Rudi and Maritza opened up Ritsi's Bistro (also housing Boga Paddleboards) on the bustling Main Road, in Melbos on the weekend. It boasts an incredible location right opposite the beach, relaxed atmosphere, super tasty food and stock their very own Chilli product range (Ritz's chill). They've thought of everything; you can rent gear to go SUPPING (stand up paddling)
What struck me is the ease with which this husband and wife team ran their restaurant: It seemed to come naturally as they casually chatted to friends, family and intrigued new customers, welcoming them in all while working closely together with their staff.
I asked Maritza some questions about her journey and experience of taking a bold step to face the challenges of making her dream a reality....
What sparked the dream of starting a place of your own? I CANT THINK OF ANYTHING SPECIFIC BUT ITS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE SINCE I CAN REMEMBER, I LOVED WATCHING MY MOM COOK AND BAKE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. ITS SOMETHING THAT HAS ALWAYES INTERESTED ME.
How does it feel to have a door with your name on it? SURREAL, NOT SURE IF IT WILL EVER REALLY SINK IN. ALL I KNOW THIS IS A MASSIVE RESPONSIBILITY
What was the last thing you did at the Bistro before the doors opened? RUDI AND I SAT OUTSIDE THE SHOP RELAXING WITH A BOTTLE OF CRAFT BEER..
What gave you the courage to do it? WELL, MY HUSBAND AND MY FAITH IN JESUS KNOWING THEY BOTH BACK ME NO MATTER WHAT.
What surprised you the most? THAT I CAN ACTUALLY DO IT, AND THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT BELIEVE MORE IN ME THAN I DO IN MYSELF SOMETIMES
Did you design the menu and how did you go about it? YEAH, I LOVE YUMMY HOMEMADE SAUCY FOODS. IM NOT THE KIND THE KIND OF PERSON THAT MAKES THESE SMALL PETITE MEALS THAT YOU FIND IN 5 STAR RESTAURANTS. IM A WESKUS MEISIE.
Has it sunk in that you are now officially a restaurant owner? NO NOT REALLY
How do you get it right to be so awesome, and set out to do something seemingly impossible? I ONLY HAVE ONE ANSWER. MY KING JESUS. HE HAS GIVEN ME A DREAM AND A VISION FOR MY LIFE AND I TRY LIVE BY IT. NOT ALWAYS COMFORTABLE AND EASY BUT IVE NEVER BEEN A TYPE OF PERSON TO BE A STEREO TYPE.
Any unexpected curveballs on first day your where open? YES, THE ELECTRICTY DECIDED TO DIE ON US ON THE OPEING DAY, AND THE VERY NEXT DAY I HAS SOMEONE QUIT TOO
Do you have a remedy for sore feet from long hours of standing? WALK ON THE BEACH AND LET THE SAND MASSAGE MY FEET
You seamlessly gel with your staff, was it an easy process? I FOUND IT EASIER THAN I EXPECTED. SOMETHING I LEARNT ABOUT MYSELF WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD BE EASY BUT I LIKE THEM AND WE GOT ALONG FROM THE GET GO.