The Verona restaurant is now three-years-old and has become a popular venue for live music as well as food and coffee.
The name Verona was inspired by the 2.5 tonne pizza oven Mr Briggs installed in the restaurant made in Verona, Italy.
The arcade in Southern Rooke Street was home to Mr Briggs’ successful wholesale coffee roasting business, Gioconda, which he expanded.
Verona recently held its inaugural high achiever awards night to reward staff for exceptional work with Premier Will Hodgman there to make the award presentations.
“This is our first awards night of what will become an annual event to recognise people who work above and beyond the normal expectations and have put that extra bit of effort in,” Mr Briggs said.
“We wanted to open a typical family restaurant where feasting and sharing food is very much part of the Italian tradition. We wanted to replicate that here at the restaurant.
“I’ve been involved with many businesses in many different industries and this is by far the most difficult. I think like all things that are extremely difficult when you have a success it’s extra rewarding. One goes with the other in regards to the extreme satisfaction you feel after you achieve what you set out to achieve.
“I think a business is only as good as its staff and it has taken us three years to accumulate the amazing people we now have. The people are Verona.
“We have 35 employees including in the coffee roasting area.”
Mr Briggs said he did not receive financial support from anyone to start a new restaurant in Devonport.
He said he was grateful to Mr Hodgman for kindly giving some of his time while he was on the Coast to take part in the awards night as a supporter of small business.
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