Keep on ROLLN: Owners give their insights on finding success
With so many restaurants opening every day in New York City, it can be difficult to break away from the pack. However, the sushi restaurant ROLLN, located at 38 East 23rd St. near Baruch College, is attempting to do just that, catering to students and those who want to have healthy options served quickly.
In an joint email interview with The Ticker, ROLLN owners Gavin Tseng and David Tam gave insight into what makes their venture special and what is the most important part about running their business in the heart of New York City. ROLLN is a hand-rolled sushi specialty restaurant that gets its inspiration from the owners growing up in Australia.
“This style of sushi is really common in Australia where we grew up and we thought it would fit perfectly into New York given the demand for healthy and convenient food options,” Tseng and Tam said.
To distinguish themselves from the other sushi eateries in the city, the two set out to develop a menu of limited amounts of freshly handcrafted rolls.
“We have purposely kept our menu to a limited number as we believe in doing everything well, including challenging the status quo to the traditional sushi rolls flavor offerings,” the owners explained.
Their freshly made daily rolls include sustainable ingredients that have inventive names like “cheeseburger,” “hotdog” or “tuna salad” rolls.
Having an eatery in New York City is very exciting for Tseng and Tam. The hustle and bustle of the city “is a really exciting place and market to be in, with a huge and diverse pool of people who are highly sophisticated and also keen to try new experiences,” they explained.
The idea for ROLLN came to the two as an idea to do something fulfilling with their lives and their belief in the “importance of food and nutrition playing a critical role in people's health and allowing them to be the best they can be.”
Starting a business is not an easy endeavor. It takes a lot to succeed and even more to just get started.
“Be prepared for the time it will take, plan for the worst, then add a buffer on top of that,” Tseng and Tam said.
“Run your own race, block out the noise, don’t focus on your competition (or perceived competition), but focus more so in your own business.”
They went on to say that “the shared belief in [their] purpose and values,” got them past the fear of opening a new venture and doing well in a city that has a lot of competition. ROLLN boasts an almost five-star rating from a majority of its patrons on Google.
In addition to quality food, the eatery also places a major emphasis on treating both its customers and employees well.
The owners explained that, “Our values center around providing great quality, healthy and nutritious food to our customers, developing our staff and supporting them through great benefits, working with companies who share our values of sustainability and making a difference and giving back to our community through education and health programs.”
Knowing that they still have a lot more to do to keep ROLLN, the two remain passionate and positive in their endeavors.
The pair said their belief of, “Don’t over-think, try it, take and learn from small risks,” will get them to the next level and rolling into the future.