International students find taste of home

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March 26, 2021
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March 26, 2021

International students find taste of home

Manager Patel searches for a product in the aisles of his store. Photo: Heath Parish

Students find a taste of India, great food to cook and a friendly atmosphere in Radha Indian Grocers.

The store stocks everything from groceries and frozen foods to in-house baked goods and displays an impressive array of spices and dried foods.

Navjyot Kumar Patel, the store manager, said he sees a lot of students come to the store, most of them from Clemson, but a few from BJU. Patel said students are always welcome. “They are very friendly, and we will help them out a lot.”

According to Patel, many of the students who visit the store are from India and looking for specific food items that they have trouble finding in the U.S. He said often those students are pleasantly surprised to find exactly what they are looking for in Radha.

Radha Indian Grocers is located off of Woodruff Road, about
12 minutes from campus. Photo: Heath Parish

Patel said he and the other store staff members do their best to support students who visit the store often, occasionally by helping them pay for an Uber or even delivering their groceries.

Samuel Roshan, a BJU grad student studying ministry and leadership, goes about once a month to Radha Indian Grocers to find foods that remind him of his home in India.

“If I was missing some Indian food, I used to go and get some fast food or some basic items which can make [food] quickly,” Roshan said.

Roshan said he started going to Radha soon after arriving in the U.S. for the first time and has been shopping there since. He said the staff there are very friendly—whenever he was unable to find something he was looking for, staff members were quick to help or even make recommendations for something better.

Roshan said he found a few food items that he would recommend for college students because they are easy to keep in a dorm. Naan bread, Roshan said, goes well with lunch or dinner items. For breakfast he recommends puran poli, a dish made of sweet dough fried in a pan and eaten with ghee (a type of clarified butter) or milk. Roshan said this is one dish he often buys.

“It’s an easy breakfast, and kind of fills you very well,” Roshan said.

For a snack, Roshan recommends a samosa, a pastry made of potato and filled with meat or vegetables, made fresh in the store. “That is a must option to try.”

Manager Patel searches for a product in the aisles of his store.
Photo: Heath Parish

Stewart Ramakuri, a senior international student from India and business administration major, said he often visits Radha Indian Grocers to buy food for himself while he lives in the Greenville area during the summer. Ramakuri said the food is authentic, most likely shipped from India. Ramakuri said he would recommend shopping there to anyone wanting variety in flavor.

“If you’re looking for diversity and you’re looking for something different, then yes, it’s a great store to go by,” Ramakuri said. He occasionally buys basmati rice, a rice with a longer grain and distinctive flavor, and Priya Pickle, a hot but flavorful spice, as an easy college meal, one he said he would recommend.

According to Ramakuri, anyone can explore all the options Radha carries. “I would say just explore and try to learn how to cook Indian food,” Ramakuri said. “It’s a long process, but it’s worth it, because it’s tasty.”

Radha Indian Grocers is open throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is located at 9 Hendrix Drive.