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Shivani Dhamija was named one of the Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada 2022

Shivani Dhamija was named one of the Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada 2022

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia / March 21, 2022 – Shivani Dhamija, the founder of Shivani’s Kitchen, has been named one of the Top 2022 Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada along with ten fellow award recipients at a gala dinner hosted by My East Coast Experience. 

Shivani moved to Halifax in 2011 and worked in various customer service jobs and started with making Indian dishes for friends and colleagues which quickly grew into a side hustle. In 2014, after being turned down for a customer service job at a retail store, that was her motivation to focus on her catering business full-time and the start of Shivani’s entrepreneurial journey. “I love cooking and the flavors of India, when I moved to Canada, there was a very limited selection of high-quality spices and sauces...” 

Shivani’s Kitchen has expansion plans in the next year and will focus on its online store and focusing on the Ontario market.

Thank the award granters and her advice to new immigrants to have an entrepreneurial spirit? “I am thrilled to be recognized and stand in the same spotlight with my fellow award recipients.  My hard work is starting to pay off and I am driven to do more. I love what I do and enjoy giving a taste of India to all my customers”, says Shivani.

“The Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada initiative celebrates the contributions of immigrants to the East Coast of Canada. The awards honors the trailblazers and leaders who are making a positive impact in our communities and aim to encourage and inspire current and future newcomers to our region.

Because of her perseverance in establishing Shivani's Kitchen and successfully launching her line of spices and sauces in Atlantic Canada, Shivani Dhamija is one of our 2022 honorees.” by MY EAST COAST EXPERIENCE

You can find Shivani’s Kitchen spices and sauces at Sobeys and Superstore in Atlantic Canada

About Shivani’s Kitchen

What evolved from Halifax's first packaged Indian meal delivery service was a range of premium-grade Indian spices with no fillers, garlic, or salt. Shivani's Kitchen Spice Blends landed on the shelves of Pete's Frootique & Fine Foods in 2016, followed by Sobeys in 2019.

In 2018, Dhamija opened the doors of her first restaurant at the Seaport Farmers Market allowing her to hold cooking classes and experiment with new ingredients and products. Through this, she saw a need to be able to recreate restaurant-quality Indian food at home, so she launched her ready-to-use sauces. Just like Shivani’s Kitchen Spice Blends, the sauces are salt-free, gluten-free, and have no preservatives. Using only fresh ingredients from local Atlantic Canada suppliers.
Dhamija closed the doors to her restaurant at the end of August 2020 and opened a food production plant in West Hants, Nova Scotia. “I’m excited about our food plant, and it will help keep up with the demand for our Spices and Sauces!” says Dhamija, taking a big step by pivoting her business during COVID to get more products in stores.

As of January 2021, Shivani’s Kitchen Spices and Ready-to-Use Sauces are available widely on the shelves of big-box retail stores throughout Atlantic Canada and the United States. They are also used at numerous restaurants and cafes in Halifax and can be found to purchase online at www.shivaniskitchen.ca

About My East Coast Experience

My East Coast Experience is a publishing, marketing and event planning brand aimed at telling the stories and dreams of immigrants and international students who have found success on Canada's east coast, while encouraging others to stay in the region. The ‘Top 2022 Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada’ awards celebrate the trailblazers and leaders who are making a positive impact in our communities.

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CBDC: 2021 Business Award of Distinction Nominee - Shivani’s Kitchen

CBDC: 2021 Business Award of Distinction Nominee - Shivani’s Kitchen

You might wonder how someone can go from point zero to major success launching various products and services and continue to grow through a pandemic? Meet Shivani Dhamija, owner of Shivani’s Kitchen. This entrepreneur is the epitome of passion, determination, and perseverance.

Founder Shivani Dhamija immigrated from India to Nova Scotia ten years ago. After working at different positions while searching for her dream job in the PR field, she learned of someone who really missed Indian home-cooked foods. This was Shivani’s first client, leading to the launch of Halifax’s first packaged Indian Meal Delivery Service in 2014. It was so popular that she registered the business and Shivani’s Kitchen was born. Inspired by the food they purchased; clients wanted to learn how to cook Indian food. Shivani’s Kitchen expanded and began offering Cooking Classes in 2015. The same year, she began attending the Spryfield Farmers’ Market where it became clear that meeting clients and getting direct feedback was the path to success.

Customers loved buying her food and taking part in her classes, but how could they source the amazing spices she used? In 2016, the energetic entrepreneur launched a line of spice blends, starting with Garam Masala. Two years later, Shivani opened a take-out restaurant at the Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax where she continued to give classes and sell spices. Now, customers wanted to buy ready to use sauces. Going into high gear, she not only added ready-to-use-sauces like Butter Chicken to her product line, but Shivani also started showcasing her products at Pete’s Frootique, more Farmers’ Markets and in 2019, her products were launched in Sobeys stores. The foundational principal of providing spices without fillers and salt carried through to the sauces, which are produced without salt and preservatives, are vegan and gluten free, and use fresh ingredients from local farms.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shivani decided against opening a second restaurant, closed the existing restaurant and pivoted to set up a food production plant in West Hants at The Station Food Hub. CBDC Hants-Kings provided loans for Shivani to invest in equipment which would allow her to increase production and enter the wholesale world in a serious fashion. Today, over 150 major food stores, restaurants, cafés, and other outlets buy her spice blends and sauces. “Shivani’s Kitchen” is becoming a household name. The successful business owner’s goal in the next two years is to be selling her product lines through large wholesalers to reach markets throughout North America.

