Five years ago, Esmie Sinapa started a small café in Popondetta Town promoting organic food.
She made the drastic change in her career after doctors told her that her health was failing and that she had a year to live.
“I was the Secretary General of the Red Cross. I was overweight…125 kilograms. I had high blood pressure. Diabetic. The doctors told me I had 12 months to live.”
It triggered a life altering decision. She resigned from her job, went to her home town of Popondetta and started a business.
“When the doctors told me, I made an instantaneous decision to resign and come back home.”
Her business is attracting a new community of health conscious individuals looking to buy honey, PNG coffee, home cooked food and spices.
“In the first three weeks, no customers came and I said, what have I gotten myself into?”
The concept of an organic café was new. Also, for many, the thought of going to a place to drink coffee or tea, and eat food you would normally eat in a village, was highly unusual in the small town. But people slowly warmed to the concept.
Esmie has found that there’s a growing fan of health conscious Papua New Guineans who are flocking to her small café seeking the same things she is passionate about.
Her café is designed like a traditional hauswin complete with sago thatched roofs and the modern convenience of ceiling fans and Power points.
“I found there is more to life. It is simple yet elegant. The E-Café is a place you can come to be inspired and this province is rich with organic food. Everything you eat is organically grown.”