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Indian grocery store sets up shop

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A new Indian grocery store has launched on Glenstone Avenue, as its owners seek to bring more diversity to the Springfield food scene.

Bombay Bazaar opened Nov. 30 in the Plaza Towers Center. At 1915 S. Glenstone Ave., the grocery fills the space previously occupied by Leslie’s Mexican Cafe.

Nirav Patel, who co-owns the business with his wife Monali, said the business operates via Shree Umiya Mataji LLC. While he has some business ownership in his background, Patel said this venture marks the first of its kind for the couple, who married in March 2017.

“She’s familiar with the Indian culture a lot more than I am,” he said, noting his wife came to Springfield from India in September 2018. “We just thought we’d try it out and found a location, and the ball got rolling from there.”

The 4,300-square-foot store carries dozens of Indian items, Patel said, including various flours, breads, spices, masalas, chutneys and noodles. It features over 20 types of lentils, along with snacks, cookies and candies specific to the country. He said the grocery store will begin selling meats, including goat, ram and chicken, in the coming weeks.

“We’re slowly getting a list of things people want,” Patel said, noting customer requests will help fill out the grocery’s products.

Patel estimated startup costs were in the low six figures.

Patel said lease terms with Plaza Towers Center LLC are still being finalized, but he expects to sign a year-to-year deal for an undisclosed rate.

Patel moved to Springfield from Kansas City in January 2018 upon taking part ownership of Comfort Inn & Suites on North Glenstone Avenue. He will maintain his involvement with the hotel as operations manager while pursuing the new venture, adding Monali will be more active in the grocery’s day-to-day business.

The Patels also plan to sell some freshly prepared street food within the grocery, beginning in the spring.

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shelia wright

how exciting that we are getting another ethnic shop in town! we have shopped at lesli's for years and enjoy their new expanded location. i look forward to checking out this new shop.

Monday, December 2, 2019
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