An Indian grocery store is a grocery store that retails Indian-inspired food. They also sell important kitchen utensils, disposable items, cleaning materials, candy, alcohol, soft drinks, and self-care items. Todays grocery stores are great resources for products, making them important local resources.

The Indian grocery store is a subset of the grocery store industry in Canada and available statistics have it that as of December 2020, there were 15,344 grocery stores in Canada, and the market size of the Supermarkets and Grocery Stores industry in Canada is $99.1 billion CAD in 2022 and the market size is expected to increase by 0.9%

. Micro grocery stores, which employ between one and four employees, were the most widespread type of grocery store in Canada. There were 5,627 micro grocery stores located across Canada at this time.

Steps on How to Start an Indian Grocery Store in Canada

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering opening an Indian grocery store in Canada, you would need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process for your Indian grocery store should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will help you know what your potential market will be looking out for from an Indian grocery store and also help you operate your business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for Indian Grocery Stores in Canada?
  • Indian and Asian Communities
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Households
  • Everyone who resides in the location where you intend to open your grocery store.
b. Is Indian Grocery Store a Profitable Business in Canada?

Yes, the Indian grocery store in Canada is quite profitable because there were over one million registered Indians in Canada as of December 2019. The region with the largest Indian population was Ontario, with 218 thousand, followed by Manitoba, which counted 163 thousand Indians. The regions with the smallest Indian populations are Yukon, and Northwest Territories.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the Indian grocery store in Canada because the Indian grocery store is a niche idea in the grocery stores industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • India Bazaar
  • Queen Supermarket
  • Singal’s Indian Grocery Delivery
  • Panchvati Supermarket
  • India Grocers
  • Indian Groceries & Spices
  • Om India Food Centre
  • Fine India Grocers
  • Famous Indian Supermarket
  • Namaste Indian Supermarket
  • Trupti Enterprises Inc.
  • India Town Food & Spices
  • Vaishali’s Super Store Ltd
  • Bhullar’s Indian Grocery
  • Royal India Grocers
  • Indian Punjabi Bazaar Inc.
  • Bestway Food Market Pakistani & Indian Grocery Store
  • Little India Grocers
  • FoodAsia Indian Grocery
  • East Indian Supermarket.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Indian Grocery Store in Canada?

Yes, there are county and provincial regulations and zoning laws for grocery stores in Canada. Please note that zoning allows local governments to regulate which areas under their jurisdiction are allowed to have real estate or land used for particular purposes. Examples of zoning classifications include residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, or hotel/hospitality, among other designations.

f. Is There a Franchise for an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for Indian grocery stores in Canada, and here are some of them;

  • India Bazaar LLC
  • Singal’s Indian Grocery Delivery
  • Panchvati Supermarket
  • Kohler India
  • Batala Supermarket.
g. What Do You Need to Start an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Shop facility
  • Goods and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Supplies of different types and brands of Indian groceries
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for an Indian grocery store business are;

Creative Indian Grocery Store Business Name ideas
  • Tanya Raj© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Indian Supplies® Indian Grocery Stores, Ltd.
  • Anjali Ravi© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Uncle Deepak® Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Full Mart™ Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • The Games™ Indian Grocery Stores, Ltd.
  • Amit Light© Indian Grocery Stores
  • Grocery Manoj® Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Natasha Pranav© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Ravi John© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Red Mart® Indian Grocery Stores
  • Anisha Raju® Indian Grocery Stores
  • Abigail Sanjay™ Indian Grocery Stores
  • Rajeev Stores© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • N Priyanka® Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Saddle Valley™ Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Mitali Paul™ Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Philip Avinash© Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  • Green Mart® Indian Grocery Stores
  • The Horizon™ Indian Grocery Store, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Indian Grocery Store in Canada?

When it comes to opening an Indian grocery store in Canada, you have four options when it comes to the business structure to choose from, but, the one that most players in this line of business consider is a corporation. It is common to consider a corporation because it comes with limited liability.

Owners are not responsible for company debts or obligations. Besides, being incorporated is often a requirement when doing business with governments or other businesses and business income can be paid out in the form of salary or dividends, allowing you to optimize your tax situation.

