Rose's tradition and culture to continue

ROSE Nassar is the heart of one of Cooma's most successful businesses - Rose's Restaurant, in Massie Street. But news that the restaurant is for sale has sent shockwaves through many of her nervous customers who fear this means the end of her special Lebanese cuisine.

Many have interpreted 'for sale' as code for 'closing down' and some, so worried about their future diet, are devising plans to buy hummus up big and freeze it (not a good idea, according to Rose).

But they needn't worry.

While the plan behind the family decision to sell the restaurant is so that Rose can retire, it does not mean the end of the Lebanese specialty restaurant.

Quite the contrary.

According to son Tony, who runs the restaurant with Rose, the main objective is to find a new family of owners who will continue Rose's tradition of excellence in the Lebanese way.

Unless the restaurant sells, Rose cannot retire. It's not in her nature, or culture, or family tradition.

While the business remains in the family with Tony at the helm, Rose will be there, six days a week, lovingly preparing the food in ways that only she can.

"She can't retire unless we [sell] the business," Tony said.

"It's simply time. Mum deserves a break to enjoy her life."

Tony is working to ensure that new owners will adhere to the Nassar family's values, ideals and concepts that lie behind the restaurant's success.

This may make the task of selling the business harder but he is determined not to sell to just "anybody."

Rose and the family have worked extremely hard over 20 years to make the restaurant the local institution it has become. It all started when Rose and husband Joe ran a service station and roadhouse at the 4-mile.

In those days Rose cooked up a hamburger and chips menu - but she also cooked traditional family dinners (she has five sons).

Truckies noticed, and pretty soon they wanted her fresh and healthy food, not the old-fashioned stodge.

Then, eight years ago, the family decision was made to close the roadhouse and move the restaurant into town - and that is how Rose's Restaurant came into being. Tony, who was running Capital-Dial A Pizza, came on board.

Now, freshness is the key, and instead of selling petrol, Joe is the gardener who oversees the growing of local produce at Bunyan. Up to 90 per cent of Rose's ingredients come in this way.

"There is no can opener in our kitchen," Tony says proudly.

"We can feed 100 people without opening a tin."

Rose's reputation is important to her, which is why the family will do all it can to ensure the integrity, the tradition, the concept and the values remain in place with new owners.

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