Ricochet Café: the recipe for turning street kids into entrepreneurs


You probably haven’t realised it, but on the ground floor of the Mutual Rumana building in Port Moresby’s Waigani suburb something inspirational is happening—and it’s not just five star food at two star prices.

Ricochet_webGranted you can sit down to eat dishes like mouth-watering fried tuna with rice for about what you’d pay for a coffee and muffin at Port Moresby’s major business hotels.

But the most remarkable thing is that most of the nine staff at the Ricochet Café come from the infamous Kaugere Settlement and some have even spent time in jail. And they don’t just work there, they are all shareholders in the business.

The establishment, now about 10 weeks old, is the brainchild of Lydia Kailap, an Australian hospitality professional who has lived in PNG for a decade, and her Papua New Guinean husband Peter.

‘Our idea was not just to train these young people to cook and wait tables but to actually run the business. When the time is right we’ll step aside and leave them to operate it themselves,’ she says.

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Unsurprisingly, the venture is not without its challenges.

‘We’ve had no external support of any kind and would dearly love to be in a position to invest more in launching the business,’ she says. ‘It was also hard to find a suitable venue and we are crossing our fingers that our rent won’t go up.’

Nonetheless, word is starting to get around. The Ricochet Café recently hosted the annual Red Cross Ball and its founders already have their sights set beyond the capital.

‘Looking ahead we’d love to roll the idea out in other centres around PNG,’ says Kailap.


  1. Great initiative and model from the Ricochet Cafe team…would be great to see this as a franchise expanding withing POM and PNG…will be in touch when the time is right for services and parternship.

  2. Mateos Alois says

    I am in the Tourism and Hospitality business. I need catering staff in particularly area of cooking etc.. What do you offer in your organisation. We are a PNG citizen operated business.


    Alois Mateos

  3. Your success will help transform alot of unfortunate street kids to becoming better citizens of the our country. Please keep the good work.
    Let’s us know if our products can be of interest to you.
    Thank you

  4. Lydia Kailap says

    Thank you for this wonderful write up. Please let your readers know that we are having a fundraising for our Café on Saturday 26th October at 6.30pm. Tickets are K200 or a table of 2 for K2000 and that will buy you fabulous finger food on arrival, a EuroMelanesian buffet, delicious dessert, live band tsunami, wine and softdrinks.
    For yr tickets, call 70223277.
    Thank you again Business Advantage and see you at the Ricochet Café soon.

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