Young: Okanagan immigrants bring entrepreneurial creativity

Ram Sapkota, greeted us at the door…Asian pictures everywhere gave us a feeling of far away.

Shall we go out to dine, and if so where, is a familiar mantra for many of us who attempt a ritual development with our Okanagan lifestyle.

During the nine years my wife and I have lived in this region, we have acquired a genuine fondness for Asian foods—Indian, Thai and Nepalese.

We have previously enjoyed on several occasions the fellowship and food from PapaDoms on Highway 97 North but it is a tad long drive from our West Kelowna home  when our stomachs are growling for food.

So, we are always on the lookout for something new other than ” fast food” on the Westside.

For the past several months, we often passed by next to my barber shop on Main Street in Westbank that reads Everest Indian & Nepalese Cuisine.

Finally, when circumstances made it possible, we stopped by to give it a try and what a pleasant surprise it was.

The owner, Ram Sapkota, greeted us at the door and seated us amidst the very nice tables and chairs with Asian pictures everywhere to give us a feeling of far away.

The meal was excellent, the wine superb and the personality of our host gave us a satisfied feeling that we had discovered a “ home” away from home when eating out.

As I was not very familiar with the restaurant, I sat down with Ram Sapkota to learn more about his business story.

I discovered quickly that Ram came to Canada alone at first in 2000 as an experienced Nepalese cook with a dream—to create a livelihood and future for a new wife and family in our safe and secure nation.

Much to my surprise, Ram found himself working in Alberta, Vancouver and two years in Toronto. With 20 years experience in the food industry, I sensed quickly that my new acquaintance wished to discover for himself an environment that would allow him to create his own entrepreneurial venture, one in which he could envision his own personal growth.

By 2003, Ram was married to his love from Nepal. In 2005, the couple visited the Okanagan and found it geographically compatible with their native country.

After settling here, the couple opened the first Everest restaurant on Lawrence Street in downtown Kelowna.

After two years, Ram discovered what he thought to be a better  location, 2430 Main Street in Westbank Town Centre where Everest is still located today.

The couple have two small children and together manage the restaurant.

Ram told me that Everest is doing quite well in the Westbank as people appear to enjoy his food and service.

The focus of his marketing promotion is to let Central Okanogan residents know that Everest is alive and well and to share in the Nepalese dining  experience.

So I encourage all my readers to check this restaurant out. Tell Ram that Joel sent you and share his dream of operating his own restaurant that has become a reality for this wonderful couple.

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