Raju and Mamta Sehgal are crediting the Sault’s Barbara Bruni as their source of inspiration behind opening their new Indian restaurant - Mom’s Kitchen - in the former Tech building (now known as the Sault Activities Centre).
After the couple were introduced to Bruni through a friend, Mamta became like a daughter to the Sault woman, the two enjoying a special chemistry.
Bruni cut the ribbon to officially open Mom’s Kitchen Feb. 2 and has been sharing Italian recipes with Mamta, the restaurant now including Bruni’s chicken soup and minestrone soup on its menu.
“She was so excited. We treat her like a Mom. We love her,” Raju said, speaking to SooToday.
“I am so touched that my cooking helped inspire Mamta to open a restaurant. It is wonderful that Mamta and I can share an appreciation of nourishing home cooked meals made with love. I am very excited about the opening of Mom’s Kitchen and wish them all the best,” Bruni said.
So far, business has been good thanks to word spreading through social media, Raju said.
Mom’s Kitchen offers both dine in and take out service, open every day from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m, Raju said.
“(While all customers of any age or background are welcome) I want Mom’s Kitchen to be for international students who are missing their families,” Mamta said.
Acknowledging that every good mother worries about if her son or daughter is eating properly while away from home to attend college or university, Raju said with a smile “that is our vision for students to say ‘don’t worry Mom, I’m going every day to Mom’s Kitchen in the Sault.’”
The restaurant, over the past few days, has attracted international students from India and The Philippines.
While naturally concentrating on serving Indian food, the couple is also serving Thai and Filipino food.
“It is our vision to give a healthy diet to all people in the community at a good price. Our vision is to take care of everyone with food that’s good for them,” Raju said.
The eatery’s food is prepared and cooked with a healthy Indian oil.
The Mom’s Kitchen menu includes daily specials such as Chulay Puri Halwa - consisting of chick peas, curry, Indian bread and a sweet dish - along with chicken curry, spicy Thai food, vegetable fried rice, plain rice, zeera rice and lots of salad to give Saultites healthier food alternatives.
Raju and Mamta Sehgal emigrated to Canada from India in January 2020.
“We like the place. People are so nice. We think it is the Almighty’s blessing on us (to be in Sault Ste. Marie),” Raju said.
“The people here are very good,” Mamta said, adding she and Raju don’t mind the cold Canadian winters.
“The beauty of this city is in the winters,” Raju said, comparing the moonlit nights of India with the ‘winter wonderland’ that is Canada.
With such an emphasis on mothers, the couple interestingly stated they do not celebrate Mother’s Day in May.
“Every day is Mother’s Day,” Raju said, as mothers are especially admired and revered in Indian society.