Personal Touch Eatery & Catering has become one of Sarnia’s hotspots. By offering a new and irreplaceable dish on a daily basis, customers keep coming back wanting more. The food is unique, colourful, and most of all, delicious.
Chef and owner, Paresh Thakkar, opened Personal Touch in September 2011 and his hard work have been paying off ever since. Personal Touch is a lunch-oriented eatery, but it does not prevent customers from getting take-out for dinner. Thakkar describes his menu as “very eclectic”; not only does he use local ingredients, but he also focuses on bringing international flavours into his menu. Although customers’ favourites are the “Sweeet Home Alabama” sandwich and the “La Bomb-a” wrap, the daily feature will always be his main seller. Depending on what day it is, there is a different theme to each feature, whether it be curry, Mexican, vegetarian, or so forth.
Whenever he is not serving customers at the eatery, Thakkar is focusing on the catering side of the business. Catering is done on a client-by-client basis, so menus are customized to suit your specific needs. Thakkar already has experience in catering for a wide range of events; “I’ve done a little bit of everything –business luncheons, bridal and baby showers, weddings, and in-home functions.” You can also find Thakkar in Downtown Sarnia for First Fridays doing different types of demos to help increase awareness of Personal Touch and its catering services.
When Thakkar wanted to open Personal Touch, he saw how beneficial Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation was to new entrepreneurs. Thakkar explains, “They are very easy and informative as they help you design your business plan, set your targets and obtain financing.” He also showed an example of how SLBDC is geared towards the community and good at promoting local businesses they have worked with in the past. “When I needed windows to be tinted, I told SLBDC and they recommended someone who was their client and who they trusted to do a good job.”
He reminds new entrepreneurs that it is always good to seek help and look at the resources available to them. “Reach out to your mentors, whether that means similar businesses or places like the SLBDC, City of Sarnia, or Sarnia-Lambton’s Economic Partnership.” There could be one business that is competitive and refuse to help you, but there are many others who would be glad to answer any questions you have.
What Thakkar wishes he knew before opening his business is that there are additional costs that come up that you can never account for. “You’ll never know everything right off the bat.” However, all of the obstacles that business owners face are compensated with many benefits that only they can obtain. “It’s nice being able to do my own menu and be creative. It’s very rewarding seeing this place grow.”
Personal Touch Eatery & Catering is located at 144 Mitton St. and you can contact Paresh Thakkar at (519) 344-7070 to discuss your catering needs. Daily features and other information can be found on its Facebook page, Twitter page (@PT_Eatery) as well as its website, www.personaltoucheatery.ca. For professional inquiries, you can also find Paresh Thakkar on LinkedIn.