Penticton will be getting a dash of global flair when Oliver’s Global Grocers open their new storefront at the end of April.
The Penticton store will be just like Oliver’s in offering a global selection of food from Indian to Italian, El Salvadoran, Portugeuse, Mexican, Spain, China, Japan and Thailand.
“Food connects everybody, you don’t need a language for it,” said Riz Gaba, one of the owners of the store. “Food is always a conversation starter as well.”
Riz and her husband Depak’s next planned expansion is into Mediterranean food.
“We wanted our customers not to just walk in the store, pick up their groceries and walk out,” said Gaba. “A person should walk in and they should be excited and thinking, ‘Let’s go and see what new things they have.’”
One of the things that the couple has seen since COVID-19 was a rise in the number of younger people who started coming in. The couple enjoys taking the time to talk with their customers about what they have in the store and how to use it, as well as offering smaller packages of items for customers to try out.
The new Penticton location on Main Street is almost ready to go as the couple waits for shelving and containers to arrive and a few renovations to be completed.
“My husband I are big foodies, we love food. Any food is a good food,” said Gaba. “Carbs, a lot of carbs and sugar, bring any food to me I’ll have it.”
The couple immigrated to Oliver and took over the store in 2017 after spending 15 years in the United Kingdom, where Depak had worked as a program analyst and Riz as a care specialist with children with autism.
“We had always dreamed of owning our own business,” said Riz. “We wanted to be close to our family, we wanted to be close to nature, and we were looking for a change in our life.”
The couple had initially managed the store for their aunt and uncle, before buying it out after three years. The plan had been to open the Penticton store in 2020, but that had to be put on hold due to COVID-19.
Before they had bought the business, they had spent their time learning and getting to know their customers, and expanding on what the store had available.
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