To read full article: https://www.cbdc.ca/fr/node/1420

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NSBI : Shivani’s Kitchen: Exporting spices and sauces to appreciative customers

NSBI : Shivani’s Kitchen: Exporting spices and sauces to appreciative customers

Shivani Dhamija doesn’t give up easily. When she moved to Nova Scotia in 2011 to be with her partner, Abhishek Asthana, she couldn’t find work in her field of public relations. While working on the front desk at the Canada Games Centre, she learned of an Indian trucker who was missing home-cooked food. He became Shivani’s first client and helped launch Halifax’s first packaged Indian meal delivery service in 2014. In 2015, Shivani’s Kitchen began selling spice blends at farmers’ markets.

In 2018, she opened a takeout restaurant in the Seaport Farmers’ Market and soon began wholesaling ready-to-use sauces, which, like the company’s spice blends, contain no fillers or preservatives and are gluten free.

When the pandemic closed the restaurant in August 2020, Shivani launched a food production plant in the Station Food Hub at Newport Station in West Hants. The spice blends and sauces she and her team make there are now sold in Sobeys and Foodland stores throughout Atlantic Canada.

Sobeys’ invitation to sell her products in their stores brought a much-needed boost. “I was so happy, there were tears in my eyes,” she says. “If I had not made the decision to wholesale my products in 2018–19, I would never have achieved that silver lining of Sobeys in 2020. Sobeys has taken me to Atlantic Canada, and now we are trying to export throughout North America.”

NSBI programs and funding have been a great help, Shivani says. “I am amazed how Omaira Ospino doesn’t forget me. She has many clients, and she still emails me to let me know of programs coming up. I had no idea how to export, and I learned so much from the virtual trade mission to Boston.”

I’ve received a lot of support in Nova Scotia. That’s why, even though I’m an immigrant, my heart is completely Nova Scotian now.

Shivani Dhamija
Shivani's Kitchen

To read full article: https://www.novascotiabusiness.com/articles/shivanis-kitchen-exporting-spices-and-sauces-appreciative-customers

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CBC News: One entrepreneur's road from takeout restaurant to spice and sauce export

CBC News: One entrepreneur's road from takeout restaurant to spice and sauce export

When you make it to CBC NEWS-
Shivani's Kitchen won a $10,000 prize from CUA to expand its production capacity and start exporting.
Marie Mullally, president, and CEO of CUA said "the prize was given after the judges were impressed by the innovation of the business, but Shivani's Kitchen is far from the only restaurant she's seen that is working on new ideas."
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Amazing Women and Favorite Local Brands across Canada

Amazing Women and Favorite Local Brands across Canada

So proud to be part of this celebration for #internationalwomenday2021 and to be part of the amazing women and favorite local brands featured across the country in Sobeys and Foodland! So very grateful!

I'll never forget the day our spice blends got the green light to be on the shelves of Sobeys.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Fast forward and now our authentic ready to use sauces and spice blends can be found in most Sobeys and Foodland stores throughout Atlantic Canada.  Thank you Sobeys for being such a supporter of small businesses and making a small business female business owner's dream come true.  

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Valuing Women. Working for Change.

Valuing Women. Working for Change.

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DIVERSE WOMEN ON CANADA -  STORIES OF RESILIENCE

DIVERSE WOMEN ON CANADA - STORIES OF RESILIENCE

This Women's Day, we with Patrimoine canadien -- Canadian Heritage celebrate not just being a woman but also the beauty of their diversity with our event, Diverse Women of Canada - Stories of Resilience.

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It's a WRAP! Maritime Made on Eastlink Television

It's a WRAP! Maritime Made on Eastlink Television

IT's a WRAP!! Live on #MaritimeMade TV!!! Find out what goes on behind the scenes at Shivani's Kitchen Sunday (Feb21) at 7:30PM (AST) on Eastlink Community TV, channels 10 and 610.

A huge THANKS to Eastlink and Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) A special thanks to the production team at Firefly Digital Media!!!

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THE PIVOT: Shivani’s Kitchen eyeing Dragon’s Den

THE PIVOT: Shivani’s Kitchen eyeing Dragon’s Den

  • The Players: Shivani Dhamija owns Shivani's Kitchen, a maker of fresh, salt-free Indian spice blends and sauces in Newport Station, near Windsor.  
  • The Problem: When COVID-19 killed the cruise ship season, Dhamija shut down Shivani's Kitchen restaurant at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market in August.
  • The Pivot: A month after closing the restaurant, Dhamija opened a food processing plant in Newport Station and now sells products through Sobeys and Food land in the Maritimes and United States. Within the next two years, she is planning to quadruple the size of her kitchen, operate 24-7 and take her products to the world.
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Shivani's Kitchen Spice Blends enter AMAZON Marketplace

Shivani's Kitchen Spice Blends enter AMAZON Marketplace

Official Announcement Shivani's Kitchen authentic spice blends now on AMAZON. "It seems like it was just yesterday we were only selling at the Farmers Markets in Nova Scotia. We've come so very far and are so appreciative!

Thank you to everyone in Atlantic Canada for supporting and falling in love with our delicious authentic spice blends. It’s been a lot of work and now we’ve gained entry into Amazon.ca."

BOUNDLESS

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Nomination RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

Nomination RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

"It's such an honor to be nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.  A very big thank you to everyone that's supported the growth of Shivani's Kitchen, this journey and nomination would not have been possible without you, and I can only show my love and appreciation for you."

 

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Canada Prestige Awards - Indian Food Wholesalers of the Year

Canada Prestige Awards - Indian Food Wholesalers of the Year

We are excited and proud to announce Shivani's Kitchen has been nominated and recognized as the winner as the Indian Food Wholesalers of the Year 2020/2021 by the Corporate LiveWire Canada Prestige Awards.

Published: TBD (January 21, 2021 Confirmation of Winner)

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