Surrey’s samosa-slinging sisters win B.C. New Canadian Entrepreneur Award

Published: May 27, 2014

Team behind Newton-based Nana’s Kitchen and Hot Sauce cooks up 25,000 samosas a day

Samosa restaurant-Indian snacks

Nana’s Kitchen and Hot Sauce company operators, sisters Shelina Mawani (left) and Nasim Dhanji, with their B.C. New Canadian Entrepreneur Award, given by the Ethno Business Council of B.C. Surrey Now photo

TOM ZILLICH
SURREY NOW

NEWTON — A team behind production of gourmet samosas and hot sauces has won the B.C. New Canadian Entrepreneur Award.

The 22nd annual award, organized by the Ethno Business Council of B.C., was given to Newton-based Nana’s Kitchen and Hot Sauce at an event in Vancouver on Thursday evening (May 22).

The plant is operated by sisters Shelina Mawani and Nasim Dhanji, who launched their food-manufacturing business in the late-1990s.

“It’s truly an honour that we’ve been recognized like this, after so many years of hard work, especially as new immigrants to Canada,” Mawani said. “We are Canadians but not born in Canada. It’s been a long journey.”

Nana’s Kitchen cooks up 25,000 samosas a day, making it one of the largest producers of samosas in the province.

Mawani, whose job is to market and promote the business, said the award is shared with the company’s 37 employees.

The awards gala was held Thursday at Vancouver’s Pan Pacific Hotel, with tickets going for $120 per person.

The idea behind the awards is to identify successful business owners to inspire other newcomers to Canada.

In 1998 Nana’s Kitchen started out as a small restaurant in Burnaby. The sisters, originally from Tanzania, worked up to 18 hours a day. But the overtime and dedication couldn’t keep the business afloat, so within a year they were forced to shut down.

“It was the most difficult endeavour,” said Mawani. “We had lost quite a bit of money.”

With nowhere else to turn, they gave it another shot and re-purposed the business, turning it into a small manufacturing plant. One woman came in to cook the samosas, Dhanji made the filling and Mawani baked.

From there, they went “door-to-door to all the cafeterias, all the small coffee shops” to sell their unique gourmet product.

By 2003, they picked up momentum and moved into their first commercial-sized kitchen, and by 2007 moved into their current facility in Surrey, which is 17,000 square feet in size.

With files from Larissa Cahute, Vancouver Desi

Related Stories:


Tags: , , , , , , , ,





Featured

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Narendra Modi condemns ‘extremely disturbing’ Ottawa shootout

IANS New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Wednesday’s shootout near the Canadian parliament in Ottawa as “extremely disturbing”. “News of the attack in…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »