Grocer brings Indian café to city

Store owner DJ Bhatt signs off on a copy job for a customer.

Ashley Dwy

By adding an Indian grocery store and the Khana Khazana café to Gurukrupa Indian Grocery and Copy services, 1005 W. Lincoln Highway, current owner DJ Bhatt hoped to incorporate all-vegetarian food to DeKalb’s culture.

Gurukrupa Indian Grocery and Copy Services was a copy service to begin with, until Bhatt took over from the previous owner and added a grocery store two years ago.

The café opened last month, serving all Indian food.

“There is no other Indian café around, unless you go to Naperville or St. Charles, but that is 30–40 miles away,” Bhatt said.

The copy service has been around for the last 40 years, so it’s known by many students at NIU, Bhatt said.

“In the music department, we have to print a lot of posters, so I was here a lot when I first went to school at NIU — this place was pretty well-known to the music building,” employee Chris Kenney said.

Customers seem to like the incorporation of both the grocery store and the café along with what was originally the copy service.

“The best part is that [the café] is connected to the grocery store. I can take the Indian food home to cook, or I can grab snacks. The Indian taste is all authentic — all Indian bread, curries, pickles, everything,” customer Rajesh Joshi said.

Bhatt intends to add a pay-it-forward program to his store.

“It’s called From Community to Community, and is the target to feed people — especially students,” he said. “People can come in and basically eat for free.”

Anyone can contribute to a pool of free meals, Bhatt said.

Customers can buy a meal, and then pay extra to contribute any number of meals to the pool, allowing someone in need to get a free meal from the pool.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>Gurukrupa Indian Grocery and Copy Services is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.</p> <p>Khana Khazana Café is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.</p>” id=”40926eb3-930b-42c6-bfe2-a22b615ca5f5″ style-type=”info” title=”More Information” type=”relcontent”}}