I am Grace Rai and a refugee from Bhutan. I grew up eating Nepali culture food and it became part of me. My own food carries a lot of warm feeling, memories, and always makes me feel home in a special and personal way. I truly believe food of our culture is our cultural identity and pride.
I still vividly remember while flying to America and a few weeks after moving here, I could not adjust to food of another culture and was left with frustration and unhappiness. One day, a lady named Muju visited us with Nepali food and while eating it my whole family felt home for the first time.
My family was blessed to have Muju, but many of my fellow immigrants are not. I know how does exactly it feel not to have access to food of our culture. I opened my first brick-and-mortar Muju store in Utica, NY to ensure our community has easy access to groceries from different countries under the same roof.
My husband, Ujjwal Rai, helped me to focus on technology to make Muju sustainable as well as to have tools to get Muju’s operations done quickly, efficiently, and effectively. We then approached our friend, Ayushi Batra for her counsel and help on technology. She developed Muju’s website and app that simple and users’ friendly. Now, our customers have option to put their order through our app and pay with their EBT, cash, and card.
After doing research, Ujjwal found that a lot of local ethnic stores like ours neither have resources to build technology nor adequate idea on, their brick-and-mortar could be obsolete sooner than we think as more people become familiar and comfortable with online shopping. Now, he and Aayushi are working on our app and website to allow local ethnic stores to use Muju’s technology to build their online presence and sell their products. Meanwhile, he is encouraging immigrants and refugees to use our store facilities as an incubator to start their own business.
Muju will continue to ensure that our community will have easy access to their food and be providing technological support to other stores like us who share the same vision.Thank you,
“Great price, wide range of selection, and free delivery. What can be better than this.”Amber Limbu
“Time l spend on running errands, now l can spend with my family.”Snow Lee
“During the winter, l don’t need to drive all my kids to the store anymore. Now, l click on Muju app and my order is freely delivered to me. No more driving in the snow.”Fatima Ahmed