This is just an introductory blog post, a sort of post that is going to attempt, but not actually do justice at re-capping all things MyaBèl for the last 4 years.
We started this concept about four years ago, we didn’t know much about what we were getting ourselves into. The former bartender in us, just knew we wanted to drink tasty Haitian cocktails made with REAL HAITIAN JUICY GOODNESS FRUIT and that at the time, we couldn’t get it anywhere else. We also knew that our hometown was looked at like the land of no return. To counter-act the incessant shade towards Croix-des-Bouquets, we set really high standards for our cuisine, our service, and our branding. We were convinced that the restaurant would become a beacon, attracting investors and encouraging visitation to the wonderful and undervalued sites in Croix-des-Bouquets. We also dreamed that the once bountiful land of the area would once again be adorned with rows of fresh produce, bursting with economic activity.
As with all dreams in life, they never go as planned. This carefully created restaurant, that was to be one of many that would be opened across Haiti, serving “Haitian comfort food with a spin,” was not meeting any of those goals. On the contrary, it was creating its own goals that were not in our timeline, nor our business plan for that matter!
We hadn’t factored in how bad traffic would become, and so our restaurant become a lunch place for the local residents rather than a beacon for the entire capital. Our distance forced us to become caterers to take our products to the clients. The wonderful court yard space in the restaurant wasn’t the dance floor/sipping cocktails under the tree spot we thought it would be, instead it became heavy in demand for weddings and kindergarten graduations. So, now we wearing the hats of event planners. But most surprising of all on the list, was becoming a bottling facility.
When people have the MyaBèl experience, they are always amazed and impressed by the product flavors and brand image. But the distance of the restaurant during the week was problematic. One client in particular, Katelyn, had a solution. She loved the food and the concept so much she asked us to bottle our products. We thought it to be so odd…bottling cocktails and our house mango pikliz? It was one thing to own a restaurant, become caters, and event planners, but we weren’t food scientist.
Oddly enough, as with all things in entrepreneurship, before we knew it, we did in fact take a course in the school of life experience and learned how to bottle our cocktails, and our sauces. As that part of the business grew, we developed our branding targeting our market segment, that we affectionately baptized “the Katelyns.”
Thus, MyaBèl, the would be Kreyòl chain restaurant of Haiti, became, MyaBèl, the full Haitian gastronomy experience packaging food products and with a full-service (wedding, catering, special events, you name it) restaurant. We are Authentically Ayiti, and this blog chronicles our ever growing, ever changing, baby MyaBèl.