Founder Aditya Bajaj, MBA '23, wants his grocery and deli to create social good while generating profit.

What problem/market need were you addressing when the business started?

Our main reason for the store was to make a quality service Indian grocery store available in the Seattle area. Currently, many people either have to go to the eastside to buy groceries or have them delivered, which consumes a good number of resources (gas consumed by customers or delivery drivers).

I also want to create an inclusive environment to ensure that our employees, communities, and customers are
all treated with respect. We are not just in this for the business but also for social good. SPC stands for social purpose corporation. It’s a special type of corp identified in Washington state that allows businesses to do social good while generating profit.

What has been the biggest challenge and the biggest reward throughout your journey?

Getting Spice SPC restarted and managing daily operations with quite a few unknowns. The biggest reward is the gratefulness from customers who are appreciative of a store in their vicinity, saving them time and energy traveling to the eastside.

Sandwich board advertising Spice SPC specialtiesWhat, if anything, did you learn at Albers that has helped you in running this business?

The Albers MBA program has given me a lot of strength through business-related learning, including but not limited to teams and decision making, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, and more. Professor Terry Foster’s negotiation class has helped me be a better negotiator, period. I have used these lessons in negotiating with the landlord, suppliers, and others. I am very glad that I am pursuing my MBA through Albers.

What’s next for the business?

Formalizing our social purpose plan and figuring out full day operations. Currently we’re running the store with limited hours on Monday to Thursday.

If you were to recommend one thing newcomers should taste at Spice SPC, what would it be?

That’s easy—the fresh potato pea samosa!

Two-sentence advice for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

There are always unanticipated issues that can inflate your budget. Plan carefully and add a lot of buffers in terms of dollars and time up front!