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Gala Honoree Spotlight Chandi Hospitality Group, Small Business of the Year
Published Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:00 am

The Chandi Group began, like any good restaurant story, as a fifteen year-old Sonu worked the line during the Friday night dinner rush. Newly arrived to America from India, he had very little means and no English language skills, but a powerful work ethic passed down from his father. Three years later, the Chandi brothers - Sonu, Joti and Sunny - helped their father open up his own restaurant. There they cut their teeth negotiating leases, managing vendors, building a team, gaining the experience, and growing the excitement that would cement their decision to own their own hospitality group.

“The core of our founding is a belief that one can be an inspiration for businesses or persons who are starting out in life with very little,” says Sonu. “We believe anyone can reach their goals by working hard, taking smart risks, learning from their mistakes and educating themselves along the way.”

In 2007, the Chandi Group purchased their first restaurant, a Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Rohnert Park. Still in college and with little guidance from the corporate offices, they learned their lessons - from scheduling to handling to every other aspect of owning a franchise - the hard way. And, the right way. Since then, they’ve become the Northern California Mountain Mike’s Development Agent, opening six new locations, with one on the way, and piloting the Mountain Mike’s Tavern concept, which brought a full bar experience into the family friendly atmosphere.

Along the way, Ren joined the team, and family, helping guide them as they branched out into independent restaurants. Together, they took over Stout Brothers Irish Pub and Restaurant two days before St. Patrick’s Day in 2013. The success of Stout’s and the vibrancy of downtown Santa Rosa has propelled them into two more restaurants, Bibi’s Burger Bar and Beer Baron.

Through it all, the Chandi Group has been guided by their deep-rooted commitment to their community, to their work, integrity, and their philosophy of continuous improvement. At every step, Sonu, Joti and Sunny have challenged themselves to learn and grow, and strive to always be better.

“To be community-centric is a big part of my business model,” says Sonu. “After all, a restaurant often serves as a neighborhood’s social-hub, a hub from which spirals out the community. We at Chandi Hospitality Group take our role as restauranteurs quite seriously when it comes to community development. And, we have tremendous fun doing it,” he adds with a smile.

Today, Chandi Hospitality Group is a thriving enterprise with a portfolio of 14 restaurants, and an active community presence, channeling profits, service and food to such organizations as SAY, the Boys & Girls Clubs, CHOPS, The Living Room, The Center for Wellbeing, the Child Parent Institute, to name a few. Additionally, Chandi Hospitality has contributed to the funding of programs for SRJC, SSU, and several local public schools. Finally, Sonu is a very active member of our local Chambers of Commerce, and serves on the Boards and Committees of several public organizations, including Green Music Center, the Santa Rosa Downtown Association, and Harvest Fair Sonoma County.

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