This content is made possible by our sponsors. Learn more about our OBJ360 content studio here.

This Ottawa restaurant is bringing its flavours to America

Amish Mehra, GM of Ottawa restaurant East India Company

East India Company’s line of sauces are all about giving people the opportunity to make great Indian food at home – and soon, at-home chefs south of the border will have the same opportunity.

Over the next few months, East India Company, currently based out of Ottawa, is planning to expand its sauce business into American grocery stores.

“The sauces have really picked up over the last few years,” says Anish Mehra, general manager at East India Company. “People have become more open to the flavours and making them at home for their families.”

The East India Company’s sauce business initially began with making a butter chicken sauce for Farm Boy, but has since expanded to five types of sauces including vindaloo curry and coconut korma sauce. Their sauces are currently being sold at over 300 locations across Canada.

Due to the success of the sauces in Canada, the local restaurant is now planning to expand into the U.S. grocery market so Americans can experiment with Indian recipes at home.

“It feels like the U.S. is a few years behind Canada and they’re still not used to it the way we are here,” says Anish. “We really want to try to be the go-to choice for Indian cuisine.”

East India Company sauces

An Ottawa restaurant with local flavour

One of East India Company’s values is to make their sauces from clean, locally sourced ingredients, which is a unique selling point for the restaurant.

“We keep and maintain an extremely clean ingredient deck,” says Nitin. “There’s nothing in that bottle that we don’t produce as a restaurant.”

Most of East India Company’s sauces are manufactured right in Canada. Specifically, the bottles and caps are from Montreal; the spices are produced and roasted in Ontario; and produce like ginger, garlic and tomatoes are sourced from Ontario farmers whenever possible.

“We are very much a socially conscious enterprise,” says Nitin. “Our policies and procedures are geared toward the people that we work with and who work for us. There is no one in that supply chain who is not supported.”

Overall, their sauces aren’t just about making great Indian food, but about supporting their local economy, providing a place where their employees can thrive and serving their community.

In addition to their sauce business, East India Company has two restaurants in Ottawa on Somerset Street and Robertson Road.

When they first began their sauce business, Anish says most people would buy the sauces after coming to the restaurant so they could recreate the food they had at the restaurant at home. Now, he says that people have bought the sauces at the grocery store and have been inspired to check out the restaurant.

Above all, the brothers are happy that their sauce business has allowed people to experiment with Indian food at home.

Although all their sauces provide cooking guidelines, they’ve heard of people using the sauces to make pizza, shrimp dishes and pasta in addition to traditional Indian dishes.

“For us, both the restaurants and the sauces have always been about being ambassadors for our food and our culture,” says Nitin. “If you had to ask me what I’m excited about tomorrow, a year from now, 10 years from now, it’s continuing to feed people South Asian food and sharing a piece of our culture with the community.”