Archna Becker, owner and founder of Bhojanic, an Atlanta, Georgia-based eatery, was recently given the National Restaurant Association award. Becker, who was one of the eight winners honored nationwide, arrived in the U.S. from India at the age of 11.
She began her career three years later in the restaurant industry as a drive-thru worker at a quick service restaurant. She continued to work various industry jobs for another decade before pursuing a career as a business executive.
Becker soon realized her passion was in cooking, opening a catering business in the early 90s and a full-service restaurant a few years later. Today, Becker continues to give back to her community, by serving on the Georgia Restaurant Association Board.
She has employed more than two dozen Bhutanese refugees and has an intense training program to help them learn English and facilitate their transition to the U.S. Becker received the PepsiCo Foodservice’s Faces of Diversity Award, which honors diverse members of the industry who have achieved success in the face of adversity, and who embody the American Dream.
According to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Becker opened her second Bhojanic location in the Shops Around Lenox a little more than a month ago. The first thing that distinguished Bhojanic when it opened some eight years ago, with a selection of small plate “Indian tapas” designed for sampling and sharing.
“The main thing I hated was that you had to buy a lot of large portions,” Becker was quoted as saying of more typical Indian restaurants of the time. “You either ate at a nasty buffet or you ended up buying $200 worth of food and eating it all week.”
Bhojanic’s mostly Northern Indian, Punjabi-style cuisine comes from Becker’s homeland and is cooked homestyle, without butter or cream. The kitchen sources local and seasonal ingredients, and freshly roasted spices are ground daily.