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Lime Lounge wins excellence award


The Lime Lounge Café has won an excellence award for outstanding customer service.


The award was announced at the inaugural Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards ceremony at the weekend. The Lime Lounge won the Excellence in Service Delivery Award for a medium size business (20–49 staff).


Owner Monique Porras says it is a great honour for the business to receive the excellence in customer service award, and a very big tribute to all the staff.


“It’s fantastic have received this very special service excellence award. The hospitality industry is hard work, but it’s fun and we are lucky to have great staff, some of who have worked at the Lime Lounge for many years.
“I think the café’s success lays in its staff, and in the wide range of professionally prepared home-style baking and meals, espresso-style Italian coffees, and tropical fresh fruit smoothies and frappes – all served with the broadest of smiles.”


All of the 32 staff are Solomon Islanders, who either have professional hospitality training and experience or in-house training, including Australian barista (coffee-making) training by coffee supplier Merlo.
Manager Maryan Saimon has, who has been with the café for about seven years, was a Solomon Airlines flight attendant for 11 years before working at the Mendana and King Solomon hotels, and then the Lime Lounge. She is also a graduate of the Australian Pacific Technical College senior level hospitality management course, which she did in Vanuatu.
“I enjoy my job, the variety and the challenges. I particularly enjoy meeting all the people who come in, and working with the staff. The people make it exciting, and no week is the same!”


Head chef Henry Nalu has worked in the kitchen for about eight years, after working his way up from dishwasher to chef at the Mendana hotel, and then at the Yandina Resort in the Russell Islands. He is always keen to learn new things and try out recipes suggested by colleagues and customers.
Asked for tips on the best dishes to choose, Henry thinks hard: “Lasagne, seafood chowder, moussaka, curries … curries and moussaka … but the coq au vin is my favourite.”


Front of counter staff member Serah Misitana has worked at the Lime Lounge for about seven years, and like Maryan, says her favourite part of the job is meeting lots of new people and making new friends. Her favourite dish on the menu? “Chocolate cake! And salads too.”
Kathy Lulumani is another familiar face for customers over the years, having worked at the Lime Lounge Café soon after it opened in 2003. Cathy works both front of counter and as chief barista (coffee maker), and has trained as a barista in Australia with Merlo Coffee.


Mrs Porras says another highlight for the Lime Lounge this year will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing great food and coffee in a friendly oasis in downtown Honiara.
The café was established in October 2003 by Cathy Douglas and Derya Sato, good friends of Mrs Porras, and was initially the only Australian-style café in town.


“Cathy and Derya were keen to try a new business venture, and with the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands – RAMSI – in July 2003, the idea for a small café emerged,” she says.
Mrs Porras was involved from the start as a friend with lots of ideas, and then bought the café a couple of years later. Over time, she has extended it both in size and services to meet the growing demand for cafés and catering.


“It’s also great to see new cafés opening over the years, and more Solomon Islanders and the Chinese community having the opportunity to enjoy western-style food and drinks, as well as expats. This is such a positive sign for our country’s future.”
Another recent highlight for the café was the book “Sweat Treats from the Lime Lounge Café”. With stunning photographs by Megan Squire and elegant eye-catching graphic design by Fiona Marston, the book is a collection of recipes from the café, many of which came from friends over the years.


A lot of the recipes are written in the context of Solomon Islands and use ingredients readily available in Honiara, making the book ideal for both permanent and temporary residents. The book has also gained a following around the world, as many people send copies overseas as gifts for family and friends.


Many copies have gone to Australia and New Zealand, to the delight of recipients who love the recipes and design. And the book has gone much further afield, for example to Africa, from where Sharron Thurston (a past resident of Honiara) recently wrote: “Hey Monique, just dropping a note to say we are still loving your cook book and use it all the time. Made the fresh ginger cake for dinner with friends and they reckoned it was the best cake they had ever eaten … high praise!! The ginger/golden syrup cream cake is devine!!! Made the lemon and poppy seed cake for work meeting today. A bit of Lime Lounge in Swaziland ay!!”

 

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Lime Lounge Cafe
Commonwealth Street
Honiara

Contacts:

Anthony Platsis anthony@limelounge.com.sb


Jessie Konofilia
(+677) 23064
coffee@limelounge.com.sb

Harry Simpson
Director
(+677) 8586947
harrysimpson51@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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