Cafe Books’ new owner brings a new face to a familiar place

Arlen MacLaine
By Arlen MacLaine
June 19th, 2013

Evans Rora has added “Owner of Cafe Books” to his already full plate of business endeavors.  He and his family came to Rossland from Romania about a month ago, and took over ownership of Cafe Books West.  Along with this new venture, Rora continues to own a floor coverings business back in Romania.  He and his wife Laura also own a sign printing company there.  To top it all off, Rora has a law degree, and provides legal consultation to businesses back in Romania as well.

Since taking over the store in May, Rora has already seen a steady increase in business, even though they haven’t changed much about the store.  He attributes part of that success to acceptance by the community.  

“We didn’t buy this business to make money, but to give us something to do and to become more involved in the community,” he said.  “The people and businesses that we have worked with, have already helped us greatly.  In Bucharest, numbers are the first priority, but what I’ve experienced over here so far, is that the numbers are secondary, behind providing something beneficial to the public.”

As for the store itself, Rora doesn’t want to change much about it, though his priority is expanding the menu.  “We want to provide more food options.  Healthy and fresh food,” he said. “We want to hear the opinions of Rosslanders and use this information to improve on what we already have.”  

There are short surveys that customers can fill out, asking their opinion about different aspects of the store.  However, there is one area in particular that Rora knows he wants to improve on.  “We will use the best ingredients, and will do everything possible in order to have the healthiest, best tasting cookies in B.C.”

Rora would like to open similar stores in the surrounding communities, but only after the business model works here in Rossland.  There is definitely something about Rossland that appeals to him and his family.  “If we open up a thousand shops like this, in Canada, we will still stay in Rossland,” he said.

So why Rossland? The family originally decided to move here to support daughter Arina’s ski training, as there is no Ski Academy in Romania.  When looking at countries where she could train, Rora had some criteria: education had to be public and in English, there had to be a homestay option, and it had to be affordable.  

Rossland’s shoe fit the best.  Rora also noted that RSS being one of the best schools in B.C. was a big factor.  After a season at Red and a semester at RSS, Arina expressed interest in completing her education in Rossland.  The family then decided to join her in Rossland.  

As a side note, it appears that Arina’s training at Red Mountain Ski Academy has been paying off, as she recently competed in Romania’s national championships, and placed 1st in Super G, and 2nd in Slalom.

So, now the Roras are here in Rossland, and could be for a long time.  Evans also has two sons, 14 year old Simon and one and a half year old Damian, and he hopes that they will grow up and go to school in Rossland.  His wife, Laura, is also enjoying Rossland, because she feels like she can be part of the community.  

“In Bucharest, a city of 2 million people,” Evans says, “you are just a face.  You’re much more than that here.”

Categories: Arts and Culture

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