Vincent’s Barber Shop and Vincent’s Restaurant in Yatu Lau Arcade, Suva are well known to the working man who’s stopped by for a haircut before heading to work or home. The restaurant is currently under renovation and is expected to open soon.
Vinod Singh, 48, originally from Tabia, Labasa is the proprietor of these two enterprises. He made the decision to immigrate to Suva in 1994 after he could not source gainful employment in the babasiga town.
“My oldest daughter was four months old at the time. I wanted to give my family the best and Labasa was not going to provide me that opportunity,” says the father of three.
Vinod found employment not long after as a barber at Singh’s Barber Shop located at the Lilac building on Waimanu Road in Suva.
It wasn’t long before he honed his skills with the scissors and the electric hair trimmers to become popular to the patrons that frequented the establishment. After five years working for someone else, Vinod thought it time that he started a business of his own.
“I approached FDB in 2000 and they gave me a loan which I used to open Babasiga hair salon in Mark Street, Suva,” he said. After eight years there, Vinod relocated to Yatu Lau arcade where he returned to his initial passion and opened Vincent’s barber shop.
“Since moving to Suva I have never looked back. My business has helped me educate my three children. My eldest daughter is now studying at the FNU nursing school and my two younger sons are in secondary school. I was also able to buy a house and buy all of our household items,” Vinod says of life in Suva.
Earlier this year, Vinod decided that it was time that he put his home style master chef skills to good use so he approached FDB again to help him set up a small restaurant across from his barber shop.
Expected to open soon, he’s looking forward to the FDB Market Day on Saturday, 15 March to put his cooking skills to the test. Vinod is one of 14 exhibitors to the FDB Market which will be held at the FDB Suva car park on the day from 6am to 1pm.
“I’m still renovating the shop space for the restaurant and the market day will provide an excellent place to showcase some of the dishes that I will have on the menu,” he said of the opportunity that he hopes will win him new customers.
Vinod will be operating two stalls on the market day – a barber’s chair as well as fast food takeaway such as fish and chips, palau and fried rice.
The FDB Market is an initiative by FDB to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and showcase the enormous agricultural and SME potential Fiji has.
This is also a unique opportunity for visitors to the market source some great deals and see the diverse range of local businesses supported by the bank.