built

Meet the Mumbai family that built a Rs 25 Cr business by bringing German luxury kitchen brands to India

In 1998, while visiting Japan, Hamendra and Rati Sharma would walk to the train station every day and see a store by Poggenpohl, a leading German kitchen brand.

Captivated by the luxurious designs on display, inspired the couple to start a business that would bring luxury and modular kitchens to India.

The duo made this dream a reality in 1998 by starting SIS Imports in Mumbai, bringing Poggenpohl to the Indian market. In 2015, the business was rebranded to Plusch, and is responsible for introducing several German luxury kitchen, wardrobe and furniture brands to India.

Their daughter Sukriti Sharma, who is a partner at Plusch, tells SMBStory, “Not many people believed in my parents’ dream because no one felt there was a market for luxury kitchens [in India]. But we pioneered the movement and brought brands like Poggenpohl, Eggersmann, and Beckermann for kitchens; Interluebke and Schmalenbach for wardrobes; and COR, Draenert, and Walter Knoll for furniture.”

She claims that Plusch is presently raking in an annual turnover of Rs 25 crore, and has 80 employees across India.

Enduring a difficult start

Originally from Kanpur, both Hamendra and Rati grew up in families that dealt in the manufacturing business. While Hamendra’s father was in the steel business, Rati’s father worked in the plywood industry.

To start SIS Imports, the couple got their initial investment from their families and took up a small kitchen design store in Mumbai on rent, and imported the kitchen displays and appliances for Rs 25 lakh.

At a time when luxury kitchens were almost unheard of in India, it was unsurprising that not everyone took kindly to the business.

“People would enter the showroom in Mumbai and hurl abuse at my parents for selling a kitchen as expensive as a house

A stone house built in the 1940s is now Colleyville’s newest neighborhood restaurant

A new spot is opening in Colleyville this week: Stone House Restaurant is serving up fresh-food-focused dinners. The new spot, which opened Monday, sits inside a 1940s stone house in Colleyville — hence the name.

Co-owners and Colleyville residents Paul and Lisa Pardo thought they had retired from the restaurant business before opening Stone House. Previously, they owned Coal Vines Pizza and Wine Bar in Southlake.

However, every time they drove by the stone house in Colleyville, Lisa said they were inspired.

“To us, it just kept saying ‘restaurant,'” she said.

A storm brews south east of Rooftop Cinema Club drive-in off Central Expressway in Dallas, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. Catching a drive-in movie is one of our socially distanced date ideas.

And so they moved to open a restaurant and they’ve brought in two partners: a chef and general manager, both with previous careers at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group.

Chef Thomas Dritsas was the corporate executive chef at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group for more than 20 years, according to the restaurant’s website. Lisa Pardo said that the chef’s focus for the Stone House Restaurant menu has been on fresh food and ingredients.

Greg Kalina was formerly general manager for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in Fort Worth. Now, he’s part of the Stone House team as a partner and general manager.

Opening a restaurant in a pandemic proved a “blessing,” and Lisa said it gave them more time to prepare and the ability to move at a slower, more relaxed pace in the process.

With the menu focused on fresh fixings, Lisa brought attention to the variety of what they call “shareables,” with items like queso, hummus, oysters, shrimp, biscuits and more.

Their menu boasts a variety of steaks and chops, from a hand-cut filet mignon to lamb sirloin, and other entrees like shrimp and grits and “roasted 7 spice chicken.”

Lisa noted that one of their signature cocktails, The Boulevard, is named for the street the restaurant sits on: Colleyville

1920s complex built to house orphans offers a taste of Spain — in the middle of Marrero | Home/Garden

Some buildings are eye-catching because they’re so grand. Others are eye-catching because they’re unique. Still others stand out simply because they feel somehow out of place.

Reader Brian Gros recently came across one that fits all three of those descriptions.

“Can you tell us about the white Italian villa on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero?,” Gros recently wrote.

Architecturally speaking, it’s Spanish, not Italian — but if you’ve seen the complex about which Gros writes, chances are you remember it.

Covering an estimated 10 acres and including several buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it looks like the sort of mission complex you’d come across in San Antonio or a Clint Eastwood movie.

It is Hope Haven, founded in 1916 as an industrial cooperative farm by the Rev. Peter Wynhoven to serve as a home, school and source of practical training for orphaned boys who had aged out of the system.



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SUSAN POAG / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Bill Curtis and Craig Guillory of Duff Waterproofing worked their way top to bottom pressure washing the Chapel of St. John Bosco on the Hope Haven campus in Marrero Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The ornate chapel was built in 1941. The pressure washing is part of the ongoing renovation of the buildings on the historic campus, one of which currently houses Cafe Hope, a non-profit restaurant program which trains young adults in both the kitchen and dining room skills.




“The orphan asylums can care for these boys only until they are 12 years of age, and that is too young for them to be thrown on their own resources,” Wynhoven told The Times-Picayune. “It seemed to me that they could be taken away from the evil influences of the city, taught some useful trade, given proper guidance and be