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Small Business Legal Clinic

The Big Elephant Kitchen- Client Profile

October 04, 2017

We are excited to highlight The Big Elephant Kitchen, a Fijian Indian restaurant that opened in May of 2017. Owned by Saleshni, Deon, and Deepak Sundar, the business is a family undertaking. The owners decided to go into business for themselves after gaining experience managing other food businesses. They wanted to bring their unique and delicious cuisine to Portland. During the process of opening the business, they convinced their mother and father to join them.  Rajni, their mother, is working magic in the kitchen while Shailendra, their father, can likely be found searching for breadfruit or some other unique ingredient.

The restaurant has a warm atmosphere that makes one feel welcome.  After talking with Saleshni, it is obvious that she enjoys working in the restaurant because she treats you like part of the family. The atmosphere and the delicious food, has led to great reactions from customers. Reception has been very positive, and they’re already talking about adding other locations once they get more established. Still, they’ve met challenges during startup similar to many other small businesses.

One big challenge was getting the business formed properly, because startup is much more complicated when a business has more than one owner. Big Elephant Kitchen came to the SBLC in February of 2017 seeking help formalizing an operating agreement. Although the owners are all related, having an operating agreement that protects each individual owner’s rights is essential. The SBLC matched Big Elephant Kitchens with a pro bono attorney to assist in drafting an operating agreement. They returned in in the summer of 2019 to help with moving to a new location.