London [United Kingdom], June 27: Asian couple Imran Gulzar and Iqra Zahoor haven’t solely popularised Matka Chai in Britain however their fundamental joint in London close to the Wembley stadium has grow to be a spot the place match-making is made, households and associates reunite and discussions round life happen.

At Cha Sha shops throughout London, Imran Gulzar and Iqra Zahoor don’t simply promote Matka Chai (sturdy tea) however in addition they reunite South Asian communities over their shared love of Matka Chai and by doing common occasions comparable to Chand Raat gatherings, Pakistani and Indian independence day celebrations, stay singing, ghazal stay singing, new yr’s eve countdown and plenty of extra comparable occasions which give households the prospect to get pleasure from themselves over a cup of Chai.

Imran Gulzar and Iqra Zahoor acquired married in London in 2017 and determined to begin a singular type of enterprise for the individuals residing in the UK. They determined to promote Chai, as there have been hardly any locations promoting it in London’s a number of Asian areas. With a number of nerves, they opened their first department with the identify of “Cha Sha” – a reference to how hundreds of thousands of South Asians every day ask one another about Chai, whether or not one desires to have a cup of Cha, sit collectively and have a bit of chat. The joint is located only some minutes’ stroll from the Wembley Stadium, house to soccer matches in addition to giant scale live shows. No higher technique to have interaction over a cup of tea.

Earlier than the couple determined to begin their café model and switch it into a well-liked family identify located on a brief stroll from the Wembley Stadium, Asian Cha or Karak Cha was bought in a bland means by one other franchise too however with out the normal Dhabba touch.

The couple began their Cha Sha cafes with conventional Indian and Pakistani truck arts design and décor of the cafes capturing the true spirit of Chai dhabbas in Pakistan and India: vibrant truck designs, matka, vintage utensils, mouth-watering desserts and snacks of rural and concrete Asian tradition. The seating preparations and furnishings inside and out of doors the venues for the Cha lovers to take a seat and revel in their Cha whereas listening to Coke Studio songs to remind them of their tradition again house.

Imran Gulzar is the mastermind behind this model. Imran gained recognition in the artist administration subject whereas working for famend South Asian TV channels. His spouse and enterprise associate Iqra is a Criminologist by occupation and holds the excellence of being amongst the primary Asian ladies to finish a grasp’s diploma in worldwide defence and safety from the UK Ministry of Defence.

Inside days of opening their first department of Cha Sha, the idea grew to become an instant hit on social media and South Asian Londoners from throughout the town began flocking to the venue to style the Chai to refresh reminiscences from again house. The legend grew and inside weeks, there have been queues outdoors the store and demand for the Matka Chai (sturdy tea) elevated.  Chai is often cooked with water, milk and sugar however Imran and Iqra added their very own particular ingredient to the tea and launched Matka chai and the Cha Sha mix which could be very standard amongst the youthful era.

South Asians have been consuming Chai for over 5000 years however it’s ready in other ways in totally different areas and households however the primary idea stays the identical.

Nevertheless, Imran and Iqra used a singular means of serving Chai in Matkas like they do in Pakistan and India to present it the genuine style and really feel of the actual desi chai style.

Imran Gulzar defined: “We made the choice to open our inaugural department in Wembley, a locality recognized for its important South Asian inhabitants. Surprisingly, our buyer base started to develop quickly, largely because of the energy of social media and the help of those that really helpful us inside their networks. Our clientele expanded past London with prospects coming from varied cities—a really joyous milestone for us. Chai is principally a well-liked beverage in India and Pakistan and is drunk as a favorite pastime in addition to a necessity in each south Asian gathering.”

Imran Gulzar mentioned that at present the couple are operating 4 Cha Sha branches; round 10 extra are close to completion in varied elements of the nation. He mentioned: “Each department has round 8-10 crew members. We’re very excited to broaden our crew with the opening of our new branches by the tip of this yr. We work as a household as Cha Sha signifies unity and care.”

Imran Gulzar says it was the distinctive idea of creating and branding Cha that hit off nicely. He shared: “Our mannequin had a singular idea of serving tea in Matkas right here in the UK as that was seen beforehand in rural areas of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Not solely may our prospects drink from it however they will solely take these Matkas house as a memento to remind them of their go to to Cha Sha. This was our means of giving again to society and lowering carbon emissions by not utilizing any plastic in our cafes. The leftover Matkas are buried in soil and after 30 days they flip again into soil.”

“Most people who go to to drink Cha are south Asian however individuals of all ethnicities benefit from the style of our tea and snacks as we provide all kinds of drinks and all the favored avenue meals discovered in India and Pakistan,” mentioned the entrepreneur.

Requested how he desires to maintain his distinctive ingredient; Imran Gulzar mentioned the couple have labored arduous to maintain their model very welcoming and buyer pleasant. He mentioned: “We prefer to hearken to what individuals need and introduce new drinks and snacks in keeping with their liking. In western nations there’s a big Pub idea the place households would go and spend hours socialising and having fun with their meals and drinks nonetheless, the Asian group all the time struggled to seek out such spots. So we now have tried introducing a halal Pub the place individuals can come with their kids, elders and kin and socialise over tea and snacks.  We now have additionally tried serving to these in want. It’s our coverage to present tea at no cost to anybody in want. If any buyer walks into any of our cafés and doesn’t have the means to pay for chai, we provide them the tea with no questions requested.”

Iqra Zahoor shared that there are teams of ladies who go to the place in the night to carry talks and have enjoyable. She mentioned she was enlightened to seek out when {couples} turned as much as meet her, revealing that they’d met for the primary time on the Cha Sha, exchanged numbers and acquired married. “There are teams of South Asian ladies who meet right here, talk about their points, their households and have developed sturdy help networks. A few of them do committees the place they put cash in a kitty and assist one another save. There are common poetry and guide trade classes.” She mentioned she may depend over a dozen {couples} up to now who grew to become life companions via their shared love of Cha at their venue.

A big variety of guests/prospects to the Cha Sha are college students from South Asian nations who get pleasure from Cha in teams and relive the reminiscences of again house. For them it’s a means of socialisation and networking and likewise a reminiscence down the lane of getting Chai and the important gup shup.

Imran and Iqra plan to take their distinctive model to each metropolis in the UK and are already in discussions with businessmen in a number of European nations with important Indian and Pakistani diaspora who imagine in having Cha in their lives.

Their philosophy is easy: “English go to pubs to unwind and chill out, have a pint of beer, wine or whisky. Our individuals don’t go to pubs and the precise place for them to chill out, unwind and gossip is a Chai Dhabba. Each serve the identical goal.”

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