(Sizzling Tandoor / Westshore Town Centre)

Ahead of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting seven strong, influential women that not only head their businesses, they do so locally – right in our very own Westshore Town Centre.

On March 8th, the world collectively comes together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women – the day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific – it’s everywhere.

We’re also doing a special giveaway from each of the seven businesses we highlight this week – read below to find out what you can win!

Today, we meet Narpinder of Sizzling Tandoor, pictured above with her daughter, Kirn, and chat with her about what it means to be a woman in business in the Westshore:

Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a self-taught chef who started the business purely based on passion. I’m 51 and was a pharmacy technician prior to opening Sizzling Tandoor. I have two kids, 31 and 27. I was born in India but immigrated to Canada at 18 years old.

Tell us a little about your business: We are an Indian restaurant with three locations in Victoria. Often people think we are a franchise, but in fact we are a local family business. We have a food truck on the way, so the business is still expanding. Victoria is a growing community so people often have a perception of how they think an Indian restaurant is but when they check out our locations they will notice we put an equal emphasis on our food and our beverage program. We do great house cocktails and have a variety of mostly local wines, and local beers on tap.

What (or who) inspired you to open your restaurant? Years of hosting parties and being told I should open a restaurant always stuck with me, and finally when the kids were older, I thought it was a great opportunity. We also lucked out with timing and found a spot downtown that used to be an Indian restaurant.

What do you love the most about having a business in the Westshore? It’s a diverse and growing community! Westshore is such a developed place now, so it’s neat to be a part of that growth. Langford didn’t have much a couple decades ago, so it’s really cool to see how much it’s changed and to be able to serve the Langford, Sooke, Metchosin, etc. communities with our food.

What are some challenges about being a woman in business? People always assume the owner is a male. People mostly affiliate my husband as being the owner. Although we own it together, and that’s okay, it is disappointing that this assumption still exists. Most chefs, bartenders and managers tend to be men so as a female our ability in these roles tends to get questioned often. As women in these roles we shouldn’t have to work harder to prove ourselves, so hopefully this will change in the near future.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about starting their own business?

Don’t let the challenges stop you. If you’re passionate about something you will succeed. It may not be easy, but in the end it will be worth it.

You can find Narpinder at Sizzling Tandoor located in Westshore Town Centre at #129-2955 Phipps Road.
(Sizzling Tandoor / Westshore Town Centre)

CONTEST

To enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card to Sizzling Tandoor, please complete one or more of the following:

  1. LIKE Westshore Town Centre on Facebook, and leave a comment below once you have
  2. LIKE Sizzling Tandoor on Facebook and leave a comment below once you have (1 entry)
  3. COMMENT below with your favourite woman in business!

Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm (end date). One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter. Make sure to register when commenting below.

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.