The Orgle Road Pork Joint has been a defining feature of Accra's food scene since it opened in 1982. Every day except Sunday, plastic chairs are arranged around tables on the street, sharing space with a local bar, where customers can eat fried pork, often served with vegetables and khebab pepper, a spice blend including peanut, dried chilli, ginger and more. ‘When my husband left in 1976, I was left with nothing but my children. And all I could make money from was cooking,’ says Daavi Vincentia, talking about the early days of her family-run restaurant.
Daavi says punctuality and consistency are crucial when you run a business for so long. Her son, Famous Ameko, has been working at the Orgle Road Pork Joint for more than 20 years. ‘I've seen employees come and go, because this work is very difficult,’ he says. ‘I found myself in this business before I even knew it was a business,’ says his sister, Joyce Ameko. ‘I was just a daughter helping her mother.’
‘For family businesses to survive, owners must have a defined purpose. I had a purpose, even if it was as simple as making sure my children were well taken care of,’ says Daavi. But finding the balance between being a family and working in business together can sometimes be difficult. Discussing money didn't come easy to them, and Daavi says she's learned that it's necessary to ‘put your family on payroll immediately. It prevents entitlement.’
The business tends to be risk-averse, because they all have an equal say. ‘Every decision is taken in the interest of the family first, and the business second,’ says Daavi.
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This special feature was first published in Courier issue 45, February/March 2022. To purchase the issue or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.