More than eight years ago, Amit moved from Pune to Chandigarh with his family in search of a job. Previously a food inspector, with both a love for food and knowledge of South Indian and Maharashtrian cuisines, he decided to explore the street food culture in Chandigarh and felt there was a need for dishes that were healthy, quick to eat, and served breakfast to office goers. So, he decided to take a break from a regular 9 to 5 routine and set up a street cart in Sector 15, an area with a big population of students and young professionals. He started selling poha, upma, idlis, and appe chutney and began to be known as ‘Appe Uncle’. He and his wife would follow the recipes they grew up with and make everything fresh to sell daily.
With the shutting down of the street vendor system in Chandigarh, Amit had no option but to collect funds to take a small booth in the sector on rent and he called it, ‘Shree Ganesh’. He gave jobs to street vendors who were out of work and then, there was no looking back.
From three-four dishes, Shree Ganesh now serves an array of all-time favourites – a variety of dosas, vada pav, dahi vada, pav bhaji, dabeli, tawa pulao, poha, upma, idli, filter coffee, and chutneys. “We are planning to start pure Maharashtrian cuisine now,” says Amit, who calls his venture Chennai Maratha, as he is from Pune and serves many Chennai specials. Apart from the Tricity, the business has expanded to cities in Haryana, and Himachal, and Amit says he attributes his success to authentic recipes, ingredients, and genuine rates, with prices starting from Rs 50 onwards.
“Our vadas and appe are a quick delicious snack, crisp on the outside, with a fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth interior. The dosa and idli batter is made fresh by us daily and our dosas have a variety of fillings with special masalas. We open as early as 7 am with fresh offerings,” sums up Amit.