Business is going well for Shawan’s, Onegaming’s first restaurant.
Although it has been serving food since May 7, the fast-food restaurant will hold its grand-opening Saturday, June 9 at 1 p.m. with a prayer and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The restaurant is operated by Angela Flett in a building provided by the band. With low-interest financial help from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. and the donation of a deep fryer from the United Native Friendship Centre, she has been able to launch the restaurant—her first business venture.
“I’m excited about it. We’ve been thinking about it for about five years,” said Flett. “I used to run a school canteen of up to 400 but I’ve never ran a business of my own.”
The RRFDC also helped Flett put together a business plan for the restaurant.
“Together through the RRFDC and the Friendship Centre, they got us started so we wouldn’t have been anywhere without them,” she noted.
The restaurant serves contemporary fast-food for eat in or take-out, but may add some traditional items, such as bannock, later on.
It is named after Flett’s grandmother, one of the oldest residents on the First Nation and one of its founding members.
“She’s one of the oldest and first people that lived here,” said Flett. “Her mother and all her sisters and brothers moved here and lived in a wigwam.”
Her grandmother’s name, Shawan, means southwest in Ojibway.
For now, the restaurant is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 85 Portage Rd. in Onegaming (Sabaskong), which is just north of Nestor Falls up Highway 71.
Once renovations are complete, Flett hopes to remain open seven days a week with extended hours.
While the restaurant has seating for customers, it also offers take-out and occasionally will deliver to large groups.
“It’s been going pretty good for the times that we’ve been open,” noted Flett.