Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on Go solo magazine interview with Shivani Dhamija, Founder of Shivani's kitchen, located in Halifax, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Shivani's kitchen offers ethnic Indian spices, ready-to-use sauces, frozen meals, and Paneer (Indian cheese). Our customers are those who look for gluten-free, salt-free products with no additives.
Tell us about yourself
I founded Shivani's Kitchen in 2014. I moved to Nova Scotia in 2011 to be with my partner, Abhishek Asthana. I moved here with a Diploma in Public Relations from Fanshawe College to pursue a job. I tried various media and public relations companies but had no luck. I am a very independent person who doesn't give up easily - so while waiting for my dream job, I started working wherever I could find work. I worked at MacDonald's as a cashier, volunteered at the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, and then as a front desk person at the Canadian Games Center.
While working at the Canada Games Center, a friend of Indian origin told me that an Indian trucker friend she knew was missing home-cooked food and wanted someone to make food for him to take on his trips. He was my first client and helped launch Halifax's first packaged Indian Meal Delivery Service!
We initially called our company Home Made Tiffin but couldn't get the name registered. Finally, I realized there shouldn't be anyone with my name selling Indian food. I applied to get Shivani's Kitchen registered; the rest is history! Being successful as an immigrant entrepreneur to inspire women is what motivates me.
You may read the full story here.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It is being one of the most inspiring immigrants in Atlantic Canada in 2022.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding new markets.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Write down your goals.
- Don't give up.
- Learn from experiences.
Where can people find you and your business?