From Mumbai's Heart to Calgary's Plate: Mumbai Bites

In the midst of a pandemic, in July 2020, three hospitality friends, Resham Singh, Rahul Choudhary, and Mayur Kunte, embarked on an ambitious venture - Mumbai Bites. Drawing inspiration from the bustling streets of Mumbai, their home city, the trio conceptualized a restaurant that would serve authentic Mumbai-inspired street food in the heart of Calgary. Singh shares, “The idea was born out of a desire to introduce Calgarians to the diverse and mouthwatering delicacies of our childhood.”

Navigating New Horizons
As immigrants venturing into a new country’s business landscape, the directors of Mumbai Bites found themselves warmly embraced by the community. They felt a genuine acceptance from their fellow Canadians, with no judgment towards their venture. Kunte says, “Our Vada Pav, a Mumbai street food delicacy, has been hailed as a vegan substitute for the quintessential Canadian burger, winning hearts and taste buds alike. Calgarians have wholeheartedly embraced this non-Canadian food truck/business, exemplified by our recent accolade - the Best Alternative Healthier Vegetarian Award for the Mumbai Vada Pav at the Stampede 2023.” 

Trials and Triumphs
Mumbai Bites’ journey has been a blend of fun and hard work, fueled by passion and dedication. The directors made personal sacrifices, striking a balance between family life and entrepreneurship. Choudhary,  “Like any small business, we encountered challenges, including the impact of inflation on menu prices and navigating tax obligations. Managing staffing issues and commissions to third-party delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash also presented unexpected hurdles.”

Like any small business, we encountered challenges, including the impact of inflation on menu prices and navigating tax obligations.

Striking a Balance: Quality and Affordability
In the face of rising costs, the team at Mumbai Bites has mastered the art of maintaining quality without compromising on affordability. Choudhary says, “Menu restructuring every 3-6 months allows us to stay cost-effective and keeps patrons excited about new offerings. We have nurtured strong relationships with local suppliers, keeping an eye on the market for the best deals on high-quality ingredients.”

Calgary’s Hospitality: A Warm Embrace
The hospitality business in Calgary has warmly embraced Mumbai Bites, from their food truck to dine-in locations. Singh adds, “The support and acceptance from patrons have been heartwarming. However, one desired change is to encourage more in-person dining instead of relying heavily on online orders, as the high commission (around 30%) paid to third-party delivery apps impacts the small business significantly. Additionally, tackling the ongoing challenge of rising costs and seeking more government support for small businesses remains a priority.”

The Menu: An Ever-Evolving Delight
Constantly striving to excite their audience, Mumbai Bites refreshes its menu every few months. Kunte says, “We conduct meticulous research on costing and flavor acceptance before unveiling new dishes. From street food to Mumbai-inspired curries, kebabs, and Indo-Chinese delights, our culinary journey remains a thrilling exploration of taste and innovation.”

Anjali Shetty
Written by

Anjali Shetty

A seasoned journalist with 14 years of experience in the field, I have a diverse portfolio of work, covering a wide range of topics from news and entertainment to food and lifestyle. Navigating the world of parenting now, I am inspired to share my insights and experiences on this beautiful and challenging adventure. Writing about Marathi cinema is a passion of mine, as I find immense joy in unraveling the cultural that this industry offers.