Bringing his culture and affordable, quality food to Wodonga is part of the motivation behind businessman Ravi Talreja.
Ravi, who has previously operated Baluchi Oriental Rugs, has opened Indian Grocery and Snacks with his wife Hema.
The couple opened the store in response to the Border closure and is focusing on obtaining items you cannot find easily in Australia.
“We provide of all of the best Indian products,” he said.
“All lentils, all spices and different types of broad products including from South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Filipino as well as Fiji Indians and many others.
“We have lots of masala, basmati rice, in fact 10 types of rice. Ones you’d find in Indian and South East cooking. Fresh youghurt and frozen vegetables from India.
“We will have things people would have had in their home town.”
As well as the grocery shop, Ravi has plans to expand into the shop next door and provide affordable, freshly made and pre-cooked vegan meals.
“We hope to expand and have six to eight vegan dishes,” he said.
“These will be wholesome, nutritious and filling.”
Ravi, who comes from Mumbai, loves living in Wodonga. He was a single parent to twin girls, Sharili and Sarine, for seven years before meeting his wife Hema. She has a son, Yuvraj.
Ravi maintains he would not have been able to raise his family in places like Melbourne and have a good business as well.
“I was a single parent for seven years,” he said.
“This community is beautiful and it’s very supportive. It’s unimaginable to be working and making a living in a place like Melbourne as well as be a single parent.
“Albury-Wodonga has made it easier. I always say in India life is on fifth gear, third gear in Melbourne and first gear here. I really love it here.”
The store is located in Tower Place at 2/157-161 High St.