Who Am I Interviewing This Month?

The premises are located in what many people consider to be the heart of Twickenham.

  • The first venture into this industry was in Méribel in the French Alps in December 2015.
  • He is a keen golfer and skier and firmly believes that the best part about skiing is the lunch and après ski.
  • His hobbies include collecting watches, cocktail taste testing and watching films.
  • His business mantra is “Show me a man who doesn’t change his mind and I will show you a man who doesn’t think”. He inherited this from Matthew Harding his old boss at Benfield and Deputy Chairman of Chelsea FC. 

Have you guessed who it is yet? No?

  • He comes from Farnborough in Kent.
  • He started working in the City in 1984 as a reinsurance broker where he continued for 34 years before deciding to focus on other interests.
  • People are his passion and he has been lucky to meet many interesting people on his varied travels. 
  • When asked what makes him most proud his answer was immediate…”My two daughters and creating a restaurant experience which gives pleasure to others.”
  • As an only child he was very shy and lacking in confidence. At the age of 12 his form teacher put him down for the part of Banquo in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth without his knowledge. He was horrified and tried desperately to get out of it but to no avail. The form teacher refused, saying that it would be the making of him. He was a very wise man. 
  • Recently the business has formed a partnership with the Purple Elephant Project which is a new local charity based near Twickenham Stadium.
  • His favourite dishes in his restaurant are the lamb chops, closely followed by the delicious onion bhajis and dal makhani.
  • He is the co-owner of the newest restaurant on Church Street.
  • 5 star TripAdvisor Reviews include “Food and service both awesome”  “Best Indian restaurant”  “Gorgeous setting, even better food” 

It can only be one man, Simon Gander of Tsaretta Spice.

Simon and his business partner Mark opened their first restaurant, Tsaretta, Les Allues near Méribel in the French Alps in December 2015. Here general manager & head chef John Susans serves a range of international dishes with Asian influences. Great food after a hard day’s skiing.

Following on from the success of Tsaretta, Les Allues, Simon and Mark spotted an opportunity to create an Indian dining experience that was completely missing from the Méribel region. Trade there is largely seasonal as it is geared towards skiing holidays, therefore it’s really hard to attract the quality of chefs needed for a short-term contract. So, when they found award winning Chef Yousuf Mohammed, who was willing to work overseas and help them build the team, they considered themselves very lucky. Tsaretta Spice, Méribel opened in December 2016 with Head Chef, Yousuf at the helm. Once it proved to be successful, the logical step was to establish a UK operation, providing a permanent year-round headquarters for Tsaretta Spice.  

Simon and Mark wanted their first venue in the UK to be in, or close to, London. It took several years to find the perfect location. They considered deals in Putney, Richmond and then Knightsbridge, which got close to completion but ultimately failed. Then they discovered 55 Church Street. The venue and location seemed perfect, especially with the outside dining area; but the street itself, its proximity to the river and the general area all had major appeal too. Tsaretta Spice, Twickenham opened in July 2019 and is going from strength to strength. Simon, Mark and Yousuf are proud to have created a restaurant experience which gives pleasure to others. 

Since arriving in Twickenham, Tsaretta Spice has integrated well into the local business community becoming members of Church Street Traders, Twickenham Town Business Association and adding value to the Board of Discover Twickenham BID. Simon is keen to also give something back to the local community and more recently has formed a partnership with the Purple Elephant Project. This is a newly formed Charity providing support for children and their families affected by attachment, developmental trauma or life experiences. You can find out more about it at thepurpleelephantproject.org 

Simon firmly believes that the success of any business relies on the talent you attract and the development opportunities you provide to those members of staff. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Customers comments say it all…

“ Food and service both awesome. We loved the sharer plate and the staff went above and beyond to look after us.”

“ Congratulations guys … very professional friendly service.”

“ The service was excellent and the food delicious. The service and food definitely warrant a 5 star”

By Con O’Brien – Business Consultant

Email – conobrien_cbs@btinternet.com 

Mobile – 0785 401 3864