With a background in owning franchises, Tome De Jesus De Carvalho decided to purchase two Fego franchises and 2 Netcafe stores in 2011. He wanted to try his hand at more refined dining options as his previous endeavours had been in the takeaway business.
In 2017, Tome wanted these stores to be independent and rebranded the Fego stores to Fabrica. This was his own brand. The main store is in Sunningdale, and there are two other stores in Glenore and Salt Rock. The Netcafe stores are at Umhlanga Hospital and St Augustine’s.
In this line of business, he enjoys the daily interactions with a wide variety of patrons, and delivering superb service and good food.
One of the biggest lessons, Tome has learned on his business journey is not to take business for granted. You must work at it continuously to ensure the business is successful. New challenges are faced daily, especially with competitors. When you own a coffee shop or restaurant, you are operating in a very dynamic environment. You have to be innovative in order to remain in business.
Why do you do what you do and what do you focus on to help you persevere and get through tough times? This is a question Tome asks himself daily. The answer is the satisfaction that he derives from all facets of his business and good customer experiences. He enjoys the everyday challenges and is grateful for the freedom he has to solve them, be versatile and make the necessary changes. In this business, you have to have the right attitude to approach challenges and have an open mind to recommendations.
When asked why South African’s should support small businesses Tome replied “Small businesses are an integral part of South Africa (SA)’s economy. Small business owners put their heart and soul into their businesses to ensure that the business survives and grows successfully. They make the business happen by being innovative and confident in business. Small businesses create real jobs which in turn reduces unemployment and the number of people that exist below the poverty line. They also contribute to SA’s economy and ensure that the economy remains robust.”
At Fabrica, they continuously up-skill staff through training and development and also contribute to educating their staff on a social level.