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Vij's opens Surrey production plant

Haute Indian cuisine – made in Surrey? But of course.

One of the biggest names on the Vancouver culinary scene has brought part of his ever-expanding business to the edge of Cloverdale.

Vikram Vij, chef and restaurateur, has moved the frozen food production facility for his line of fresh-frozen entrees out of his Vancouver restaurant to 19466 55 Ave., Surrey.

“My goal is to elevate the love of Indian food in Canada," said Vij. "I can’t open up a restaurant in every city, but I can share my food through grocery stores for people to enjoy at home.”

The new production facility for Vij's Inspired Indian Cuisine is purpose-built.

"We found a great property on which to build our plant," account manager Allison Hepworth said. "It is a vibrant community to do business in, and is situated close to trucking routes."

Eight employees, not including head office personnel, work at the facility, which will have its grand opening in the fall.

Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala, who opened the original Vij's restaurant in 1994, began cooking – and selling – pre-packaged meals out of their second restaurant, Vij's Rangoli, in 2004.

The dishes, inspired by original recipes used at their restaurant, are flash-frozen and packed in boil-in-bag pouches.

Now the packaged meals are sold at more than 80 grocery stores in B.C. and across Canada.

The same cooks who make the dishes at the restaurant still make the food, but in a larger kitchen, under the direct guidance and quality control of the famed restaurateur.