Surinder is the Founder of Pure Punjabi, which she started in 2010, producing the Garam Masala she had learned from her mother, as a young girl. She later added Tandoori Masala, and the business remained with the production of these two products until Safia joined her in 2013.
Born and raised on the south coast of England, in Southsea, Portsmouth in Hampshire, Surinder grew up within a mainstream English environment, attending the girls Grammar School.
It was her mother, Seso, wishing to preserve the knowledge that she could pass to her daughter, who taught her how to cook traditional Punjabi food from scratch. From the age of 7-11 years old, she taught Surinder everything that her own mother and grand-mother had taught her. By the age of 11, Surinder had to be back home from school in time to cook the family dinner each night.
It was only at the tragically early death of her mother, when Safia was only 18 months old, that she realised the extent of the culinary knowledge and expertise that her mother had passed to her.
Whilst raising Safia and her two brothers, as a single mother, Surinder, who had qualified as a Personal Trainer while living in Johannesburg in 1999, and later qualified as a life coach & a performance coach on returning to England. Alongside this, she bought and renovated property, both as residential and buy-to-let. She continues some work as a personal trainer, looking after the health and well-being of a few remaining long-term clients.
In 2013, when Safia unexpectedly found herself between jobs, Surinder offered her the start up funds, support and guidance and a partnership to preserve, teach and promote their traditional North Indian food. When Surinder had founded Pure Punjabi in 2010, this was solely for the production of her mother’s recipes of Garam Masala and Tandoori Masala. These hand-produced jars were made and sold locally at small markets and food events, with no intention to expand the business until Safia actively joined the business in 2013.
Safia is the co-director of Pure Punjabi Ltd, a Top 8 UK Indian Cookery School, food events & products business.
The company focuses on the preservation and teaching of traditional cookery from Northern India, with Safia at the helm of all food production and kitchen management for corporate and wedding events, as well as menu development for both food products and services.
Their client work includes:
• A chairman at Citi Group
• The directors of The Billington Group
• The European director for a major hotel chain
• A ‘Masterchef: The Professionals” finalist and former sous-chef at The Ritz
• International celebrity personal trainers and nutritionists
• The founders of the Help for Heroes charity
Prior to joining Pure Punjabi, Safia served as an International Conference Producer, working with Fortune 500 companies to produce world class speaker line ups and conference agendas in New York, London and Amsterdam. Joining forces with Pure Punjabi’s founder in 2013, as co-director, Safia went onto reach the position of the top 3 Finalists in the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ category at The Enterprising Wiltshire Awards, achieved Great Taste Awards for the business, and was appointed as an International Gourmet Guru by Love Pulses, a campaign organised by The United Nations. She also represented Pure Punjabi at 10 Downing Street, as part of their success as being named one of the U.K. SmallBiz100.
In addition to her role at Pure Punjabi, Safia also works on a freelance basis for Front of House food service for a range of clients, both in the U.K. and abroad. The clientele profile includes royalty, A-list celebrities, sports professionals, film producers and heads of multinational corporations.
We were interviewed by the Telegraph shortly after launching our cookery school…
“How we turned our Punjabi home cooking into a thriving business
Read the rest of the Telegraph article by clicking here
A career crisis and a move back home had unexpected benefits for Safia Hothi-Bellamy and her mother Surinder, who now run the Pure Punjabi food company….”