Skip to main content

Sault’s Indian Mart helps international students feel at home


A taste of home can be difficult to find for many newcomers to Canada, but the new owners of the Indian Mart are doing their best to make it easier.

Neetu Neetu and husband Gaurav Khatri purchased the Sault’s only Indian grocery store in August.

Their goal, Neetu said, is ensuring everyone who steps through the doors finds something that reminds them of home.

“We have (an) influx of Indian students from different parts of India,” she said.

“Because India is a huge country, there is a huge multicultural and different religions. Everyone has their own taste so we were trying to build it under one roof.”

Khatri learned the business from the former owner as a store manager for a few months before the purchase was made.

Renovations came shortly after, allowing them to increase the number of items they sell and the variety.

In addition to the wide variety of Indian products, they sell items from Eastern Asia and Africa, as well.

Neetu said the reception to their changes has been great so far.

“Customers even tell us they see a huge difference when they used to come here earlier and then they come now, they’ll be like ‘oh wow you did an amazing job.’”

Monika Khandwal is a first-year student at Algoma University who was excited to hear about the store filled with items from her native country.

“It is really a joyful moment, you can say, to have something Indian which is not available in the city right now,” Khandwal said.

“And it’s our first semester -- we are not used to the things that are available here.”

The couple has even been known to take special order requests from customers, as they did for Riya Patel, another Algoma University student.

“Amul cheese is one of my favourites,” Patel said.

“I told Gaurav to bring the amul cheese for me, and he brought that product and it is over here… I was so excited to see it.”

Inflation has affected the Indian Mart like nearly all businesses.

The price of some items has increased, with others taking significantly longer to ship to the Sault -- as long as five months.

Rising costs came as a surprise to Khatri, but he said the strong customer base they have has helped.

“People are coming here,” he said.

“They are appreciating the business because they find everything that they need.”

The pair said they have fallen in love with the Sault and the residents.

Though adapting to winter is still an ongoing struggle for Neetu, she said they’re glad to be in the city and add to its multicultural fabric. Top Stories

Stay Connected