Having worked in sales in the past, Sangeeta set up her current business on Park View in Whitley Bay in December 2018 to follow her passion for cooking and North Indian cuisine. Since then, Sangeeta and her business have become involved in the local business community. Sangeeta tells us more about her business and her goals.
Tell us a bit more about yourself, Sangeeta
My name is Sangeeta Chopra and I’m the director of Namaste, Taste of India. We are based on Park View in Whitley Bay and we’re an Aladdin’s cave of authentic Indian food, ingredients, specialist gins and Indian cookware too.
I’ve always had a dream of owning a café or takeaway so when we opened Namaste I was over the moon to be able to cook and sell the food I’d learned to cook as I grew up. I’ve always watched my parents cook Punjabi cuisine and I strive to provide food that is different from the typical Indian food you’d find at your local takeaway.
I’ve worked in Sales for the majority of my career. I graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in marketing and management and went on to work for companies like British Airways, Barclays Bank and Orange.
Opening Namaste was a real dream for me and even the challenges of Covid haven’t stopped us thriving. I live in Shiremoor with my two boys, 10 and 8 – they’re my world.
How did you become a member of the management team?
I replied to an email that was sent out to all members a few months ago. I knew there would be lots of applications to join the management team so when I found I had been chosen as a new team member I was extremely proud and happy.
I’m hoping that my role on the management team will lead to helping other small businesses. I’ll be attending the meetings the Forum puts on for members. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the other member businesses and helping them to thrive and succeed in North Tyneside.
I’ll use my experience from my sales background as well as the knowledge I’ve gained since opening a hospitality business to help and advise other businesses.
How do you hope to make a difference as part of the team?
I think my business is different from others because I do retail and hospitality under one roof. I also offer cookery classes so I have a wide range of services. I think that makes me approach challenges in different ways, to keep all sides of my business busy and thriving.
I think I can relate to lots of similar businesses out there and bring new ideas to the management team, which will hopefully strengthen the current Forum.
I’ve been a member of the Forum for a while now and I’ve always enjoyed the events it runs and the community it has built on social media. I’ve received a lot of help and advice when I’ve needed it and am very grateful to have such a supportive community in our area. I would love to offer support, help and advice to others. Each business has its own approach and ways of dealing with situations so I hope to come on board and speak for similar businesses.
What other business connections do you have as part of your working life?
I’m a member of the Mussel Group, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Trade.
How do you see the Forum developing in the future?
I think the Forum can only get stronger. It’s always expanding with new members and the community is so diverse with so many different businesses involved.
I’d love to see more Business-to-Business events and trade fairs happening in North Tyneside as the business community starts getting back to normal in the coming months.