Subha Laxmi Grocery
When first entering Subha Laxmi Grocery, you are greeted with color. Shades of yellows, greens, blues, reds line the walls in flowers and artwork. The variety in the color of the décor of the store reflects the owner’s ultimate vision for the market. “I want to tell them [customers] about different tastes and different food items they use. All different language people, they come here and different culture people”.
Mr. Dhan Rimal, the owner of Subha Laxmi Grocery, came to Richmond in August 2010. He is originally from Bhutan, but he lived as a refugee in Nepal for 20 years. He opened Subha Laxmi Grocery in January 2017, and it offers Richmond a wide variety of Bhutanese and Nepalese grocery items.
Subha Laxmi Grocery is a small market located on Blue Jay Lane that sells south Asian groceries, products, and clothing. According to Mr. Rimal, because a majority of customers are Bhutanese or Neplaese, rice is the best-selling product, followed by flour items, snacks and noodles. While the store does offer staples such as rice and flour, it also sells many unique meats, candies, and baked goods. In addition to food items, there is a room in the back where customers can purchase south Asian style clothing items such as saris. Subha Laxmi Grocery offers a variety of bright colors, styles, and material in its clothing selection.
The store is run by Mr. Rimal and his family, and he describes his days as “busy, busy, busy”. Mr. Rimal, however, is no stranger to hard work.
“In Nepal, I was a businessman over there too. I owned a transportation [company], like buses… Being a refugee, though, I managed to do something over there too”.
In 2010, Mr. Rimal and his family came to the United States. He obtained an entry level position working at a country club and later worked as a truck driver. He labored long days, sometimes as much as twenty-four hours. In 2013, he bought a house for his family, and in January 2017, he opened Subha Laxmi Grocery. He admits it gets tiring to maintain his level of busyness at the store; it often leaves him with little time to spend with his wife and children. Clearly, Mr. Rimal is committed to working hard to provide for his family.
Subha Laxmi Grocery is the result of Mr. Rimal’s determination and hard work. The store brings a greater diversity to Richmond by carrying Bhutanese and Nepalese products, but Mr. Rimal also wants to have diversity within the store itself.
“They [the customers] see, they taste, and then they come... People meet together. We try to put other things, other language people, other religion, other customs here.”
This store offers Richmond residents the opportunity to experience new tastes and clothes while supporting a family that has worked hard for the chance to offer the Richmond community south Asian culture. It is this commitment to the inclusivity of many different cultures that adds the most color to Subha Laxmi Grocery.
Visit Subha Laxmi Grocery, 1423 Blue Jay Lane, Richmond, VA