Nutbug is savouring the sweet taste of success.

The Sunbury cafe won the New and Emerging Business Award at the Hume Business Awards earlier this month.

Owner Praveen Vegunta said his win was “inspiring” for other small and new businesses.

“It has not even been a year, we’ve been here since January,” he said.

“It [the award] make us more motivated.”

Mr Vegunta said locals and visitors have embraced his business with open arms.

“We didn’t expect it to be turning out this way,” he said. “A lot of people are coming back. There are almost 10 to 15 regular customers that come here every week which makes us think that we should create something new … so that it’s not the same menu.

“We have to make them excited to come back.”

Nutbug specialises in a traditional American cuisine – fried chicken and waffles. Mr Vegunta

credited his success to his dedication to fresh food and his unique menu.

“Instead of using a burger bun, we use a waffle for all our burgers,” he said.

“With a bun, you can’t bake it on the spot. With waffles, we make it on the spot and everything you bite into is fresh. From hot plate to plate straight away.

“That’s the fresh concept that we want to give to people.”

Another passion of Mr Vegunta’s is reducing food wastage. On the last Sunday of each month, the store hosts a community dinner.

“I go and tell businesses around here to collect whatever food leftovers they have, or rather than buying food from Coles, bring what is already in your house which you think you won’t need,” he said. “Then we create a meal for everyone. We don’t want you to cook for us. Bring a tin of food. It [the community dinner] is something different.

“This place makes me to be more open, so that’s the best thing that I can do. Thank you to every local person and Hume council for recognising what we do.”