A Vancouver British Columbia Canadian Immigrant Success Story
It’s November 1977; a young, deeply religious, Sikh man with God in his heart and obedience in his soul, moves in spirit from Bombay, India, to conquer the world with a purpose to fulfill a dream of succeeding in a foreign country.That country – Canada!
With a courageous outlook in life and a willingness to confront change, Mr. Rachhpal Gupta, after deep thought and prayer, makes a decision that will prove to be one of the most important ones in his life. To move from his homeland to face the unknown, leaving his security at home, not knowing what he may face ahead in the future.
In the month of November, in the cold beginning of a Canadian winter, Rachhpal Gupta arrives in Canada with only about $5.00 in his pocket.Trusting in his Creator to guide him, he felt secure in his faith that he would be supported as needed to get a start in a new country, Canada.
The brotherhood of his Sikh comrades came to his rescue, and the Temple of support offered was all that was needed to help him along.
Rachhpal acquired a job in Lynn Valley, BC as a machinist and worked there for five years. What a great way to make a step up from where he was. But a step forward was always on his mind, and after working at another job in restaurant management he decided to take the ultimate plunge.
Another courageous action would be taken – to open a restaurant. On Feb 1, 1978, India Gate Restaurant would open to caress the taste buds of the Vancouver Down-Town Community.
Vancouver residents would be treated to a surprise of Cultural Cuisine that they had never experienced before. The adventure of two cultures meeting proved to be a marriage of gourmet enjoyment and a friendship grew and grew and over time a dream would be realized.
The young man who left his parents farm in India was now a success story, blessing his parents with a story of achievement that would leave them feeling fulfilled in spirit.
A new day would dawn when he was introduced to his love of his life and he married in 1974 to Satinder Gupta. Satinder, a well-educated lady studied to be a teacher but decided she would join her husband in achieving the restaurant dream of success together.
Word of mouth was spreading and an article by James Barber gave an additional boost to the restaurant’s popularity.
Life was good; the restaurant business delivered. After hard work late nights and early morning rising with the sun shining bright to each new day, blessings were bestowed upon this deeply religious Sikh Canadians.
Mr. and Mrs. Gupta would later have two beautiful children, Jagdeep, a doctor and the other, Gurmeet, dedicated to the family restaurant business. To this day, after sixteen years and working eight to twelve hours a day seven days a week, Gurmeet is still working hard to keep the “Gate to India Food” open. It is one of the most successful Indian restaurants in Vancouver and one of the first.
Gurmeet Gupta has found many challenges in keeping the restaurant flourishing with the change in economic currents highs and lows. Real estate prices are soaring. Businesses in Vancouver are coming and going and established clientele having to move away from the downtown core left Gurmeet with the constant need to promote and he had to find ways to bring in new customers and is always working extra hard to deliver in quality of food, service, and pricing.
His synergistic approach seems to be paying off. Having found that right balance is always a smart and productive way to go forward.
With the cost of living going up and the fluctuation of the dollar being a concern, it is difficult to afford high wages and keep productive, quality staff that enjoy working in the restaurant industry. Despite the challenges India Gate has a bright future ahead and will remain,
The Gate Way to an India Cuisine to be lived, loved and remembered.From all the staff at AJJ and from all the Canadian and international public you have served over the years, May the sun never set on your success.
Columnist, Patrick Vancrooner