Aisles of Indian cuisine and ingredients, including spices, flour, rice and easy to prepare Indian meals, as well as a personal greeting from the owner are in store at India’s Quick Mart, a fairly new store at the northeast corner of Foothill Boulevard and Garey Avenue in Pomona.
The store, which opened about six months ago, looks like a typical convenience store from the outside, but inside it’s quite different.
It was started by Lalit Sharma, Narayan Tamrakar, and Rayen Shrestha, and opened on Sep. 25 of last year.
Tamrakar’s past experience informed the store’s vision. Tamrakar runs the store, Eye of Buddha on Second Street in the Claremont Village, sells imported gifts and decorative items.
“(Tamrakar) already has his own business in Claremont Village,” Sharma said. “We met up and made a plan that we could run a business together by helping each other.”
Sharma said they began working on the new store in May of last year.
“I already had experience in retail, so I already knew the things that we had to do, how to fix up the store and what we needed,” Sharma said. “(My wife) knows a lot of people in Claremont. She’s in the nails and beauty business… so her clientele came to the store and they told friends which helped the business.”
The store has many different types of products from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. “
All these four countries have similar … food,” Sharma said. “And our languages are almost the same except certain things, but it is one language called Urdu.”
Some of the items sold at the Quick Mart include Indian spices, easy-to-prepare-meals, jasmine rice, curry spices, flours, sweets and much more. They also sell statues and figures related to Buddha from Tamrakar’s Claremont store.
Kiran Gill, a resident of La Verne and shopper at India’s Quick Mart, appreciates the variety at the store.
“It’s nice to have a shop where they sell many types of food from my background, I don’t see many of these things at other stores,” Gill said.
Sharma appreciates that all different kinds of people support his new store.
“We started seeing people coming back and forth again and again,” Sharma said. “We were really happy about that. People from the colleges, people from La Verne, they are a big help to us to come in and buy things from us.”
Anna Collins, a Pomona resident, was a first-time shopper on Feb. 11. She said the store intrigued her after she learned about it from a friend.
“I decided to check it out and I think it’s really cool,” Collins said. “We have a place like this here where I can try these foods I wouldn’t normally eat.”
Sharma said he hopes to eventually open a kitchen, where they can cook Indian foods thanks to Shrestha’s background.
“(Shrestha) is a chef so we thought we could start a kitchen also, but we are still working on it,” said Sharma.
“We are trying to open up a kitchen for the community here, which includes Indian, American, as well as any other ethnic group we want to give them some great Indian food,” Sharma said.
Amar Devi, a resident of Pomona and customer of India’s Quick Mart, said the idea of them adding a kitchen would be great.
“More places having Indian food would definitely make me happy,” Devi said.
India’s Quick Mart is located at 101 W. Foothill Blvd., #16, Pomona and is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit indiasquickmart.com.
Joseph Chavez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.