Kathmandu Market reopens with deli extension, emphasizes family spirit

Priyanka Karthikeyan/Staff

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Kathmandu Market — previously a convenience store for the past 40 years — has opened its doors on Telegraph Avenue as Kathmandu Market and Deli, adding a Nepalese twist to the diverse food culture of South Berkeley.

Kathmandu Market and Deli, which opened April 13 as first reported by Berkeleyside, is the fourth and latest installment in Deepak Singh’s family business. Deepak Singh runs the Kathmandu chain with his two sons, Daniel and Daryn, and his wife, Lila.

According to Daryn Singh, Deepak Singh’s youngest son and the general manager of the Kathmandu chain, Kathmandu Market and Deli serves authentic Nepalese dishes catered from the Kathmandu Restaurant on Solano Avenue in Albany.

“When I was little … my mother taught me how to cook and, since that, it registered in my head that I always wanted to cook,” Deepak Singh said. “I came to the U.S. … and I wanted to introduce my culture and food to the United States.”

kathmandu_priyanka_karthikeyan_staffDaryn Singh said the diverse cooking styles of the family are reflected in the menu, making the deli a “collective effort.” Deepak Singh added that he was never worried about competing with similar businesses in the area because the Singh family’s food is unique.

According to Daryn Singh, his vision for Kathmandu Market and Deli was to blend a convenience store, a market and a restaurant together. He added that the family is planning on expanding the store within the next few weeks to house fresh produce.

Dino Micheletti, owner of Romeo’s Coffee on Telegraph Avenue, said he believes Kathmandu Market and Deli is a great addition to the neighborhood. Sean Bartee, store manager of the Peet’s Coffee & Tea on Telegraph Avenue, said he appreciates how, with the addition of the market, there are fresh food options nearby.

Stefan Aguilar, an employee at Bows and Arrows on Telegraph Avenue, has been to the deli several times. Aguilar said he enjoys the food, most notably the veggie curry, adding that he believes that the store’s overall cleanliness will help attract customers.

According to Deepak Singh, his family has been in business in the East Bay for about 32 years, beginning with its first retail store, which opened in 1985. He added that the family’s first restaurant, Kathmandu Restaurant, opened in 1994. Deepak Singh said this year marks the family’s 23rd year in the restaurant business.

Daryn Singh, a first-generation college graduate from the University of Oklahoma, said he studied entrepreneurship because he was always interested in cultivating the family’s brand. He added that when a series of devastating earthquakes hit Nepal in 2015, the Singh family set up its own nonprofit to donate to the cause.

“Our culture is all about giving back,” Daryn Singh said. “We’re lucky to have this business as a platform.”

Contact Francesca Munsayac at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @fcfm_dc.