ENTREPRENEUR, FEATURED, NAGALAND
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Meet The Hardworking Lataliu Gonmei, Owner Of “Fry N Dry” Restaurant In Dimapur, Nagaland

“Hard work is another name for not stopping from trying, trying again and again till the goal is achieved.”

– Anonymous 

Rightly so, today we have a hustler who is an inspiration for all. Meet Lataliu Gonmei from Nagaland — owner of Fry n Dry restaurant —  who worked her way up with passion and hard work, who didn’t let any hardships come her way. She is a force to reckon with and we are honored to have her share her story with us. Her restaurant is definitely a must visit. Not only for the scrumptious food but it is easy on the pockets.

R&L team Kumti sat down with Lataliu Gonmei, the owner of Fry n Dry, to have a chat about her restaurant venture and how it all began!

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Lataliu Gonmei, owner of Fry n dry restaurant in Dimapur, Nagaland

  • Hi, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Lataliu Gonmei and besides running my full time restaurant, I am also a Sunday School Director in Rongmei Baptist Church at Burma Camp in Dimapur. I did my schooling from Govt. High School, Nagarjan, Dimapur then did my B.th at Clark Theological College, Aolijen, Mokokcung. After that I went to Chennai for my BD at Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute. I then returned home and joined Church ministry at Rongmei Baptist Church at Burma Camp as Sunday School Superintendent. I also worked as a Counselor at New Life Ministry at Viola Colony, specializing in HIV and Drug Abuse then went on to work as Youth & Women Secretary at Rongmei Baptist Church Association Nagaland and Local Project Co-ordinator, Priscila Centre, Guwahati.

I like to consider myself as an avid foodie with a keen interest in cooking and baking. From a young age, I used to spend my time in the kitchen with my mom. During my college days, I sold dough-nuts from door to door occasionally to finance my cooking class.

  • Amazing! Tell us a bit about the restaurant and when was it launched?

It was launched on 12th November 2012 with just a small single room for kitchen and a verandah for customers. It was a humble beginning. Before this was launched, I used to bake cakes, namkeens, dough-nuts, rose-cookie, gooseberry and ginger candies, pickles of various kinds at Supermarket weekly bazaar and also door to door.

After some months, Fry n Dry came into being with a primary focus on Naga Cuisine.
If a Chinese or American or European or Indian can have their local home food made into marketable cuisine, our Naga Cuisine can also be made into one. Ours is no less than other cuisines. That being said, other regular food items of other origins are also available.

Fry n Dry restaurant

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Customers enjoying their food at Fry n Dry

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The restaurant packed with customers

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Customers feel cozy and comfortable at Fry n Dry

  •  What inspired you to open up this restaurant?

Growing up in Dimapur, Indian street food and Chinese dishes became part of my life. I think we got so used to it that we consider only those as marketable food. One day, it got me into thinking, “If these dishes can be monetized, why not our home cooked dishes? Why not we sell what we eat at home and popularize our foods and make few profits along the way?” I was also interested and keen to make our home-eaten dishes into marketable dishes that will cater to taste of various communities.

It was a big risk for someone who has no business background in family. With no one to guide on how to go about setting up a small fast-food business, it was a big step, truly. With God’s grace and support from family and well-wishers of Fry n Dry, it’s our hope that a small step is on the way to make our local dishes into a marketable foods item that can be sold at restaurants or fast-food outlets or street-food outlets.

  • Any specialties about your restaurant?

We are yet to get to that place where we can say this or that dish is our specialty. Reason being, our concept is to utilize our home-grown and home-used herbs and spices that suit our tastes {local} with a touch of modern style of cooking. Or make food items of other cultures by using our herbs n spices. Galho, Tamti, Jeitin, Beef Innards are our local food items. Hopefully, people will consider ‘Fry n Dry’ as a place where they can get a taste of our local home-made food.

The famous Parantha and Beef Innards at Fry n Dry

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The famous Parantha and Beef Innards at Fry n Dry

The perfect combo of rice and beef Innards; blood sausage and refreshing cucumber and lime cooler

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The perfect combo of Rice and beef Innards, also known as Galho; blood sausage and refreshing cucumber and lime cooler

Egg-Tortilla Roll (available with both Chicken and Beef stuffing)

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Egg-Tortilla Roll (available with both Chicken and Beef stuffing)

  • How have your roots and upbringing inspired you?

With the kind of items currently available, our roots, our lifestyle, our eating habits has most definitely and greatly influenced ‘Fry n Dry’. It’s our belief that food that suits our taste and our food habit is more marketable than those of other food habits. Even if we have it regularly, our desire to have our local taste foods will never wane.

Thank you Lataliu Gonmei for sharing your story with us. We wish our dearest Lataliu Gonmei all the luck and best wishes in her future endeavors. It was a lovely chat with her. Follow “Fry n Dry” on Instagram!

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R&L team Kumti with Lataliu Gonmei, owner of Fry n Dry restaurant

Kumti

A writer by profession, with a passion for travel and watching football. Drawn to the intricate things in life, and is fascinated with the possibilities of the far future . .
Kumti

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A writer by profession, with a passion for travel and watching football. Drawn to the intricate things in life, and is fascinated with the possibilities of the far future . .