Ankit moved to the United States from India in 2015 with one goal in mind: to support and grow his family’s business, Namaste Foodie, specializing in Indian street food spiced to perfection. A year later, Ankit enrolled at Howard Community College, with his sights set on earning an associate degree in culinary management from the Center for Hospitality and Culinary Studies.
“As an international student, the program offered everything I was looking for; not only an opportunity to expand my capabilities in the kitchen but to build my business skills, too,” said Ankit. “I learned how to build a business plan, promote the business using social media platforms, manage our accounting processes, prepare for visits from the health department, handle product purchasing and inventory, and improve the dining room experience to keep customers coming back.”
As a student, Ankit has also been challenged to think about new ways to prepare food, without use of his “go to” Indian spices. He has experimented a lot and learned what to do, and not to do, when it comes to preparing foods with more traditional ingredients. These challenges have helped him grow as a professional and think out of the box as a Chef.
“Everything I am learning at HCC is becoming part of my everyday routine at Namaste Foodie,” said Ankit. “I’m taking what I am learning and applying it to our business in so many ways. The program is so well designed and planned, and covers every aspect of how to successfully start, run, and improve a business.”
As he continues growing his family’s business, however, Ankit says customer satisfaction is the top priority, and is actually the best measurement of his success.
“When you sell food, and then see your customer enjoying it and smiling, or when they thank you for bringing delicious Indian food to the community that they haven’t been able to find anywhere else … that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “That is more motivating to me than making money. It’s why I love what I do.”
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