The beginning of the journey saw myself being featured in the August issue of The Listing, the “go-to-guide of Royston and beyond”, this brilliant magazine has been the source of huge support and as a result of it I have formed some great friendships with the likes of Cath, Sharon, Kate & the team.
In early September, Archant journalist Rebecca Day wrote a piece about my background in the Royston Crow (our local newpaper). How surreal that was – a journalist really wanted to know about my story; somehow I was news and I could not believe it!
The rest of the media attention is history.
Later, as a result of Rebecca’s article, the BBC got in touch via BBC Asian Network for a one-to-one interview as did the Daily Star newspaper. It began to feel bizarre! Kirren Rathor’s report on BBC Asian Network went live during the same 24 hours as the Daily Star released their “Curry King” article about me. It happened that it was also National Curry Week and word began to spread quick.
During National Curry Week, we donated a pound from every order and pledged it to the Royston Poppy Appeal and raised hundreds of pounds for a wonderful cause. The Royston Tandoori team also paid tribute with a poppy wreath at the Remembrance Day service in Royston.
The BBC invited me back the following week to speak on Nihal’s live show at BBC Broadcasting House – what an experience – my first time in Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street. I wouldn’t have imagined any of this in my wildest dreams.
The honours just amounted and amounted. The Peter Jones Foundation and Peter Jones Enterprise Academy featured my story from my perspective on their websites. Word then spread all the way to Enam Ali MBE, the founder of the prestigious British Curry Awards, and he wrote a piece on me in Spice Business (arguably the most popular industry magazine in the Indian catering sector).
I can quite easily say it has well and truly been the best year of my life and I am so excited for what the future holds! The motive for this coming year is to achieve both in my studies at University of Hertfordshire & get my hands on some awards at the British Curry Awards!
It’s been nothing short of a dream come true but in no way was it easy. This year I have received astonishing support from the people of Royston and beyond, I’m still so overwhelmed by it! I would like to thank my family & friends, our loyal patrons, valued customers and most importantly the people of Royston!
Wishing you all the best for the year ahead – thank you ROYSTON, I promise to keep giving back to you!