Shazia’s Street Food celebrates five years in the business

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PEOPLE from Bury and beyond have developed a taste for Shazia’s Street Food, which this year is celebrating five years of dishing up home cooked authentic Indian food – and the empowerment of women.

Shazia Ansari threw a special party for her team and customers to celebrate the landmark anniversary of the business she started after giving up her job working in sales at a solicitor’s firm in Manchester.

Now, her customers come from far and wide to eat authentic Asian food at the Rochdale Road take-away, which also offers a dine-in service.

Her business evolved from the dine-for-two she started while still working in Manchester, realising there was a gap in the market for good quality Indian food– like the food she grew up eating as a child.

And following a trip to Goa in India with friends, she was inspired to take that further after sampling the food on offer on street food markets.

She said: “It is something I always wanted to do, I just wanted to challenge myself.

“I started with dine- for-two, cooking for my neighbours and friends.

“In 2015 I went to Goa with friends and we would go to the nicest hotels but always end up at a place which did street food. I said to my friends I am definitely going back and do food, and we took a picture of us there and they said when we get back you are going to do it.”

But Shazia wanted it to be more than just a business, she wanted it to be venture which transformed lives – which it has done for her workforce, all women, many of whom for the first time were given the opportunity to work.

Shazia said: “I made a conscious decision I just wanted women working with me and they are so talented as homemakers. At the same time these women are being empowered.

“Some could not speak English and it was about bringing them out of the house and showcasing what they could do

“Typically a takeaway such as this is run by men, but from my point of view these women are stronger and have so much more to bring to the table.

“They have now got financial independence and the confidence to interact with people outside their own community, they have built friendships.

“So many doors are open to them because of this opportunity, it really is exhilarating.

“We have created a great working environment.”

 

Shazia’s Street Food

 

And now Shazia said she has a bond with the team which spills over as good customer service and good food

She said: “I wanted to create something where people can come and eat and feel like it was home from home.

“People come from Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Burnley, Prestwich, Blackburn and South Manchester.

“We had a coach of people visiting Manchester from London. They had places to visit in Manchester and Shazia’s Street Food was on their list. They came for breakfast and had to come back before heading back to London. That was a huge compliment.

Although never complacent, Shazia says she likes to think that in the five years, the take-away has built a good reputation – and inspired other women to go into the food business.

 

Shazias Street Food

Shazia’s Street Food

 

Recalling starting the business, she said: ““It is so hard, you are consumed by your business, it takes patience, focus, you have to manage a team, its believing in yourself, not doubting yourself.

“It’s very tough. It’s hard work all the time, we got hit by Covid but thankfully, our customers have continued to support us and for that we are very grateful”

And Shazia says that the business is only as good as our present day.

“We have always got to deliver good food. We will never take shortcuts to make more profit,” she said, “It was never about chasing the money,” she says, “but about financial stability for me and my team.”

Shazia said: “It’s fantastic what has been created and I like to think it is different to the average takeaway.

“Not only do we offer amazing food but it is how we make people feel.

“I make the team feel amazing about themselves and in turn they will give exceptional customer service. And that is important to me – how we make people feel.”

The business is set up so her team have a work/home life balance with opening hours just during the day.

The fifth anniversary was marked by food, of course, with customers and family coming in to enjoy the day.

Shazia said:“For me it was a party for my team, we celebrated the first and second anniversary, missed third and fourth due to Covid, so the fifth had to be a welcome back celebration for my team.

“It was about having a good time and more importantly, to say thank you to our customers, because without them, we couldn’t do what we love to do.”

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Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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