That belief has served them well since 2001, the year they decided to open their first business – one that offered “eyebrow threading” – in an area of Lacey that was largely undeveloped at the time.
Eleven years later, they have opened their third business in the 9300 block of Martin Way, once again offering customers something new and different.
“We gave people a reason to come out here,” co-owner Dave Virk said.
The new endeavor is Masaala Chai Cafe, a cafe that, in addition to traditional coffee offerings, makes and sells authentic Indian chai tea, as well as Indian espresso and a mango and yogurt drink called mango lassi.
All three drinks are common and popular in India.
Chai tea is an Indian staple, sold at chai tea stands throughout the country, and Indian espresso is popular to drink at the movies or at the end of the day, he said.
Indian espresso is not as strong as Italian espresso, with Virk saying it is smoother and doesn’t leave you feeling jittery.
The Indian espresso is served neat, with whipped cream or foamed milk, or even with a little chocolate.
They make their own yogurt for the mango lassi, and the Masaala chai, also prepared on site, combines several spices – “Masaala” is the Hindi word for spice – into a drink that is sweet, has little caffeine and is thought to be good for the immune system because of its spices.
Another inspiration for opening the business, in addition to wanting to try something new and different, was to provide a cafe for customers and staff at their salon next door. Shingaar Salon & Day Spa, which offers eyebrow threading – a process in which cotton thread is used to shape the eyebrow instead of wax – opened in 2001. Curry Corner, in which the owners eschewed the food buffet for meals prepared fresh, opened in 2006, followed by the cafe.
Lacey City Councilman Lenny Greenstein, who used to run the Nationwide Insurance office across from the salon, has watched the business-minded couple over the years.
“They have really grown some good, solid businesses,” Greenstein said. He described the couple as “extremely hard workers,” who also have an eye for business.
Greenstein also recently attended a grand opening for the cafe, saying they have created a “nice, appealing location.”
The Virks already have some ideas for a fourth business. Dave Virk would like to open a party-supply business, while Harpreet Virk would like to open a yoga studio.
“I’m all about relaxing people,” she said. “That’s just my thing.”
Masaala Chai Cafe
Owners: Dave and Harpreet Virk
Location: 9323 Martin Way E. No. 100 Lacey, WA 98516
Years in business: Opened Jan. 14.
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.
Did you know? In addition to Masaala Chai Cafe, the Virks also run Shingaar Salon & Day Spa, which is next door to the cafe, and Curry Corner, an Indian restaurant in the same area. The couple also has taken to running, beginning with half-marathons, and now they have set their goals on participating in local and regional triathlons.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog