Loukas Voniatis said that winning Business Person of the Year in the Fairfield City Local Business Awards is something he has always dreamed about.
“It is the award everyone wants,” he said.
“It is the award I have wanted every year. I have won 2014, 2015, 2016 Takeaway of the Year [for The Fishing Chook] and winning 2017 business person feels amazing.”
Mr Voniatis said he always had a mind for business growing up.
“Not being the best at school I managed to finish year 12 and do a certificate in hospitality management.
“From there I completed a diploma in hospitality management and eventually a degree in Bachelor of Business Hotel Management.”
He said that all that time he was dreaming of business ideas.
“I would create under 18 dance parties and even go to china and import products into Australia,” he said.
After he finished university he opened a juice bar in Fairfield and Roselands, and the another in Carlingford a few years later.
“After the sale of both I opened The Fishing Chook in Neeta City Shopping Centre and kept Fresco also,” Mr Voniatis said.
It hasn’t always been an easy ride though.
“Coming from a working family every step I made had to be calculated and low risk, not that business is low risk but I did my homework. With small and calculated steps I overcome them challenges.”
Mr Voniatis said that his inspiration and mentor is his father, while his children are his drive to succeed.
And it is being a good person and kind heart that are key attributes of a good business person.
“A lot of business people go over their head and forget the reason why they are in business and that is the customer and community.
“Without them there is no business there is no money. I am a big believer in supporting local events and sports and charity events,” he said.
“Not only shows to the community you care but makes me feel amazing as a person.”
The Fishing Chook is a supporter of charities such as World’s Greatest Shave, Bandage Bear, Saving Chris, Little Levi, Anglian Syndrome and Superhero Day.
Mr Voniatis said that winning the award has opened more doors for him.
“What I love even more I have made a stamp. Leasing managers know my name and they know what I do and that I do it good.
“They are starting to call and request I open shop in their centre.
“I feel like a small local Fairfield boy can compete with the big guys,” he said.
“With the increase of attention on The Fishing Chook and Fresco Juice Bar from landlords and leasing managers I am hoping to open few more stores but for now I am loving working in Fairfield and being a good dad.”