We had the good fortune of connecting with Anton van Vuuren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anton, how do you think about risk?
Risks are a vital part of my life, have helped me with my current business and with my travel here to America. Making business decisions go hand in hand with taking risks. Every time you make a business decision you risk everything you have built. Opening a business puts everything you have at risk. If you are risk adverse, being in your own business may not be for you.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We at Anton’s are much more than a restaurant and actively growing into a retail store with all of our in-house fresh products next to our restaurant. We are actively expanding and have a mini factory in the making where we make our Breads, Confections, Meats and much more. We sell nationwide through our online store (www.antonsusa.com) or via orders over the phone. We recently had some difficulty in the city of Roanoke, but are working through the confusion to continue our goal of getting quality food to people at a reasonable price. Anton’s was started as a donut shop style with real food to-go. When we first opened I was only prepared for items to-go and I did not have a full staff, but people wanted table side service. I rushed to the store the following weekend to get plates to have people eat while in the restaurant. We slowly transitioned into a fully functioning sit down restaurant and got our dishwasher installed with reusable plates the weekend before Covid shutdowns started. We decided to open longer and work harder internally to make up for the lack of traffic. I am new to the restaurant business and come from an IT background in project management for corporate companies. Everything we have done with our restaurant has been outside of the typical expectations as we are not a typical set up. We make everything fresh and do not use preservatives in our foods. We make Southern African specialty meats called Biltong, Droewors, Chili Stix and Farmers Sausage (Boerewors).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our favorite past time was going to concerts. If my best friend were to come into town, I would plan a venu visit to Gexa Theater for a good band to listen to. We live our lives at the restaurant currently, so the daytime would be focused at getting foods to the public and production line work in the factory.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife, Nicole. She is the one that made me do this. Ever since we met she spoke about the quality of my food, but I figured she had never had these foods before. She asked that we share the foods with family and friends and they all seemed to enjoy the tastes as well. After a baked good sale at my wife’s former employer, we decided to see what it took to open a restaurant. I am still taken back by the responses to the food. All I want is for people to eat well when they walk in our door.
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