Quality and Service are key to my business
- Bombay Bazaar, Aurora, CO
Tuesday is usually a quiet day for the Indian grocery stores in metro Denver area. Many stores have a weekly off on this day, while some stores open in the evening. Bombay Bazaar is one of the oldest stores located centrally on the South Parker Road near I-225 junction that opens all seven days of the week. Most of the people in Colorado must be aware this as the ‘Desi’ area in Denver. Bombay Bazaar is conveniently located in a small strip mall, where there are other Indian businesses such as a vegetarian Indian restaurant, a jewelry shop along with other businesses.
Anybody who enters Bombay Bazaar finds a clean and serene atmosphere, which is rare in this domain, with well stacked, orderly goods, with overhead category labels. You always find the shelves full of stuff, which you can pick from a wide quantity. When DesiShades team entered the store, the owner Mr. Satnam Singh Bagga was listening to music and watching an Indian TV channel. DesiShades spent more than 30 minutes chatting with Mr.Bagga, to know about the store.
"I have been doing business for about 39 years. I started this store 15 years ago. In India, I was in the retail timber business. 15 years ago I chose to start an Indian grocery store. Denver being the IT and Telecom hub, most of my customers belong to a younger generation, and especially from the IT sector. As the needs of my customers evolved over time, my business has also adapted. I see my customers coming to Denver as bachelors, getting married and having kids over time. I have built strong relations with my customers. They call me Bagga uncle, and I find that endearing..." he continued.
Lately, there have been a lot of Indian grocery stores in this part of the town. Won't this create a lot of competition among this business? Mr.Bagga was very confident about his answer, "I have my own criteria in attracting the customers. I don't try to compete with others, not to disregard the other stores. I want my customers to find everything they want in their list. In their fast-paced lifestyles, I aim to fulfill their needs in the most efficient manner. This can be possible by keeping well stacked and quality groceries. He then added, "I may not be the cheapest in town but I always try not to compromise on the quality and variety in my products."
The store has overhead TVs all around showing Indian channels, including old Hindi movies and melodious music. One side of the store has an enormous collection of videos and music CDs, with a separate checkout register to mitigate long lines. The video rentals also have a great collection of Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam movies.
Mr. Bagga explains his passion towards music stating, "I have started the store with groceries and limited music. I am an ardent lover of music since my youth, and due to my customers’ interest in music, I expanded with a separate area for music and entertainment. I especially like classical music and oldies; you may see me listening to Mohammad Rafi, Sudha Raghunathan or Bhimsen Joshi. Though, I carry a wide variety of CDs and DVDs ranging from devotional, classical, to latest Bollywood.
DesiShades asked if Bombay Bazaar has any annual promotions and Mr.Bagga said, "I don't believe in special sales just to attract the customers. I want to keep the prices and quantities consistently low and affordable, with quality of service."
While talking to DesiShades, there were some customers who were shopping, and Mr.Bagga assisted them to pick their selections. He then continued with DesiShades, "The store is managed by my wife and I. We work all 7 days of the week. I love to work, and thrive to keep the store up-to-date. I never treat this as a mere job, but feel this is an integral part of my life."
Lastly DesiShades asked a question about the increasing prices of rice and pulses, and if it has any effect on the business. Mr.Bagga has answered "In US, the amount we spent on groceries is just a fraction of what we earn. I don't think this has significantly increased over time. These are natural products, which cannot be made artificially. I am just a bridge between the distributors and the customers. The hike in prices is not in my control, but I just want to keep the same quality and quantity of goods in the shop. We cannot change the food habits because of the increase in prices, but the best thing we can do is to reduce or avoid wastage of food".
It has been a very delightful experience to shop at this place, while listening to an old Hindi song. Customers feel that many shops in big cities in the East or West coast are not as good as Bombay Bazaar, in terms of aesthetics, neatness, range of products, quality and quantity of the products. And, remember if you are a music lover, try to stop by the music desk, and believe us, you will get that old number you have been searching for some time.