COOKING TIPS FROM FRIENDS IN THE DETENTION CENTRE AND HIS MOTHER’S RECIPES INSPIRE NIRO TO BRING THE POPULAR SRI LANKAN STREET FOOD KOTHU ROTI TO AUSTRALIA.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I am a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka. I arrived in Australia in 2009 and was in the detention centre for more than 5 years. I was introduced to cooking by my mother, and as I am the oldest brother, I helped with preparing meals most days anyway. I also learned some tips from friends during my time in detention.
How did you get the initial idea to start your business?
When I worked in some social enterprises, I found an opportunity to pursue a business of my own. I thought that kothu roti is not common to find in Australia, even though it’s a popular Sri Lankan street food. So I decided to start selling them here.
Who is involved in running your business? Who is your business partner (if any), or who works together with you?
My wife supports me with all the admin work, and I do the rest by myself.
What’s the best part about running your own business?
I’m the boss, haha! Behind all the hard work, it makes me proud. I get lots of positive feedback which really makes my day.
What are the highlights so far with running your business?
Having the support from the community, having regular markets at Coburg Farmers Markets and having ongoing catering work.
Any exciting future plans you can share about your business?
Adding more items to the menu, hoping to offer some work for others and young people in regional areas.