Cafe India SLC
Female owned & operated home-style catering
By Ted Scheffler
Home-style Indian Fare
As a single mother far away from her home country and without immediate family except for her sixteen-year-old son, Vini Joseph has had to rely on her own ingenuity, creativity and self-sufficiency in starting and operating her catering business, Cafe India SLC.
Formerly an IT business analyst, Joseph was motivated to introduce Utahns to home-style fresh Indian foods. She says, “When I first came to Utah about ten years ago to study, I noticed that a lot of students who came at the same time were away from their families and didn’t know how to cook. Fortunately, I felt bless that I had the opportunity to have already learned that skill from my mom.” She continues, “I heard horror stories from my friends and students who worked at restaurants, who shared their experiences of how food was stored for over two-to-three weeks before it is served at those restaurants.”
That’s when Vini got the idea of owning a food business offering fresh, home-style foods “not just for those that are away from their families, but also to bring a new home-styled food addition to the community I live in.”
Cooking with Love
Joseph says that she believes “When food is prepared with dedication and love, it can’t go unnoticed for too long.” She cooks from scratch, using fresh, hand-picked ingredients and eschewing pre-packaged ingredients from cans, jars or boxes, even creating her own in-house spice blend, marinades, sauces and such. Cafe India SLC offerings range from curries and kebabs to vegan dishes and desserts such as pineapple cake and a traditional Indian vermicelli dessert.
Where There’s a Will…
Starting Cafe India SLC with her own savings, Vini says that while her business is a unique, female-operated one, her teenage son has been “very supportive and is available to help most of the time, except when he’s at school,” adding that “his education takes priority over everything else.”
When asked what sort of advice she might offer to someone considering starting a business similar to hers, Joseph says “It would be nice to have family members involved when starting a time-consuming business,” but philosophically adds, “If there is a will, there is a way.”