HARD work, dedication and surrounding yourself with good people, are some of the components that make a successful businessman.
It helps also to have an entrepreneur’s mindset and the courage to explore great ideas. Trader Jacks owner Jack Cooper has all these qualities and incorporates them in his daily work.
The legendary waterfront bar Trader Jacks Bar and Grill is holding its 30th anniversary celebrations this weekend, and it’s guaranteed to be a memorable occasion.
Cooper started his highly successful bar and grill business on June 6, 1986 with 10 staff. Today he employs 52 full time and part-time workers and has a long list of loyal customers, who have provided plenty of support over the years.
“Coming through 30 years of competing against other businesses and then becoming the preferred eatery for tourists and locals is a feat of its own,” Cooper said.
The success of the business is due to many factors, one of which is the fact that Cooper believes it is the social responsibility of any business to treat its customers with respect and honesty.
On an average day, Trader Jacks serves about 450 people for lunch and dinner and it can cater for up to 500. Customers are generally a mix of 55 per cent tourists with the remainder made up of locals.
The path to success has been packed with challenges, not the least of which is that he has been forced to rebuild Trader Jacks four times after it was destroyed by cyclones.
“It was destroyed by Cyclone Sally on January 2, 1987. Since then we have had Cyclone Pam in 1997 and then Cyclone Mina in February 2005.
“I had to spend about $1million after the damage caused by Cyclone Mina. I had to rebuild it, without the benefit of an insurance payout because I can’t get insurance.”
A popular dining spot with locals and visitors alike, Trader Jacks makes full use of fresh local ingredients, giving the menu a distinct Cook Islands twist.
The bar will feature live music over Queens Birthday Weekend, as well as a special Rarotonga Vinyl Revival Club’s night on Saturday, where DJ Wheelie will be spin classic records from the 60s 70s and 80s