SUNBIZ

A Mother’s legacy Lives On In Nausori

Ask anyone in Nausori where Tara’s Supermarket is located and they will quickly point it out. Located in the centre of Nausori Town, Tara’s is well-known for its friendly service
26 Aug 2017 11:00
A Mother’s legacy Lives On In Nausori
Mahendra Patel at Tara’s Supermarket. Photo: Monica Aguilar.

Ask anyone in Nausori where Tara’s Supermarket is located and they will quickly point it out.

Located in the centre of Nausori Town, Tara’s is well-known for its friendly service and late shopping hours.

With many in the Tailevu, Rewa and Naitasiri province constantly commuting by bus and van to the capital for work and studies, Tara’s is their final stop for grocery shopping before heading home.

Though small in size, Tara’s Supermarket caters for the growing village and community canteen owners in the three provinces.

 

Move to Fiji

The mini supermarket and milkbar opened its doors in 1982 through Mahendra Patel and his mother, Tara Ben.

Mr Patel moved from India with his siblings and mother ten years earlier in 1972.

He and his brothers, Sashi Khan Patel, Vashan Patel and Vijay Patel lived with their uncle during that time.

Their Uncle supported the siblings’ education while they worked for him.

Mr Patel later worked for Ashabhai & Co Limited after completing his studies. Soon after, he joined his mother’s business.

If he is not at his shop seated at the same spot acknowledging his customers, Mr Patel is often found at the nearby pool-table stall near his shop. There he unwinds and meets up with his Nausori mates.

He knows most of his regular customers by name.

 

Growing Business

“From one small shop, we have grown into four levels and we hope to keep growing,” Mr Patel said.

Aside from continuing his mother’s legacy, Mr Patel now owns six properties in Nausori through investments totaling $8 million.

For Tara’s Supermarket, he has invested about $1.5million throughout the years.

While some shops in the main street have closed since the relocation of the Nausori bus-stand, Tara’s has in fact gained more customers.

 

Better Price, Better Service

Saturday is always a big day.  It’s a common sight to find a packed Tara’s Supermarket.

Night shoppers who are mostly Nausori market vendors flood the supermarket It’s always bustling well after 9.30pm.

Mr Patel said his biggest challenge is selling goods cheaper than supermarket chains.

“I sell at a cheaper price because I want people to have in their mind that Tara’s Supermarket is cheaper to go to,” said Mr Patel.

There are plans to expand the business in other parts of Fiji.

This is a goal Mr Patel hopes to achieve in the coming years.

With the dedication and commitment he has shown in the past 35 years, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a reality.

Tara’s Supermarket is open seven days a week.

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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