Home of the Roro Burger sold to date: 510
Have you ever imagined quitting your job and moving next to the water to start your own business? So funny story. Somehow our path led us to finding this small town called “Hensall” and discovering a whole new world foreign to a bunch of newlywed 20 something year olds.
“I was on kijiji one day, looking for a home that wasn’t a 1 million dollars, and still relatively close to the GTA,” G recalls “and then, I found this place that had a business attached to it, when I zoomed out, I saw water and a familiar name, Waterloo and asked Ro if he wanted to take our newborn out for a drive.” That is how this curious couple ventured out to the south western part of Ontario for the first time.
“Imagine hoping in a car from Toronto, and coming off the highway, then driving down Line 20 for the first time, and then Line 17! It is really overwhelming to be coming down this rocky path to get to Hensall. Side note, can someone update google maps and make sure no new comer to Huron comes down that path. It was so overwhelming!” G reminisces being in the car with Ro and him looking at her with the “Where the hell are we going” face. One thing led to another, and they walked in what used to be Brenda’s Country Kitchen.
“Something just clicked. I walked in and even though the restaurant was closed, it came to life. It was perfect for us. I imagined people walking into Roro’s and G greeting them with her smile.” Dreams were forming and we started imagining have a life here before even googling anything about Hensall.
“We went home, and after a week figuring out how we were going to afford the place, and the legal aspect of buying a property, we told our parents that we were moving to Hensall.” G precisely remembers the moment Ro and her told his parents that they and their 2 month old son were moving out, the first thing they said was, “Where hell is Hensall?”
“Laughing at it now, it was scary to say we are leaving the city, quitting our jobs and moving to start a new life. We were born and raised in Brampton and have lived there for a majority of our lives.” Packing their bags and leaving within 3 weeks of signing the property agreement, they left their marital home, families and loved ones behind to start a new journey. “It was so scary,” recalls G.
“We have never cooked professionally in our lives. I don’t think I have cooked for more than 6 people in one sitting in my life,” recalls G, “Yeah definitely, I cooked for me and my boys in university, does that count?” chimes in Ro. To start a new career and learning everything as they went was the biggest challenge but also the best reward. “I remember waking up at 4 am to go to the restaurant for 5 am and start my training,” says Ro, “I learned to flip eggs and prep food, it was so new and fascinating.” At the time they were living in a basement apartment in Exeter until the upstairs apartment became available for residence.
“The beginning was really hard, we were learning restaurant and country lingo, we were learning how to handle a rush. It was a lot. We had two weeks of training and we just took over.” They went from being kids, to being married, to being parents, to being business owners in the matter of 1 year and a few months. “It was just Ro and I for the longest time. I would wear Raja in a baby carrier and serve and Ro would cook. We had no idea how to handle rushes. It was so stressful to have a full house and all these orders.” G shares the struggles of people being disappointed. “We just knew that this is all we had. We had to make it. Making people food was magical. I love making each meal and bettering myself every time,” says Ro. It was a eventful journey with many ups and downs. We got to grow and learn, and continuously challenge ourselves to be better, stand out and update ourselves. “We have the most amazing customers. When people started raving about our food, that honestly gave us hope and made us feel like we were doing the right thing. We started to let go of what we learned and adapt our own signature style to create dishes.”
“People think we come from money, but honestly we are two kids, trying to raise a family and create something for the community to take pride in and rave about. We love what we do and want to share the love we have through what we do best.”
Our journey is still young and we have a long way to go. We grow each month, and each year. As we enter our third year, we cannot wait to be a more food show, festivals, cater more events, be back in Grand Bend with a bang and continue to make our presence felt and known in Hensall.