Home is Where the Food is
Story by Sara Sadeghi Aval, Photos by Aravinth Sundararaj
On March 25 of this year, Bombay One Stop opened its doors in Thunder Bay to deliver curated Indian goods and ingredients, after owner Hiren Sathwara spent nine months turning his idea into reality. Employee Nil Sanghvi, who has spent the last few years in the supermarket industry, says having a grocery store with traditional ingredients local to India allows him and the community to “bring the feeling of home here with food.”
The minimart is located on Victoria Avenue and offers spices, snacks, pastries, candles, pain relievers, hair oils, and more. Looking for curry to go? They also have you covered. Sanghvi has noticed customers from as far away as Kenora and Sioux Lookout visiting the store. Out-of-town customers are provided with the store’s inventory list and allowed to place orders on hold for pickup, an extremely curated approach to filling shelves. “Keeping the shelves full is our aim, and we take their suggestions,” says Sanghvi. The store currently operates with three employees, and Sathwara is hoping to add a kitchen to the endeavour. Of course, all in due time.
“[Sathwara] just felt there was a lack of variety in the items offered in the city, and since this is a taste people love from all over the world, the community is happy to see this place,” Sanghvi says. Adding to Thunder Bay’s growing and diverse flavours, Bombay One Stop is a prime example of meeting community needs. Sanghvi thinks of the student population and the comforts of home-cooked meals. As for his experience as an employee, he’s found it a professional and enjoyable place to work. His favourite item to sell has been the Zandu Balms, a solid and effective medicinal balm that customers find beneficial. “It’s very much a family place, and we are budget-friendly for everyone,” he adds.
The store is currently open at 2605 Victoria Avenue East from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm, but they hope to extend their hours soon. Follow them on Instagram @bombayonestop.