L G Pathak, was born in 1925 into a family of poor farmers in the Indian state
of Gujurat. When his father died the family moved to Kenya in search of a better
life. And they found one after opening a shop selling Indian sweets to fellow
immigrants longing for a taste of home.
By 1956 Kenya was changing so L.G. and his family set sail for Britain - the
‘Mother Country’. He arrived in a freezing November with just £5 in his pocket.
The only job he could get was cleaning sewers.
At this point my grandmother stepped forward and started making Indian sweets
and snacks in the tiny family kitchen. Soon word spread and the queues built up.
And my 10 year old dad started making deliveries all over London.
After a couple of years they opened a small shop behind Euston Station. It
sold all kind of Indian groceries. It became a roaring success. Partly because
they always sourced the best quality foodstuffs they could.
But after over ordering too many vegetables one time my grandfather decided
to pickle the extras. It proved a stroke of genius. Next he preserved freshly
ground spices in oil to create spice pastes that gave an authentic taste of
The business blossomed. And now it employs over 700 people worldwide.