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NEIGHBORHOOD Biz. – VERTS FRIED CHICKEN

NEIGHBORHOOD Biz. – VERTS FRIED CHICKEN
October 20
20:09 2018

As The Reporter embarks on the new series to showcase Belizean businesses, we highlight a Belizean restaurant that has challenged the status quo on fried chicken, Verts Fried Chicken and More, located at #43 Euphrates Avenue.

The owner, Belizean born Calvert Webster, has been involved with food since his teens. After spending the majority of his early life in the United States Webster, known locally as “Verts” joined the US Army right after high school where he served as a cook for just under two years.

 

Returning to Belize, he worked at several restaurants in Belize City for brief periods including Peppers Pizza and Marva’s Restaurant. After being asked to cater some fried chicken for a Wet Fete, Verts decided to open his restaurant based on reviews he got from the attendees. On December 1, 2014, Verts Fried Chicken and More opened at #55 Euphrates at the old Chon Saan building, and moved to its current location two years later.

The difference is in the prep…

“I believe in the 5P system: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance,” Verts told the Reporter. “The difference with my chicken is the preparation. I do everything myself and personalize all my stuff. If you give me salt, I’ll make it Verts salt.”

Apart from Verts’ fried chicken made fresh every day and prepared with his own blend of seasonings, he also prepares a range of fast foods such as chicken fingers and burgers, and also healthy alternatives such as grilled chicken and fish. The restaurant also offers chili-cheese fries, made with Verts own homemade recipe, and the Verts signature chicken and waffles, not found anywhere else in Belize City.

As an entrepreneur in tune with his customers, Verts also offers kids meals to accommodate the various primary schools in the area. Verts noted that children are a major motivator in terms of keeping his business open, to be able to “provide a filling meal that the kids can afford,” at lunch time. He noted that in a better business climate, he used to donate hotdogs to the various primary school in the area on the first day of school, for children who might not have had anything to eat that day.

The burdens of a small business…

Like all businesses, keeping the shop open has come with its fair share of challenges. Verts explained that rising operational costs, the high tax burden on small business in terms of trade licenses, General Sales Tax and other commitments place a burden on the operations.

The rising cost of Butane, a reality that all Belizean food outlets have to endure, has been a notable difficulty, but one that he endures to keep on serving his customers.

“This neighbourhood has been very supportive. It’s not like I was the son of someone around here that used to sell food. Nobody knew me from back in the day, I didn’t have any of that. I had to earn their trust, and I can say that this whole area (Mesopotamia) has been really supportive,” Verts said.

He went on to say that business-to-business support has played a role in the success that he has enjoyed during his four years of operation, noting that several businesses such as suppliers and vegetable stalls have worked with him to keep prices at a manageable level where possible.

He believes that with greater support systems for small businesses, establishments like his can survive and thrive for many years to come. In the meantime he has pledged to ensure that he keeps preparing the food at the standard that his customers have become accustomed to for as long as his doors remain open.

Verts Fried Chicken and More is serving up some of the city’s best fried chicken from 11 am to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday. You can also call 614-8220 to place an order.

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