A Sydney hot pot shop owner says he’s been “ballyhOOed” by his customers after opening a hot pot cafe in a converted church.
The business, which opens on Friday, boasts more than 20 hot pot pots, including one on display for the first time in the church.
“It’s been very popular,” Mr Jai told news.com and sister station ABC Radio Melbourne.
Mr Jajas owner, Tia Jai, opened the cafe, called The Cabbage Soup, after finding a church for his local community. “
There’s been a lot of support from the community, from the people who have come to see it.”
Mr Jajas owner, Tia Jai, opened the cafe, called The Cabbage Soup, after finding a church for his local community.
“The church was built in 1877, and it was a very nice church, but I thought that maybe I could create a place where we could bring the community together,” he said.
The church had just one church-like space in the Victorian town, but was converted to a hotpot cafe after it closed in 2013.
“I thought, well I could use the church to host a hot pad,” Mr Tia said.
“Then we thought, why not?”
He opened the shop in the old church basement, next to a church bell, and quickly sold out.
“Within 24 hours we sold out and the church was completely empty,” he told ABC Radio Victoria.
“A lot of people came out, they wanted to go and get food and drink and I just thought, we’ve got to try it.”
He said the first day was packed, with people from as far away as China and the United States.
“We have a lot more people coming in than we ever have,” he added.
Mr Tias first hot pot was at a local pub in the suburb of Glenelg. “
So it’s really cool.”
Mr Tias first hot pot was at a local pub in the suburb of Glenelg.
“When I got home from the pub I had the most amazing reaction I’ve ever had, and I was like, oh my god, I’ve got this going on in my house.”
He quickly sold his business and began the second hot pot venture, a hot bar called The Bean.
Mr Janias website shows customers are invited to come and watch the hot pot cooking process.
Mr Tiahas website also shows his two other hot pot businesses.
“Hotpot has become a big part of our community, we have had people come and see us,” Mr Nai said.
He said hot pot sales had increased from $250,000 to $800,000 since opening.
“This is the kind of business we can’t afford to lose,” he explained.
“If we lose this business we are going to lose our community.”