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Fiji has jumped on the celebrity ‘brandwagon’. Close on the heels on the announcement of a new golf course at Natadola, endorsed by Vijay Singh, Fiji has got its first celeb coffee place: Serevi Cafe.

Named after rugby legend Waisale Serevi, the cafe was soft-launched at Nadi International Airport’s departure concourse in august. Serevi is retail major Tappoo’s corporate brand ambassador, whose contract involves promoting Tappoo’s businesses including making a number of public appearances for the group every year.

“Tappoo had recently been allocated extra space at the Nadi International Airport and a cafe in the allocated space had been decided. Naming it Serevi Cafe was a board decision that was endorsed by Serevi,” says Tappoo corporate marketing manager, Nalinesh Arun. Tappoo reveals the cafe is part of Serevi’s corporate brand ambassadorial deal with the company and not a separate one.

Serevi is an instantly recognizable figure and his larger than life portraits on the walls of the cafe do their bit to attract the crowds. Though a formal launch is still in the offing, the cafe is drawing crowds from among departing passengers who want to grab a quick snack and coffee. Rugby celebs cafes are popular. Wallaby skipper George Gregan’s cafe “By George” now has several outlets in Australia.

But people not flying out of the country will have to wait before they can take in the experience of sipping coffee in a Serevi Cafe. For as of now the Tappoo Group is not planning other outlets elsewhere in Fiji. “Whatever is planned in Serevi’s name has to be in good taste and must have an element of sophistication. This requires a lot of thought and careful planning,” says Arun.

The Serevi theme is restricted to the look and feel of the cafe and does not extend to the menu. So there isn’t yet a Serevi Long Black or a Serevi Blueberry Muffin. But that may change shortly. “There are plans to extend the menu and the decor to better reflect the awesome achievements of Serevi before the official opening,” reveals Arun.

The first Serevi-branded cafe may just be the beginning. “While Serevi is integrally involved in brands like Pepsi, Nike and our Home & Leisure store chain, a cafe in his name is our tribute to our Corporate Ambassador, says the groups chief executive officer, Madhu Tappoo. “We are considering some other projects with Serevi’s image as an icon of rugby.”

Source: Air Pacific In-Flight magazine by Dev Nadkarni

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