Job Title: Owner/Operator of Tiffin — India’s Fresh Kitchen
Even when she owned Zaika Indian Bistro and Wine Bar, Joti Dhanju was dreaming up concepts for what would become Tiffin — India’s Fresh Kitchen.
Wanting to “disrupt the stagnant Indian food industry,” Dhanju envisioned a restaurant that would offer customers a modern, fast-casual experience with high-quality, good value food and unique flavour profiles. After overseeing every part of the process herself, Dhanju opened Tiffin’s first location in 2017. “The Tiffin experience is the one you can only fully encompass when you visit — it’s a different concept than any of my other restaurants.”
Dhanju was conscious of the amount of waste Tiffin, a takeout restaurant, could produce. She started Dhanju Foods in order to create a proprietary sustainable service-wear line made with renewable materials, commercially composable materials and post-consumer material. Currently 80 per cent of Tiffin’s takeout containers are biodegradable, with plans underway to make it 100 per cent by 2021. “Sustainability is huge for us and is so important to the future of the takeout industry,” Dhanju says.
Dhanju now owns three Tiffin locations and has franchises in other cities in the works, all with the goal of developing one of the fastest-growing Indian brand restaurants in Canada. The popularity of her vision is evident in customer reactions: “I love watching first-time Tiffin customers absorb all the sensory smells and sights when they walk through the doors,” Dhanju says. “I am lucky to be able to reintroduce Indian food to the masses in a creative way. Tiffin might not look like a family business in a couple years, but I always want it to feel that way.”