The Empire Builder: Bonnie Saran, Westchester Chef & Restaurateur
The restaurant industry welcomes many paths inward, but, still—Saran’s path to owning five Westchester restaurants is strange. Raised in a military family in India, Saran holds a degree in business, but her first hospitality industry job was helping in her mother’s catering business in India. “Basically, what I did was design stages and sets. We launched Corona in India, we launched General Motors Ltd. in India and I worked with PepsiCo and Coca-Cola on a retainer basis. So, I used to have my own thing while I was studying for my degree.”
In the United States, Saran managed an Indian restaurant, which evolved into Saran managing that restaurant’s entire nine-unit group. “When I joined, they were not really doing well. My job was to figure out how they were losing money, and to identify how to get them to a financially viable position.” By 2010, when Saran opened Little Kabab Station, she had learned by heart the restaurant biz motto “keep it small, keep it all.” LKS held 12 seats and no liquor license, and employed all of four workers. Still, Saran gained the fandom of Martha Stewart—who tweeted and blogged about her—and Hillary and Bill Clinton became regulars. Now, with five restaurants, Saran employs close to 100 people.
LITTLE DRUNKEN CHEF | 36 East Main St., Mount Kisco
LITTLE MUMBAI MARKET | 475 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville
LITTLE KABAB STATION | Mount Kisco, New York
LITTLE SPICE BAZAAR | 27 Main St., Mt Kisco
LITTLE CREPE STREET | 29 Main St., Mt Kisco