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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