Editor's note: This summer, we followed the stories of several vendors at Brooklyn's popular—and competitive—outdoor market Smorgasburg. As the market draws to a close we're catching up with some of those vendors to learn about their next steps. Now up: vegetarian Indian sandwich stand Bombay Sandwich Co.
When we last spoke with Bombay Sandwich Co.'s Shiv Puri and Shikha Jain, they had just acquired the space for their first brick and mortar location. Now, after a few minor delays, they're working on the final touches to their Chelsea store at 48 West 27th Street. Puri is happy to report that they'll be open for business on November 18th.
Nothing ever goes according to plan when opening up a business in New York, but Puri felt that the process went rather smooth. They ended up only a week behind schedule and still on budget—thanks, he says, to the all planning they did over the last six months. "It's a great feeling seeing it all come together the way we had imagined, with no big surprises."
The space itself will be narrow: 7 feet wide and 100 feet long
seven feet wide by one hundred long, with windows all facing an American Society of Landscape Architects award winning plaza. The store's menu, as promised, will expand upon the foundation Puri and Jain built at Smorgasburg to include a line of smoothies with homemade almond milk, salads, and several new sandwiches like squash with kale and walnut chutney on a whole wheat hero.
With most of the work behind them and the store set to open in only a few weeks, what does Puri have to say about the experience?
"I'm thankful that it has, mostly, been really positive and empowering. Part of this is because I spent a lot of time making sure that I hired the right team," Puri said. He and his wife interviewed 10 to 15 architects and contractors who presented them with widely varying proposals and budgets. But he also stressed the importance of doing your diligence, and having someone to rely on.
"I like to think that I do my homework, show up prepared and help manage people's expectations to help all of the moving parts progress forward. It would've been a nightmare had I not been prepared. But, I would've been way too stressed out doing this alone—having a solid partner who you can count on is crucial."
About the author: Chris Crowley is the author of the Bronx Eats and Anatomy of A Smorgasburg Pop Up columns. Follow him on Twitter, if you'd like. In person, your best bet is the window seat at Neerob, or waiting in line at the Lechonera La Piranha trailer.