Please note that all businesses in Canada must register their business names in their respective provinces or territories except for sole proprietorships that use only the owner’s legal name with no additions (except in Newfoundland and Labrador where sole proprietorships or partnerships don’t need to register their names).

b. Steps to Form a Corporation in Canada

To register as a corporation, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Incorporate your business through federal incorporation or provincial/territorial incorporation.
  • Get a federal business number and corporation income tax account from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • Register as an extra-provincial or extra-territorial corporation in all other Canadian jurisdictions where you plan to do business.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • General Business License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Food and Drinks Handlers’ License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections.
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?

You don’t need any certifications to open an Indian grocery store in Canada.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • Goods and Services Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • Council Permit
  • Business and liability insurance
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

If your new small business’s gross income exceeds $30,000, it is mandatory to register for GST/HST. (Note that this Small Supplier exemption doesn’t apply to all businesses: taxi and limousine services, for instance, always have to register for GST/HST.)

In order to be on the good books of the law when operating your Indian grocery store in Canada as a new business that is not making up $30,000, it is still to your advantage to register for GST/HST immediately because of Input Tax Credits, which are basically your way of getting back the GST/HST your business has paid out on purchases for business use.

If you are interested in finding out more information on the GST/HST, visit Answers to Common GST/HST Questions and/or the GST/HST library.

Register for Provincial Sales Tax (PST)

The next step to follow in order to ensure that your business is starting on the right footing is to ensure that you register for provincial sales tax (PST). For example, if you choose to start your business in Saskatchewan or British Columbia, or Manitoba, it is compulsory to register as a collector of provincial sales tax (PST).

But, if you decide to start your business in Quebec, you will need to register for Quebec Sales Tax (QST). Please note that some provinces have not harmonized their sales taxes with the federal goods and services tax (GST) and in those provinces, you will also have to register to collect and remit the appropriate provincial tax.

f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering opening an Indian grocery store in Canada, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?

The cost required to open an Indian grocery store in Canada may vary significantly, but a standard grocery store typically costs between $50,000 CAD and $200,000 CAD to set up.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Opening an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • The fee to file articles of incorporation federally is $200CAD
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $3,300 CAD
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $1,000 CAD
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500 CAD
  • Insurance – $2,400 CAD
  • Rent/Lease – $75,000 CAD
  • Other start-up expenses include stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000 CAD
  • Start-up Inventory – $65,000 CAD
  • Store Equipment (cash register, receipt issuing machines, POS, security, ventilation, signage) – $5,750 CAD
  • Shopping Carts, and Shopping Baskets – $5,000 CAD
  • Website: $750 CAD
  • Opening party: $3,000 CAD
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000 CAD
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • The size of the grocery store
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility (shopping mall, independent stores)
  • The type of groceries retailed in the shop and additional service offerings
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the Indian grocery store
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the store
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

In fact, it is not compulsory to build a new facility for your store, but, if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • Supplies (inventory expenses)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Rent
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer – $60,000 CAD Per Year
  • Shop Manager – $35,800 CAD Per Year
  • Merchandise Manager – $35,630,000 CAD Per Year
  • Cashier – $30,630,000 CAD Per Year
  • Sales Boys and Sales Girls – $27,100 CAD Per Year
  • Cleaners – $25,000 CAD Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 CAD Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Tanya Raj® Indian Grocery Stores, Inc. is a standard and registered grocery store that will be located on one of the busiest streets in Calgary, Alberta. We have been able to lease a facility that is big enough (a 15 thousand square foot facility) to fit into the kind of grocery store that we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece property directly opposite the largest residential estate in Calgary, Alberta.

