Pure Punjabi Ltd selected for SmallBiz100 2016

Pure Punjabi Surinder & Safia SmallBiz100 2016 winners

In the August of 2016, we were thrilled and delighted that our small business, Pure Punjabi, was selected for SmallBiz100 2016. We’d wanted to apply the year before, but circumstances had delayed us in getting our information together, while trying to run and expand the cookery school, food events and spice product business.

The application process.

SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi

Applications opened for the 2016 Small Business Saturday on the 1st of June and the deadline to apply was midnight of Thursday the 30th of June.

The application also required a video to be produced, but unfortunately, Safia was away in London when we realised, that we ideally needed to be at the same location, in order to put the video together and get it uploaded.



Not to be deterred, Safia set about recording the introduction and the ending to the video by balancing her iphone on a washing line in the London flat and then sending me the recordings via WhatsApp.

Meanwhile,at Pure Punjabi HQ in  Downton on the Hampshire /Wiltshire border, I set about editing various video clips and photos from previous pop-up restaurants, cookery schools and events from the last three years. I had never done any video editing or even opened the imovies application on my Macbook before, so this was initially somewhat challenging, however, I soon got to grips with it, although it took a solid couple of days to complete the video.

Here’s how the video turned out…luckily good enough to get us through!

We got the video uploaded to YouTube just in time, with the usual deadline angst, and then decided to forget all about it!  What absolute joy when we got the email to say that the decision had been made for the selection of the 100, and we had been chosen! Of course we had to keep absolutely quiet about it until the Small Business Saturday team in London were ready to release the details.

The Small Business Saturday campaign focuses upon featuring 100 small businesses from across the United Kingdom and from every sector and industry, over a period of 100 days. Each business is allocated a specific day, within the 100 day period, culminating in the final day, which is the first Saturday in December. This officially marks the first day of Christmas shopping. The campaign encourages the consumer to support small business by shopping locally and it highlights the contribution that the 5.4 million small businesses make to the economy.

The 100 days.

We were finally allowed to tell friends and family the exciting news about our selection as one of the SmallBiz100, once we got the official go-ahead from the Small Business Saturday team on the 12th of August. (The Guardian newspaper had actually printed the list of the chosen 100 that same day. Click here for the list of 2016 businesses).

As soon as we knew the names of the other 99 SmallBiz100, we immediately started connecting with them on Twitter and following them on Facebook and Instagram and starting to get involved in the campaign and raising awareness of small business.

However, in early August, we still didn’t know which of the 100 days would be ‘our’ company day? We knew that the campaign started on August the 26th, so when we asked which day would be ‘our’ day, we were really delighted to be told that…

we were Day 1…

and that we would be the first of the SmallBiz100 to be featured and would kick off the launch.


Having got to grips with imovie, we felt it was time to make a Day 1 thank you video.

On the big day, Friday the 26th of August, we were glued to our social media channels, from first thing until past midnight,  tweeting and posting on Facebook and Instagram as the Small Business Saturday team put out information about us, mainly on Twitter, throughout the day. Then over the next 99 days, we stayed extra-active on social media and connected with each of the other 99 small businesses as we watched their videos and learned about their businesses.

James Caan follows SmallBiz100 Pure Punjabi on Day 1 of Small Business Saturday
Just amazing to have James Caan as a Twitter follower!


The Blue Tie Ball

Although this was the 4th year of the Small Business Saturday campaign in the U.K. the London H.Q. had decided to hold the first Blue Tie Ball, to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital and to celebrate the life of SmallBiz alumni, Francesca Kemp.

SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
On the way to the ball!


On Thursday the 8th of September…wearing saris in shades of blue, we made our way to Bankside Hilton Hotel in London for a sumptuous dinner and the opportunity to meet the other SmallBiz100 and the Small Business Saturday team.







SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
Final check of the saris!
Pure Punjabi Surinder & Safia SmallBiz100 2016 winners
Pure Punjabi Surinder & Safia SmallBiz100 2016 official photo



SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
The tables are ready!
SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
Meeting other guests at the Blue Tie Ball
SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
Cathryn from the Small Business Saturday team
SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
Ben from Hygrove homes, named Small Business Saturday Champion at the Blue Tie Ball.
SmallBiz100 Blue Tie Ball Pure Punjabi
Alison Edgar – The Entrepreneur’s Godmother, named one of the top 50 most influential entrepreneurs in the U.K.


From Downton to Downing Street

The campaign neared the final days with an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime’s invitation for Pure Punjabi to attend a reception at No. 10 Downing Street. As only one person per business could attend, Safia had the privilege and honour of representing our business.


