Guyana Diaspora

'89 percent of Guyana 's graduate population live and work in the 30 relatively rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -"Fruit that falls far from the tree",
The Economist, 03 November 2005'

It is estimated that there are as many Guyanese living overseas as they are in Guyana
They are spread out far and wide to almost every country on the planet
This blog was created to chronicle the news and and stories of the Diaspora

Friday, February 03, 2006

From Food to Cars

Meet Teek and Vee
Their parents started and built a successful business in Guyana before they decided to move their 4 children to the United States. They felt that with the political unrest in Guyana, their family would be safer and have a better chance for a successful future in the U.S.

Both Teek and Vee Persaud were born in Guyana, South America. They emigrated to America with their parents when they were 16 and 14, respectively. They come from a family of business people. Their parents started and built a successful business in Guyana before they decided to move their 4 children to the United States. They felt that with the political unrest in Guyana, their family would be safer and have a better chance for a successful future in the U.S. How right they were!

In 1982, at age 20, Teek purchased a small candy store in Manhattan, NY. Just about this time, Vee moved to Canada to help their older sister, Hetri and her husband Ray, with their business - a deli in downtown Toronto. They went on to build a successful fast food business consisting of pizza, hamburgers, chicken, etc.

While running the candy store in the early 1980's, Teek noticed the booming real estate market in NY. He ventured into this arena, purchasing houses, fixing them up and reselling them for a profit. As this business grew, Vee returned to The Empire State and the two became partners. Teek primarily ran the candy store that included a grill for breakfast and lunch specials while Vee took care of their growing real estate holdings.

How did they go from NYC to Bloomingburg? Blooming Where?

It turns out that their other sister, Gita, who lived in the Bronx, NY, was married to George, a Montgomery, NY native. His family resided (and still does) in the Village of Montgomery in Orange County. His father, Dan Bosch, (some of you may be familiar with his creative handiwork in birdhouses found for sale at the Quickway Diner) was a real estate salesperson. One fine day, in 1986, as Gita and George were visiting their family, the listing for the diner was mentioned. George saw an opportunity that he knew was right up Teek and Vee's alley.

Although a bit hesitant about the move from The Big Apple to this small town, Teek and Vee saw an opportunity that they could not pass up. With a bit of research, intuition, and foresight, they realized Orange County would continue to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country. At that time, it was considered to be "a great place to live" by the national magazines and polls. Today, Route 17 (a.k.a. The Quickway) will soon be Interstate 86, Stewart International Airport continues to expand, and tourism in this Hudson Valley region continues to grow. In other words, their intuition was right on the money.

Teek sold his candy store in Manhattan and moved to Bloomingburg. The deal was closed and the Persaud brothers became the new owners of the Quickway Diner & Restaurant and the Twin Cone Ice Cream Shop. Gita decided to quit her job in the city to help reopen the business. After being non-operational for over 6 months, it took a lot of hard work, determination and planning to reopen but the family was fortunate enough to re-hire most of the previously displaced employees. On May 4, 1987, at 4:30 a.m., Teek and Gita literally opened the doors of the renovated Quickway Diner to a handful of people already waiting outside for the famous Quickway coffee they've come to love.

And now, a Quick history of the Quickway Diner - the Diner first opened in 1955 as the construction of Route 17 was being completed (coincidentally, the same year that George was born. Yes, the very same one who encouraged them to explore the possibility of purchasing the Diner in 1986!) Route 17 was nicknamed the Quickway because it was the quickest route from NYC to the Catskills region. Since the Diner, which consisted only of the front section of the current structure, was right off Exit 116 of the Quickway, it became a very popular stop for the local residents, commuters, and tourists.Now, back to 1986.

As Teek and Gita ran the Diner, Vee remained in NYC to run their real estate business. Both he and George traveled the hour-an-half trip from NYC to Bloomingburg every weekend to help with the Diner. In July 1987, Gita and George became pregnant (rumor has it that the baby was conceived at the Quickway!). After Varian, referred to by many as the Quickway Baby, was born, Gita decided to resume her career back in the city. As the Diner continued to prosper and the catering increased, Vee was needed much more than weekends and eventually moved upstate. With their consistent hard work, honesty, and of course that catchy advertising jingle that you cannot get it out of your head after you hear it (. . . the Quickway Diner & Restaurant in Bloomingburg) Teek and Vee became local celebrities.

How did they go from Food to Cars?

Teek and Vee have a hobby that is quite removed from their businesses - they love cars. Some think that they may have had a taste of car oil as babies and hence this obsession with cars. As their businesses prospered, they could now afford to indulge in their hobby. They began purchasing and restoring vintage cars that lead them to the area car auctions where they got new ideas and visions. Being the true entrepreneurs, they became Certified Car Dealers and opened Quickway Exotic Auto based on their vast knowledge and passion for cars. Now a booming car dealership is included in their portfolio of businesses. To ensure the integrity of the vehicles they sell, they have a crew of mechanics and body shop technicians on the pay-roll to keep up with their demand.

What's next?

Being the quintessential entrepreneurs that they are, Teek and Vee continue to venture into new enterprises. But, they do not do so blindly. They have chosen to make a commitment to the community they work and reside in, with Vee now raising a family with his wife Nadira. After much thought, research, and planning, they have decided to construct the Quickway Travel Center, a landmark that will serve all the needs of the traveler under one roof while providing jobs and services for the area residents and community. A community that Teek and Vee are proud to be a part of!

From Quickway

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