Women’s bazar inspires Bengali food business launch

Rumi Sultana prepares some of her favourite dishes.

Rumi Sultana prepares some of her favourite dishes. - Credit: Archant

A former takeaway worker has launched her own Bengali food business, following a unique Manor Park networking event.

Held at The Royal Regency, in High Street North, last November’s Meena Bazar gathered together women to open up business pathways from a variety of different backgrounds.

One of those inspired to take her skills out into the community was Rumi Sultana, 37, of Manor Park Road.

Born in Bangladesh, Rumi came to the UK to study business before settling in Newham and now sells a range of traditional Bangladeshi food at fairs and events.

Specialising in rice cakes and cold dishes she hopes to open up her own shop one day.

“I went to the Boshakhi celebrations in Tower Hamlets and it really opened my eyes,” she explained.

“Then the bazaar last year showed how I could actually use my cooking skills to make a living and also offer something new to the community.

Most Read

“Although its Bangladeshi food it’s for everyone regardless of background and I’ve had some really good feedback so far.”

A joint venture between and Wisdom Pearl Ltd, Tribute Production Ltd and Newham Food Group, the bazar was organised by Hafsa Islam, 43, formerly of St Martin’s Avenue, East Ham.

Also born in Bangladesh, she hopes to feature Rumi and other budding businesswomen at Beckton market to celebrate International Mother Language Day

“It’s really exciting to see,” said Hafsa. “If I can help and inspire women like Suri to showcase their skills through business then I will do all I can.

“It can be difficult but by establishing themselves in education enterprise to break-down barriers which can hold people back

“Often people with language problems can end up sticking to their own community making it much harder to get a job or start a business, so hopefully we can encourage people out of their shell.”