Name: Monica Grover
Business: Bazaar Spices (https://www.bazaarspices.com/)
Monica is the co-owner of Bazaar Spices, Washington DC's first locally-owned and operated gourmet spice shop. Together with her husband, she is educating others about holistic traditions and incorporating natural approaches to cooking traditional dishes.
1. What led you to owning your own business?
My parents have owned their own business, a liquor/grocery/deli shop for over 43 years. My sisters and I grew up in the shop. I guess it was in my blood to be an entrepreneur. After leaving our jobs around the same time several years ago, my husband and I traveled a bit and fell in love with some of the markets, the colors and flavors of the spices, the sense of community and friendliness that we encountered. In a way, we wanted to replicate what we had experienced abroad and bring it home. Soon after we returned, we discovered Union Market and decided that that would be a great place to test our idea and open up Bazaar Spices.
2. What is your business philosophy?
"Flavor. Health. Soul." is our tag-line. We believe that everyone should be able to experience and have access to these things and Bazaar Spices provides the avenue. We want to build and nurture our community and we want people to leave having had an amazing experience.
3. What have you learned about yourself by owning your own business?
There's a lot that I can do on my own, but I need my husband, my community, for a lot of support as well. My husband and I are a team. There are things that he's really good at, things that I'm really good at. I can't accomplish it all alone.
4. What has been the most surprising thing for you?
It's actually quite surprising that I have my own shop. I knew that I was an entrepreneur at heart, but I never knew that I would, in a way, follow in my parents' footsteps of owning and operating my own shop with my husband. The retail industry can be a real hustle and I thought I always wanted to avoid it, but here I am and it's not too bad!
5. What advice would you give to a woman starting a new business endeavor?
You can do whatever you put your mind to.