b. Products and Service
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Atta, Ayurvedic, Candies & Cookies, Chutney
  • Cosmetics and Incense
  • Crockery, Dals & Beans, Dry Food
  • DVD/ Audio
  • Fasting Product, Flour, Frozen RTE
  • Generic, Ice-Cream, and Juice
  • Khakhra, Meat, and Milk Products
  • None Food, Noodles, Oil, Pan Masala, Pappad, Pickles, Produce
  • Rice, Sauces, Snacks, Soup Mix, Spices, Spices Mix
  • Other non-food items
  • Drugs and health products.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish an Indian grocery store that will make available a wide range of Indian-inspired goods and products from top brands at affordable prices to the residents of Calgary and other cities in Alberta where we intend to open chains of Indian grocery stores.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to build an Indian grocery store in Calgary, Alberta with franchises all across Canada.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of Indian grocery stores are to retail different types of Indian-inspired groceries to consumers.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Shop Manager (Owner)
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Cashier
  • Sales Boys and Sales Girls
  • Cleaners
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Ideal location for an Indian grocery store in Canada
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Access to wholesale supplies of different types of Indian-inspired groceries.
Weakness:
  • Financial constraints may restrict the publicity and branding of the business
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established Indian grocery stores and franchises in the city.
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want during the teething stage of the business.
Opportunities:
  • Low revenue volatility
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
Threat:
  • Shoplifting tendencies
  • The arrival of new and bigger Indian grocery stores within our market space
  • Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas amid the low demand during the pandemic will reduce industry profitability.
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
  • The government could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
b. How Do Indian Grocery Stores Make Money?

Indian grocery stores make money by selling the following products;

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Atta, Ayurvedic, Candies & Cookies, Chutney
  • Cosmetics and Incense
  • Crockery, Dals & Beans, Dry Food
  • DVD/ Audio
  • Fasting Product, Flour, Frozen RTE
  • Generic, Ice-Cream, and Juice
  • Khakhra, Meat, and Milk Products
  • None Food, Noodles, Oil, Pan Masala, Pappad, Pickles, Produce
  • Rice, Sauces, Snacks, Soup Mix, Spices, Spices Mix
  • Other non-food items
  • Drugs and health products
  • Franchise
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your Indian grocery store by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to Indian and Pakistani communities, guest houses, hospitals, restaurants, households, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your Indian grocery store is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products.
  • Join local grocery store associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

There is no uniform price for groceries because different groceries come with their own price.

b. How Much Profit Do Indian Grocery Store Owners Make a Year in Canada?

It depends, but the available report shows that on average, grocery store owners make anywhere from $60,000 up to around $150,000 or more. Location, size of store and whether it is a franchise affect the pay range. While grocery store owners on the top end earn more than a grocery store manager for a company, that is not the case on the low end of the range.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the grocery store
  • The types of groceries retailed in the shop
  • The location the grocery store is covering
  • The management style of the grocery store
  • The business approach of the grocery store
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the grocery store
  • The number of years the Indian grocery store is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of an Indian Grocery Store?

Conventional grocery stores make between 1 to 2 percent bottom-line profit, but stores like Whole Foods Market may generate between 5 to 12 percent profit. However, for small independent grocery stores, 1 to 4 percent is more typical. There are also a lot of factors that affect independent owners more, such as marketing, product costs, and shrinkage.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast of a grocery store. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Canada;

  • First Fiscal Year: $240,000 CAD
  • Second Fiscal Year: $350,000 CAD
  • Third Fiscal Year: $450,000 CAD
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Grocery Store?
  • The demography of the location as it relates to Indians, Pakistanis, and Asians
  • The demand for Indian groceries in the location
  • The purchasing power of residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of Indian grocery stores, and retail outlets that sell Indian inspired groceries in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What Province and City are Best to Open a Grocery Store?
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Quebec City, Quebec
  • Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia, Halifax
  • Manitoba, Winnipeg
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Brampton, Ontario
  • Hamilton, Ontario.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Indian Grocery Store?

You will need counter area equipment, trolleys, shopping baskets, computers and receipt issuing machines, a sound system (for playing music), and Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines).

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard grocery store, you should make plans to hire a competent shop manager (you can occupy this position), merchandize manager, account clerk or cashier, sales boys and sales girls, cleaners, and security guard.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no grocery store opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the grocery store, you will officially inform people in your city that your grocery store is open for business.

a. What Makes an Indian Grocery Store in Canada Successful?
  • Choose a good location and shop facility to launch the business
  • Make sure your shop is stocked with different types of Indian-inspired groceries (give your customers options)
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the Indian grocery store
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your Indian grocery store
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your Indian grocery store
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Indian Grocery Store?
  • The shop is open for the day’s work
  • The groceries are properly arranged
  • Walk-in customers are attended to
  • Deliveries of orders are made
  • Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Indian Grocery Store in Canada?
  • Excellent sales and marketing skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a shop environment
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration.