Fig Tree Cafe
Last week I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with restauranteur, Johan Engman. Johan is the founder and owner of top breakfast eatery, Fig Tree Cafe. In a city where trendy dining spots are brunch today and gone tomorrow Johan has managed to carve out a permanent mark. Ah and did I mention he's managed to do it multiple times, not once, not twice, but with 4 wildly successful eateries. Enjoy the interview below...
DEAN: It's a pleasure to meet you this morning, Johan. So tell me about this delectable dish sitting in front of me.
JOHAN: It's our Breakfast Sushi! It has brown sugar, paprika, and baked Man Candy wrapped around rice, eggs, and green onions topped with a sweet mango sauce.
DEAN: OMG!!! You just combined two of my favorite things: breakfast and sushi. Where did you get the inspiration for this?
JOHAN: Travel, which I do as often as possible. I've never subscribed to the system that because I own restaurants I must be glued to them at all times. As you can see there is obviously a Southeast Asian influence in this dish.
DEAN: What's something that sets you apart from other restaurant owners that you'd say has contributed to your success?
JOHAN: I would have to say the focus I put on my staff. It's the combination of several things; maintaining high levels of employee morale, crossing training, and providing a sense of empowerment for my team. When people love where they work it reflects hugely in the customer service.
DEAN: So why the focus on breakfast?
JOHAN: There are plenty of dinner places. I wanted to focus on an area where I felt there was a void.
DEAN: What's one piece of advice you would give to a beginning entrepreneur?
JOHAN: If you really love something make it work! In the beginning it was tough for me too, but I believed in my vision.
DEAN: What were some of the hardest parts of getting started?
JOHAN: Learning to manage stress, the art of delegating, and letting things go.
DEAN: If you weren't in the food industry what would you be doing?
JOHAN: Real estate