14 August 2019, Apia Samoa. Many of the larger established supermarkets in Samoa have allowed families to sell home cooked food and home grown produce at the entrance of their stores as a way to help them earn a living.
Infront of the Mariyon Samoa supermarket at Tuanaimato you will find the five silver pots belonging to stall owner Fiona Skelton-Seuaő, lined up by the doorway before 6am every morning, without fail.
Inside the “ulos” are the five traditional Samoan favorites of kokoesi, koko alaisa, suafai, suaesi and vaisalo.
Speaking to Samoa Global News Fiona says that she and her husband Alisi Seuaõ get up at 4.30am each morning to start cooking to ensure she is set up by 6am for her clients.
“Ma te usu faatasi lava ma lo’u toalua e tãpena ma fai faatasi a ma kuka.”
Fiona’s husband works at the MNRE on a full time basis and the sales from her stall is a much needed second income for the couple who have six children, all at primary school.
“We have three boys and three girls. They all go to school at St Therese.”
“E tolu tama, tolu teine ae aooga uma i St Therese.”
Fiona says she earns a minimum gross income of $200 tala per day and that public holidays such as this past Fathers Day holiday is always a good day for business.
“I can earn $300 tala on a public holiday because a lot of working people are not rushing to work, so they come and buy from me.”
“E maua lava le $300 i aso malolo ona o le toatele o latou e lē o faigaluega i aso malolo, e omai e faatau.”
Fiona shares that she and her husband try as much as possible to grow the raw materials needed.
“We have a farm, with coconuts, cocoa and pawpaw.”
“O le mā maumaga e totõ ai niu, o koko ma esi.”
Fiona says her children’s education is a priority and that they really don’t have too many expenses after that except for church and family obligations.
“We pay 100 tala a week to church. We attend Lepea Catholic church and we are building a new church,” said Fiona.
“There are faalavelave for both our families but we manage to budget ok.”
“E iai lava faalavelave a ma aiga ae mafai lava ona faasoa.”
Fiona says she enjoys her daily job for income generation and would never consider sending her children to sell goods.