Nomura has developed a relationship with local training institutions so she can hand pick the best graduates. Training can take up to 12 months, and all new recruits start at the bottom, despite any previous experience.
She also doesn’t rush to replace people when they leave.
“Often people want to hire the first person who comes along, because they think – we have to fill that spot. But it’s important to choose someone with the same goals and values to make sure they are the right fit with the business.
“They have to care about our brand, take pride in Asian history and culture and want to give back to Kiwis.”
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Nomura initially found it difficult to trust staff members with tasks, so did most of the work herself.
A turning point came when, tired and worn out, she collapsed while teaching a class.
It was a big lesson.
“My husband said to me ‘you will never achieve scalability if you don’t trust others. ‘If they can do 80 per cent of what you do, can’t that be good enough? Then you just need to pick up 20 per cent.’
“So I decided to let go.”
Owning a business can be all-consuming and one of Nomura’s critical strategies is to take regular holidays every two months to avoid burning out.
You can find Sachie’s Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but rather than seeing social media as an advertising channel, Nomura prefers to use it to ‘build a community’.
“For me it’s more about having a conversation with customers, to tell them what is happening in the kitchen, to give away cookbooks, or share recipes,” she says.
Did she face any challenges being a young woman starting a business in a foreign country?
“No. New Zealand has been very kind to me. In fact it was probably an advantage to be young, female and Asian because no one else was doing it.”
Find out more about Sachie’s Kitchen at www.sachieskitchen.com.
Jessamy Malcolm Cowper - External Communications Manager, ANZ New Zealand.
Photo: © Sachie’s Kitchen By Sachie Nomura. Published by HarperCollins New Zealand.