No. 10 Downing Street invitation for Pure Punjabi Small Business saturday SmallBiz100
A once-in-a-lifetime invitation


It was quite a surreal experience, especially when Safia was inside Downing Street, coming down the staircase looking at portraits of all the Prime Ministers and came level with the portrait of Winston Churchill, signed by the man himself. It’s certainly something to be remembered forever.

Pure Punjabi Ltd invited to No. 10 Downing Street as part of SmallBiz100 UKPure Punjabi Invited to No. 10 Downing Street

Pure Punjabi invited to No. 10 Downing Street
The official Downing Street photo

What would we say to other small businesses in 2017?

We’d thoroughly recommend that all small businesses, as well as consumers, get behind the Small Business Saturday campaign and make the effort to apply to be part of the SmallBiz100 chosen each year. We’d advise getting your video planned out well in advance and start collecting suitable photos, video clips, testimonials and product information as soon as possible. We found that using imovies to record our video was very user-friendly and easy to pick up, although some of the SmallBiz100 did have professional videos made.

The application process itself was very easy as well, and subscribing to the Small Business Saturday newsletter kept us informed. Our entry video was not only a collection or timeline of past events and achievements, but also closed with our plans for the future, which were to go global with e-learning video tuition of our cookery workshops. The filming had taken a year, but our strategy to have a plan to scale up on a global level across e-learning English speaking platforms and to show that we were planning for a future business that would embrace technology and the online digital world showed our potential for future business growth.

We’re so glad that we took the time to stop working in our business and work on it by making the application for SmallBiz100. It’s been a fantastic experience!

We’re happy to share our experience or give more details of the process and what we would do or not do differently

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If you know a great small U.K. business, then forward this to them!

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Customer Reviews

Indian Meal kits, Dinner Kits & Gift Boxes

Customer Reviews

Karen Taylor October 2018

We are having such fun cooking from The Spice Pack Collection and all the dishes have come out brilliantly. The smell is divine and Rob, who is very fussy, is particularly impressed. All our visitors are wowed when they smell the box – we’ve been too possessive to share any with others, as yet!

As a natural therapist I particularly appreciate the healthy aspect of each dish, none of which compromise on taste. Good ingredients freshly cooked makes a big difference.

We’re going on holiday with three other couples in a couple of weeks and going to take the pack with us to cook some dishes together.

Maria M / BBQ Meal Kit Box customer

“We had a BBQ for family and friends few weeks ago and we made the Lamb Kebabs & Coconut & Sesame Chutney and Crushed Tikka New Potatoes & Mango Chicken… We received such rave reviews!! All so easy to make with the spices and sauces all provided for us…food was all delicious!”

Chris & Debs - dinner kit with cook-along customer

“That was so fun…

Thank you for the zoom meet up. That was so fun. We will definitely be up for another. Please send another suitable invite and kit. We are predominately veggies so used the butternut squash version. If this continue the local takeaway will suffer for sure. Again thanks”.

Carol R. dinner kit with cook-along customer

“What a wonderful cookalong…

…The Mango Chicken was delicious and my naan bread actually looked amazing – like the real thing. I feel so successful. Thank you. Looking forward to our next cookalong”.

Pam Brown – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Thank you so much both…

– the class was amazing and we both really enjoyed the food. It makes so much difference knowing exactly how to do things and that we can make such tasty food which is gluten free. Jeera rice has always been my favourite but many restaurants don’t have it on the menu”.

Sylvia M – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Thank you so much...
... for a great hour of cooking on Saturday evening. I enjoyed it very much as I have never done anything like it before. The Punjabi chicken was delicious and we had enough to freeze for another time”.

Sue W – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Well that was amazing…
... the best curry I've ever had and Jxx said it was like being in India ( as he’s spent so much time there with work ) loved the class and so did Exxx looking forward to coming to your workshops…
…and will order some more kits from your website”

Roy P…dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Many thanks…
...for the cook–along workshop yesterday. It was very enjoyable and the meal tasted lovely. As someone who is not a confident cook it was ideal to follow your teaching. I have recommended this to a friend of mine who is very interested in joining the next cook–along. I will definitely be doing it again”.

Ellie Pipe

I highly recommend this lovely family run local company…

... We’ve enjoyed 2 of their meal kits now along with an online cook along to show us what to do. Thank you.

Diane McGillivray

I love them all and would highly recommend…

...If I had to choose one it would be the Mango chicken.