For weeks, locals have been watching the transformation of the once gaudy purple building that held a gym turn from an eye sore into a newly refreshed business. The building no longer holds a gym. Its long neglected exterior has undergone an extensive renovation as has the inside. Now instead of the smell of warm hot bodies working-out, customers are lured inside by the smell of tantalizing hot samosas waiting to be bit into. This is the new business with the new look.
Manjinder and Amar Atwal moved to Princeton nine months ago from Surrey. They were not sure what they would think of small town life, but made the move looking for more for their young family. This started with the opening of a much anticipated taxi service in town.
Princeton Taxi opened shortly after the family arrived in town and Manjinder has become a local face most of the community knows now. He drove taxi down in the Lower Mainland and is at it again, but on a much smaller scale and as the owner and operator of his one car fleet. “Traffic was too busy in Surrey,” said Manjinder. “Everybody was always rushing. Life is easier here with more time for family and now when the taxi is slow, I can keep busy in our new store.”
From Princeton Taxi, the Atwal family, jumped to Princeton Grocery. “Everything for Princeton,” said Amar of the business names. Princeton Grocery sells produce from Sanderson farm in Keremeos. Following the growing season, the Atwals desire is to always carry local fresh vegetables and fruit. Right now that means cherries, peaches, apricots and tomatoes.
Besides produce, the store has a variety of ordinary staples including salt, vinegar and flour as well as, products like laundry detergent, muffin mix, cereal and a variety of canned goods. For a quick hunger fix there is all sorts of munchies – chips, pop, bottled water, chocolate bars and a small assortment of bulk food items have diversified the inventory enough that Princeton Grocery is a nice sized little corner store.
Open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week, the Atwals will be busy with their new store getting their new business gong strong. One of their main daily staples will be the delicious hot samosas that will be available all day long right at the front counter. “We wanted to open three years ago,” said Manjinder. “We wanted to find a good deal on a building and finally we found what we wanted. Everything here is for the people.”
The Atwals were motivated to make the move to Princeton by the desire to be closer to family. Amar said when family suggested they open a grocery store to sell local produce they decided to give the idea some thought. Now that idea has become a reality for the ambitious couple and their daughters Sahej and Anhed.
The Atwals welcome residents to come visit them in their new business and try one of their tasty samosas while they are there. There will be more inventory coming soon including some modern Indian clothing, shoes, purses, scarves and jewellery.