Evelinas – Fresh Island foods, on the go.
Evelinas is an authentic Samoan foods eatery, serving the freshest traditional and trending foods that taste so good; it brings you home to the Islands. Mamma’s recipes, dished up in Clendon town centre.
Evelina and Vanessa, please introduce yourselves!
Well, Evelina is my mother; me and my husband named the business after mum. I was born in South Auckland, and this is home. We started from humble beginnings, and we celebrate authentic Polynesian foods.
All the recipes are ones I’ve put together, popular dishes being Taro and leaves with coconut cream, raw fish, lamb bun, pancakes and my favourite Chop Suey, passed down from my grandmother. We’ve been here for 14 years.
Who shops here?
We have people from the North Shore driving here, and sometimes we have so many customers, I feel sorry for them when they’ve travelled all that way, and we’ve run out!
Sundays especially, we have a mix of many people. Samoan, Tongan, Philippine, Indian and Pakeha.
There’s a lot of preparation with our food, so this makes it easy for people. It’s like homemade food on the go. “It’s mamma’s dishes’.
Vanessa, How did you start your business, what gave you the idea?
We started with second hand kitchen equipment, didn't have previous business experience, but we took a risk. My husband is Samoan and originally from Savii, [and] works as a builder. He renovated the shop and worked many hours to transform it to the shop it is today.
Also, I wanted to show appreciation to my mother Evelina, and so we named the shop after her. We wanted a name that would catch on, like McDonalds, Wendys, Evelinas. This is also why we decided to name the shop Evelina’s.
What’s the community like in Clendon?
Clendon is home, [with] Polynesian vibes. It’s like a big family. We could walk past and help, like if an old lady was struggling to hop into her car. That’s our community. We may not have the flashiest things, but we are there for each other. We won’t let someone just fall. That’s the beauty of our community here in Clendon. Not all communities have that.
What new facilities and developments have you seen over the
14 years in Clendon town centre?
Well I bring my children aged 17 and 12 to the local facilities here. They go to the rec centre. We have the library, dentist, and local doctors. We now have a Pak n Save, so more variety to choose from.
I think one of the main improvements would be the cleaner shopping mall and great security. It’s definitely upgraded since we set up shop.
The township does have some initiatives, like a veggie garden for people to help themselves to. The community hall is also popular, with games that the youth put on (like tag), and fun things to do for the children.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start their
Having an awesome mum like Evelina. She’s the backbone of the business, to be honest. Without my mum, I don’t know if our business would have reached the potential it has now!
But being consistent, believing in what you do, it will show through.
You have to be nice to people, look after them. If someone is struggling, it’s good to help.
Anything else to add?
We work hard to provide for our children, and they have more than we had as kids. Not saying my mum hasn’t… but we need to provide and build on the good things our parents did for us.
We went to good schools and mum gave us the opportunity for a great education, and it’s a real appreciation. It’s the values of what we were taught both at home and at school.