Bhutanese New Yorkers can now feel a bit closer to home at the Bhutan Store where you can get local items ranging from red rice to dried chillies, herbal teas, you name it. The store was inaugurated yesterday in New York City. Besides food items, the store will also sell textiles, incense and essential oils. The shop will serve as a one-stop centre for all Cottage and Small Industry or CSI products from Bhutan.
The Bhutan Store will sell more than 45 Bhutanese products and 70 per cent of them will be agricultural produce.
The outlet was opened to meet the demand for locally produced goods and earn convertible currency.
A Bhutanese resident in New York City, in partnership with the Druksell Market, the CSI Aggregator in Bhutan, will operate the store.
‘‘When we talk about going Beyond Bhutan you’re talking about cross-border commerce. When we talk of cross-border commerce then we come across requirements, fulfilling regulatory requirements, fulfilling food certification requirements, these areas where we need to even adapt our product in terms of labeling or packaging,” said Sonam Chophel, the CEO of Druksell Market.
He added that the store is part of a public-private partnership with the Department of Industry. The government supported them with around Nu 2 M to start the store.
The Industry, Commerce and Employment Minister Karma Dorji who graced the virtual inaugural event said it is important to support such kind of business which will promote Bhutanese products and contribute to the economy.
“We also have the benefit if we can sell our products in outside countries. We also earn foreign reserves and thereby contributing to our economy and also creating employment and business opportunities for CSI players and the people that depend on agriculture so they have a good market and niche market.’’
A similar kind of store was opened in Perth in Australia last year. Currently, it is thriving as many Bhutanese reside in Western Australia.