Mario Varacalli owner of the Hungry Money located on North Front Street in Belize City was found lifeless when the restaurant opened for business on August 5th 2010. Varacalli usually slept in the establishment whenever he stayed in Belize City, and it was not considered strange that he was locked inside the building last night after employees left.
Varacalli, a resident of San Pedro and the father of four also leaves his wife Vickie Varacalli behind. Hungry Monkey on North Front Street opened to much fanfare as an outlet of a sub-sandwich business that was first established on San Pedro:
Hungry Monkey Sub Shop Opens on North Front Street
January 29, 2010
A new sub shop has opened in Belize City. It’s the “Hungry Monkey” on North Front Street. It’s new to Belize City but not to new to Belize because the first “Hungry Monkey” Sub Shop opened in 2007 in San Pedro. But its owners, a couple from Canada, want to expand and they are starting with the new shop in Belize City. It is the biggest news in the world of sub sandwiches since the rise and fall of Subway – and so ahead of its official opening next week – they invited the media for a taste test and 7News was there.
Mario Varacalli, Owner – Hungry Monkey“The reason why I chose this place on North Front Street is because of the location. We have the 9 to 5 working class, we have the schools, we have the hospitals, we have the tourists and I am looking for local people to come and enjoy my food.
We have speciality hot subs, speciality cold subs, speciality French fries – but it is just something different; high quality at a very affordable price.”
But that price is higher than at the other sub shops. A 9 inch cold sub at Hungry Monkey is $12.Mario Varacalli,“Our prices are a little bit higher, not by much, but they are. In fact I am not here to compare because everyone does their thing but the quality of meats, the quantity of meats, and the size of the subs that we do make a difference in the price. It is different and that is what I want to bring to the country. It is just something different.”Keith Swift,
“Subway came and didn’t make it. Why do you think the Hungry Monkey will?”Mario Varacalli,“I don’t know much about Subway. It is a very good question. I think the quality of food, the experience that I do bring, and serving the people – not necessarily the food but just knowing how to adapt to the country that you’re in and the people you’re dealing with and just being genuinely nice to your customers. I think that somehow makes an impact. It has worked for me in the past, I hope it works for me here.”The shop employs 9 Belizeans and the owners say they plan to expand to the rest of Central America.http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=16109
Empty chairs remain where the couple once filled with customers. It is not yet known if Mrs. Varacalli will keep the business open.