Business Mondays – Karveli

In a bid to get you some business inspo, I will have posts every first Monday of a new month related to business advice, and interviews to help inspire us to get our grind on.

I believe it is very important to surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you to step out your comfort zone.

Karveli is more than just a restaurant/cafe, it’s the earnest hard work of the proprietors, chefs and staff. I’ve known Daphny for 8 years now and I am yet to find a more hardworking person than her. She’s the first to wake up and the last to go to bed. This interview given by Daphny (proprietor) will inspire and blow your mind. I read it, and I set my bed on fire. Who needs sleep?


1. Why did you choose this type of business?

I have always been drawn to the world of hospitality because of its very nature. The speed, the skills gained on a daily basis, the fact that your job is to serve and, its one of the few industries that is so dynamic in the sense that while you can enter pursuing one ‘department’ of the industry you can end up being passionate about another.

2. What skills are necessary for your business?

There are two kinds of skills. I would say those that can be gained and those linked to the character of a person. Those gained like the ability to fine dice an onion etc can all be learnt on the job, and therefore I would say you don’t need any per se, if you are willing to start from the bottom and work your way up.

Those linked to character and personality are very many but the most essential: I’ll name them and then expand what they mean to me


  • Hard work: The hours are long and the days can be gruelling when you are on your feet for up to 15 hours as I am most of the time, so If you don’t have a good work ethic you are easily worn out and the industry itself tells you ‘this isn’t for you’. That isn’t to say one shouldn’t rest, by all means that’s why a day off is given, but, in most cases when others are sleeping, in this work we are awake, when they are on holiday we are busiest, so that’s the job and it can’t be about survival, you have to really give it your all, it shows when you aren’t.
  • Self-drive: The ability to know that what you’re doing will eventually pay off. This isn’t an industry that is full of praise or appreciation, more often than not people will be quick to tell you the ways you are failing before they see any good you are doing and so you need to have that little voice inside you that tells you to keep going
  • Passion: I always hear it said that no one chooses the hospitality industry, it chooses you. I believe that because it is one of those where the flaws and the hardships are so evident. Anyone can know that it can’t be easy to be in this industry but the crazy few who pursue it as a lifetime goal and career are drawn to it by passion.


3. Why do your customers select you over your competitors? 

I would say we as Karveli are offering products that are not easily found around town. We have taken the risk (as we are reminded daily by some customers) to bring some products that may not necessarily be familiar or sought after, but they are good and authentic products.

4. What do you look for in an employee?

Attitude! I can’t even stress how much that means to me. Experience is great, and skill is appreciated but with a poor attitude I can’t trust that you will perform even the simplest of tasks correctly.

Ambition: I love an employee who doesn’t want to stay where they are forever but can see themselves doing more with their talent and their knowledge.

5. Who do you seek business advice from?

As it is a family business, it’s mostly from the CEO who is my dad because he has a wealth of experience doing business here. Also from those in the industry, many times I find myself gravitating towards those in this business and we often share tales and many are willing to give advice or to tell you what worked for them.

6. What strategies do you recommend for making the best use of one’s time?

Hmmm, I would say one should always watch the company they keep, because that way you are more likely to be productive if you are around others who are.

I would say also its important to try and read as much as you can. My brother is always telling me I need to read more, and not just the fictional classics that I love but more of the books on leadership and those that would help me in the business

7. What’s your mantra?

I don’t know that I have one, but I guess my silent utterances are always things like ‘keep going, just keep going, you can do it.’

8. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a business owner that you’d want anyone considering starting a business to avoid?

I am still making so many but I guess the most recent ones are probably listening to all the voices that want you to do what they think is best for your business.

‘I think you should have done this, why don’t you do that? Why didn’t you think of this?

The mistake lies in even entertaining the thought. Though some may come from an angle of wisdom a lot of the time people think they know better than you, you who has dedicated your life to this career and you who does it day in and day out. That’s a big mistake, trying to listen to and please everyone when we all know that will never happen.

9. What do you do when you feel drained?

To be honest, I’m still learning what to do, a lot of the time I will keep pushing myself until my body says enough, then I’ll catch up with some sleep or watch a show I love which doesn’t require any thinking, and can make me laugh.

10. 3 life lessons you want to leave us with?
  • You are exactly where you are supposed to be even though it’s not where you want to be
  • You are enough
  • There’s always more to learn
1 Comment
  1. Isn’t she fantastic? Such a hard worker who follows her dreams and is an inspiration to many. ‘Keep going… just keep going, you can do it.’ We all can learn from this.

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