OpenRoad Driver Volume 13 Issue 1 - Page 35

Volume 13 Issue 1 » 35 I’ll tell you what, I’ll advise anyone not to work with your spouse. It’s the worst thing you can do to yourself. You know why (laughing)... you can’t even fire them! You can’t even say I’m sorry I’m firing you, because they own 50% of the business. Having said that, I wouldn’t say don’t work with your spouse, but I would say put some boundaries. I was extremely proud of her getting the award as well because she’s been an integral part of bringing awareness of Indian cuisine and being the backbone of my businesses. But if you want to keep the romance going, don’t work with the spouse! You make no secret from the fact that a lot of your kitchen staff is female. Is that your doing, and is that from experience? It just seems that the women are such a tight-knit family with lots of close-knit relationships. Everyone is someone’s daughter-in-law, so-and-so’s mother-in-law or sister-in-law. There’s always some relationship. It’s a masala that works beautifully. There is a lot of love in our kitchens. To be honest, it’s not a formula that anyone should follow. It’s a little bit like if you took Elon Musk and how he started the journey of creating a brand new car. And saying this is what I am going to do. That’s what we did with Vij’s. We are the Tesla of creating different-style cuisine, and adopting a totally different style of handling the kitchen. It took 22 years to get to this point, but those 22 years have been the best journey ever. Talking about the journey, you just opened up a new flagship Vij’s Restaurant on Cambie in Vancouver. Tell me about your success and growth. What is your vision and where do you go from here? So I never see success as monetary success. What motivates me is I can be walking on the street and someone will say, “That’s Vikram Vij. He changed the way Indian food is eaten in this country.” That’s what motivates me. I want everybody to enjoy my cuisine, my culture, once a week. I think when you eat cuisines from different parts of the world, you build tolerances towards each other. When you build tolerances you actually understand more people. I am starting see a lot of your food in a lot of grocery stores, how many stores are offering your food? We are in all the Loblaws, Longos and Sobeys, and Whole Foods, and as soon as I get my final certification from the government I will be in all the Whole Foods across the border in the US. The reason I wanted to create that part of the business is because not everyone can come to the restaurant, so why not take the food to them somewhere? If you can’t come to Vij’s and you can’t cook one day, I want you to be able to open the bags up and enjoy. I didn’t make a quick meal. It’s preservative-free, i t’s home-cooked meals, and it’s like if your mother made you a goulash soup and said when you come home from work and you’re tired, enjoy this.