Nalini’s Kitchen gets cooking at Quabbin Harvest

  • Nalini Goordial has opened up Nalini’s Kitchen at the Quabbin Harvest co-op in Orange.

For the Recorder
Published: 6/21/2018 5:43:59 PM

ORANGE — Nalini Goordial has been cooking since she was 11 years old. Her family’s elder women taught her at an early age to cook meals to perfection.

“They were so tough. Everything had to be exact and you made everything from scratch,” she said.

Today, Goordial is cooking up food for the community in downtown Orange at the Quabbin Harvest food co-op. After volunteering for many years, and even spending time on the co-op’s staff, her food is available for purchase right from the kitchen.

“I cook for me and my family but I also feel like (the co-op) is my family. I cook for that and there is a lot of heart and soul,” said Goordial.

Cathy Stanton, chairwoman of the Quabbin Harvest Board of Directors, said with the help of local volunteers the co-op was able to build a new kitchen last summer. Initially she said the goal was to focus on selling sandwiches and scooping ice cream out of the kitchen for customers, but after brainstorming ideas to continue developing their business model, a year later Nalini’s Kitchen was born.

“We are always tweaking the store and trying to figure out how to run a small, locally focused grocery store in downtown Orange that is viable. It is really hard and we are still struggling for more economic stability,” said Stanton. “But we recently did a reset and part of that was to say we have this little kitchen now.”

Launched in the beginning of May, Nalini’s Kitchen serves up everything from tabouli, chutneys, kimchi friend rice, sweet potato lentil masala and ayurvedic bowls. Ayurveda is a Hindu system of medicine based on balance in bodily systems. Diet is a big component of the system, said Goordial, to nourish one’s body, mind and spirit. The practice is a more holistic way of thinking about health, she said.

“I think where we are at is, let’s look at how we can nurture ourselves, how we can nurture our community, and what we can bring in locally that is sustainable,” said Goordial.

In terms of sustainability, Stanton said Goordial’s cooking allows the co-op to utilize more of their local resources, such as non-perfect produce that customers won’t buy.

“We’ve been trained by supermarkets to have everything be abundant and look perfect all the time,” she said.

Goordial said she welcomes the challenge that comes with creating a meal from what is available in front of her and champions the reduction of waste.

“I love being able to say ‘What can I make with this?’ (The produce) is still good. I wish people liked ugly vegetables or ugly fruits, but they don’t,” she said.

Moving forward, Stanton said the co-op hopes to continue branding the kitchen by possibly adding a sign out front of the shop and creating a logo.

So far Goordial said her experience working in the kitchen and interacting with Quabbin Harvest customers has been incredibly positive.

“The best part of it is when people walk in through the day and say stuff like ‘What is that and can I buy some?’” she said.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy