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Global Columbus: Vijay Taxak

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Vijay Taxak, pictured Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, is a food scientist in Louisville and runs a grocery store and Indian restaurant in Columbus.
Vijay Taxak, pictured Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, is a food scientist in Louisville and runs a grocery store and Indian restaurant in Columbus.

Vijay Taxak

Born: New Dehli, India

Age: 33

Primary language: Hindi

Title: Owner, Apna Bazaar and Kitchen. The grocery store has been open since October 2011, and the kitchen opened Jan. 3. Taxak is also a food scientist for Fateh Imports in Louisville.

Education: Master of Science in Chemistry from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak

Family: Wife, Neha Taxak; and a 2-year-old son

Hobbies: I like to play soccer.

When and why did you come to the area?

I came in 2004 to work for Fateh Imports in Louisville. We analyze the food to make sure they are getting the right food and they don’t have any alteration or anything. I have a big experience in India to get the right food to get to people. That’s why they hired me. I know how to get the right products for the restaurants and the grocery stores.

How is business in Columbus?

Columbus is a great place for business. If you work hard to bring stuff to the people, they like it. We maintain the same taste and quality for years and years. Even though you can’t see us from the main road, people learn slowly from word-of-mouth.

What do you like best about your jobs?

I like to hear people say we are doing a good job and bringing a good thing to the town. I like to work hard and talk to the people.

Why should people try Apna Bazaar and Kitchen?

Whatever we set out on a plate, people go out and tell everyone about it. People here usually get only an Americanized taste, but we have really typical Indian food. We have typical south and north Indian food, other restaurants will just have a mix. But if you order a south Indian dish here, it has a south Indian flavor. Our Indo-Chinese dishes are also very popular.

What were some of your first impressions of the U.S.?

I like pretty much everything here. It’s a good setup with nice people. It’s a good way to enjoy the life.

What were some of the most difficult things to adjust to?

Adjusting was easy. I’m from the big city, where there are all kinds of people in the town. It didn’t take me any time to adjust, maybe a week.

What do you miss most about India?

I miss the food and the culture, but everything is great here. I don’t have any complaints. I visit India once every three years.

How have people reacted to you here in Columbus?

They’re nice people. I love it. It’s a small, quiet town. They are nice, great people. I have never had a single problem.

What’s your favorite place to visit and why?

Louisville, Ky. I like Bardstown Road a lot because it’s just like an Indian street. There are always people walking, and there are very nice, small shops, just like in India. The street is always busy with all kinds of people every day. That’s a great street if you want to sit on the street and watch people. It’s fun.

— Michelle Sokol

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