|Celebrating our one year restaurant anniversary! (Sept. 10, 2015)|
At the end of this first year, the biggest lesson we've learned is to never be afraid to follow your vision. Go with what's in your heart and eventually, people will follow. It just takes time to grow and trying to rush growth is just a recipe for disaster.
While we've been through some very challenging times, we've also had some incredible experiences that we never would've dreamed of! A couple of weeks before our grand opening last year, we were contacted by the New Zealand Consulate to host a private event for the Consulate General, Leon Grice. The event went off without a hitch and it was a fabulous way to adjust to our brand new kitchen and staff.
|Gwith and I with the New Zealand Consulate General, Leon Grice.|
That day was exciting for us, both professionally and personally, as Gwith and I received the surprise of a lifetime! His family flew in from New Zealand to surprise us and celebrate our restaurant's launch!
Then, shortly before opening last year, we were contacted by The Breeder's Cup Taste of the World to represent New Zealand a month after our grand opening! This opportunity was an incredible experience as we presented our venison carpaccio to celebrity chef, Bobby Flay (who absolutely loved it!), and 1,200 other guests within a three hour time window.
|Gwith and I with Bobby Flay at the 2014 Breeder's Cup Taste of the World|
Flash forward and we've had some great talents visit our restaurant since our opening! Within the first few months, we had visits from now regulars, Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo and Kiwi native Flight of the Concords' comedian Rhys Darby.
|Gwith and I with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules)|
|Rhys Darby and his wife, Rosie, tweet about his experience at Aroha|
During the winter of last year, we also got a visit from the New Zealand news station, Seven Sharp! The exposure we were given apparently made Gwith a celebrity back in New Zealand and thanks to this video, we've even had Kiwis fly in from New Zealand with our restaurant on their list of places to visit!
This past week, however, has blown our minds. Within our final week of our first year, we had the opportunity to cook for not one, not two, but THREE Grammy award winners! One week ago, we had the privilege of serving System of a Down's lead singer, Serj Tankien during our Friday lunch. It was wonderful to chat with him and we were ecstatic when he asked us for a photo so he could Instagram his experience! The post blew up with over 12,000 likes within the day!
|Us with Serj Tankien and his Instagram post|
|Us at the Kiwis Cure Batten Fundraiser (Top left: Me and Lorde, Top right: Gwith and I with Six60, Bottom left: The guests watch the launch of the video, Bottom right: Gwith and Lorde)|
As we start our second year at Aroha, we can't wait to seeing what new opportunities arise! We hope this upcoming year brings joy to everyone as we continue to grow into our roles as restaurant owners and take Aroha to new heights!
Thank you everyone for all of your support this past year! It has been one wild ride and we look forward to continuing our journey with you!
30990 Russell Ranch Rd Unit C, Westlake Village, CA 91362
© 2015 Aroha Restaurant.
© 2015 Aroha Restaurant.