Gabbar – The Popular Street Food Vendor Of Trashigang Known For His Momos And Other Snacks

Email

Sonam Wangdi started his business in early 2008 in the dzongkhag. The 40-year-old entrepreneur began selling momo (dumplings) on foot.

Bhutanese momos. (Source: Pinterest/Bhutanesefood)

 

By Younten Tshedup | Kuensel

Surrounded by school children, Sonam Wangdi, also popularly known as Gabbar, is busy inside his white Maruti-Van in Trashigang.

His ‘crude’ form of food-truck serves some of the ‘best’ and is the only street-food service in Trashigang.

How Sonam started his business

Sonam Wangdi started his business in early 2008 in the dzongkhag. The 40-year-old entrepreneur began selling momo (dumplings) on foot.

 

Source: Kuensel

 

“I used to carry hot steaming momos on my back and go around town. It was a good business.”

With the profit he made from selling momos, he bought a van. He also tried his luck running a hotel.

“With no workers and competition from the rest of the business communities, I could not continue the hotel business.”

Having stayed in Samdrupjongkhar driving taxi for some time, he said that the   Bhutanese enjoyed Indian street food.

“I knew that if a business has to succeed, it has to be innovative but at the same time it has to please your customers.”

In 2013, he started selling Indian street food like pani-puri, chola-puri (gu-gu-ni), fried chana (chickpea), momo and shabalay among others.

Sonam’s snacks are crowd pleasers for both young and old

Demand for his snacks remains high among students till today. There are almost an equal number of adult customers as well.

Sonam Wangdi said that the demand continues for the snacks because there are no other outlets providing similar service.

“Children like the salty-sour flavours which is why my business is a success among them.”

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Gabbar arrives with his white van in three particular locations. The first destination is at the staff-room at the Trashigang middle secondary school. Sonam Wangdi and wife, Choney Wangmo, then drive to the hospital area.

Health workers, patients and their attendants alike, the crowd starts to pour in as soon as the van enters the hospital’s parking lot. After serving the crowd there, exactly at lunchtime, the couple leaves for the school.

Sonam’s popular snacks run out by 2pm

This is where the business peaks.

Students continue to swarm the van for the next one and half hours. “I was first recommended by my boy to have a taste. And now I cannot stay without eating a few pieces when Gabbar is here,” said a parent.

There are also incidences at times where a student approaches them without money. They give away snacks worth Nu 20 to Nu 40 for free. However, the couple is still able to make about Nu 6,000 in profit everyday.

“It is a good business and there is not much competition as of now,” said Sonam Wangdi.

Future plans for Sonam

The couple has plans for expansion. Sonam Wangdi said that he wants to open a sweetshop in Trashigang and gradually stop his food-van business.

“Bhutanese have a sweet-tooth for Indian sweets. And currently, there are no such shops which is why I want to try my luck in the business.”

Meanwhile, with people still stopping by the van, the couple usually close their business by 2pm.

“Everything is finished sir,” responds Sonam Wangdi to a person approaching the van. “We will be back here on Thursday same time, same place.”

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 

 


Related Posts

Food Review: Tantalise Your Tastebuds At Little Vietnam

Indulge in some delectable Vietnamese cuisine in a setting with tranquil ambience.

Jun 07, 2018 15:28

Dish8Door Delivers Food And Happiness Right To Your Doorstep

Dish8Door is a delivery service with the motto ‘You Pick, We Deliver’.

May 17, 2018 17:17

Food Review: Mk restaurant Serves Delectable Japanese and...

A great place for families and friends to savour delicious Japanese and Bhutanese cuisine.

May 06, 2018 15:38

Food Review: Paday’s Bistro

The menu is quite varied, ranging from continental dishes including pasta and steak to more ‘Asian style’ food such as a...

Mar 22, 2018 21:01

Constructive Steps Need To Be Taken For Bhutan To Become 100%...

Various measures need to be taken for Bhutan to become 100% organic by 2020.

Jun 06, 2018 15:26

Denmark to Support Bhutan’s Organic Agriculture

Bhutan officially launched the policy for organic farming in 2007 and proclaimed the intention to become a fully organic...

Oct 24, 2017 14:50

Latest

News

The Great Fourth King and Fifth King of Bhutan on Royal Tours amid the COVID-19 pandemic brought tears to many Bhutanese.

Many Bhutanese people eyes brimmed with tears. The heart was a knot of inexplicable emotions when they saw His Majesty the fourth King...

Oct 07, 2020 09:16

Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal...

Sep 22, 2020 09:39

Features

Ngultrum- The Bhutanese Currency but does Bhutanese address the money Nu or ?

Ngultrum is pegged at par with the Indian rupee. Ngultrum is the identity of the Bhutanese monetary system. But most Bhutanese refer to the...

Oct 23, 2020 16:00

Significance of the Stupa of two lovebirds across Lungtenzampa- the Bridge of Prophecy

According to the caretaker, many believe that couple who wishes to have children gets their wishes fulfilled if they pray at this sacred...

Oct 17, 2020 17:32

Sports

Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Business

Bhutan- The Kingdom of Peppers

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

Sep 26, 2020 09:15

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy to curb their...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15

Travel

Harvest Time in Bhutan- It is the happy time for peasants for the bountiful harvest

This time of the year, the lush green valleys and hills have turned into a mellow yellow field. Farmers are seen at their field to harvest...

Oct 26, 2020 12:52

Domestic Tourism to boost Local Economy in Bhutan

Although Bhutanese have not seen tourists for the last few months, locals are riding the bandwagon of being "tourists in one's own...

Oct 13, 2020 21:26

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!