Guam Food Business Booms Feeding FestPac Delegates, Public

At least 126,000 plates to be prepared over two weeks

By Haidee V Eugenio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 31, 2016) – Feeding thousands of visitors and delegates at the Festival of Pacific Arts spells a boom in business for food vendors on island, with thousands of pounds of pork, beef, chicken, fish and rice, among other things, that need to be prepared every day for two weeks.

For 3,000 FestPac delegates alone, vendors contracted by the FestPac Committee need to prepare at least 9,000 plates of breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from May 22 to June 4. That’s a total of at least 126,000 plates in 14 days.

Many of the delegates arrived much earlier, and they were also provided meals by government agencies and private donors.

This still does not include Guam residents and tourists also buying food at FestPac venues.

“The food that we crank out here has more than doubled in size,” said Christine Hernandez, an employee at The Capitol Kitchen, one of the festival’s food vendors.

Like other vendors, The Capitol Kitchen has set up shop on the festival grounds in Hagåtña.

“People have been coming, we’re selling out, we’ve been sending people to go get more gas, go get more food ... We were told there’s like 15,000 people at least a day here,” Hernandez said.

Shortly before noon on Monday, The Capitol Kitchen ran out of barbecue chicken and finger steaks because of the high demand for food on the festival grounds.

One delegate bought 30 plates in one transaction, and the food vendor had to cook more as a result.

Hernandez said their food catering service’s business is “doing excellent” at FestPac. She said they have also been providing extra rice for FestPac delegates wanting it.

“The business has been great,” said Hernandez, who is the sister of The Capitol Kitchen owner Casey Castro.

Jason Leon Guerrero, cook at The Capitol Kitchen, said they are preparing 600 to 900 pounds of chicken, pork and beef each day.

Last week alone, they prepared more than 1,000 pounds of fish to serve those on FestPac grounds.

“This is a once in a lifetime thing,” he said of Guam’s hosting of FestPac, which is held once every four years and the location rotates among more than 25 Pacific islands.

Malana Ferreira, cashier at L&L Guam Hawaiian Barbecue, another FestPac vendor, said their food stall was among the first to run out of food because there’s just too many people.

“We have five or six runs daily and we still run out of food,” she said as she tended to festivalgoers on Monday.

She said their food stand prepares 300 to 400 meal plates a day on the FestPac grounds. Their sales are both from FestPac food voucher holders and those visiting the festival.

Pacific Daily News 
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

 
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