FAMILY business Sweet Spott grew from selling hot dogs and geera chicken from a cart to having its own establishment on the mecca of night life, Ariapita Avenue in Port of Spain.
But just because it is on the avenue doesn’t mean it only serves food when the sun goes down, as Sweet Spott also serves up breakfast and lunch. Fried and coconut bake, sada, pancakes, saltfish, smoked herring, patchoi, tomato choka, eggs and more are available for breakfast. Creole and Indian food is on the menu for lunch, and dinner is an affair of fried and grilled foods, and of course, geera chicken and pork. Dinner also includes green salad, seasoned fries, sweet potato fries, bake and shark, grilled and king fried fish, lamb, several flavours of chicken wings, and coconut shrimp.
All of this from brothers Trevor Hosten Jr, 30, and Nicholas Meah, 37, with Meah handling breakfast and Hosten, lunch and dinner.
The brothers grew up in Petit Valley and Meah told Sunday Newsday the two were always close. Their first foray into the food industry was selling hot dogs, geera chicken, and fried wings at parties during the Carnival season using a gyro cart. Hosten went to Miami where he studied for an associates degree in business administration but when he returned he was presented with the opportunity for a spot on the avenue.
When Sweet Spott opened in 2016, Hosten's menu comprised of geera pork, chicken and turkey. He said the business was not immediately successful which prompted him to diversify the menu. He did some research into what the customers would be interested in having, had people vote on the dinner menu on social media and gave the people what they wanted. Eventually Meah encouraged him to open for breakfast.
Meah said Hosten is more business-minded, cautious, and logical while he is more creative and impulsive. “My brother is a maths person. He’s always calculating and waiting until he feels it’s the right time to do something. I will jump in blind. However it swing, we will make it work. That’s our dynamic but it works.”
What also works for Sweet Spott is its customer interaction. “Customer service is our priority. We want customers to feel welcome. And they do. They love to come and talk. We also have seven or eight different sauces, most of which are made from scratch and people get value for their money. We’re economically friendly. We might not look like much but we have international standards of innovation and cuisine,” said Hosten.
He said his main influence was his father who was a very good cook and had a library of gourmet cook books at home. Cooking was always part of his home life so when he decided to make a career out of it, his family and friends were very supportive. “I love to cook but truthfully the financial freedom is what made me go into food and one of the first things you learn in business school is to start your own business.”
After some thought, Hosten agreed to serving breakfast and Nick’s Breakfast was born as the morning line at Sweet Spott. In addition to the food mentioned above, it also serves Colombian coffee. Every morning, Meah’s friend Chantal Fitzpatrick grinds coffee beans and provides customers with regular coffee, mochas, and cappuccinos.
Fresh fruit juices are also made every morning from soursop, pineapple, and watermelon. Meah said he loves fresh juices and is convinced his customers would like it as well. He adds no water or sugar and so far they are popular. He added that he has many ideas for the future of the business and is looking forward to implementing them in time.
Meah also thanked his mother, Angela Meah, and girlfriend Kathleen Castillo for working long nights with him and standing with him when times were hard.