Srider’s India Imports gets second life in new location: Retirement did not agree with Devi Nadarajah
Barely a year after shuttering Srider’s India Imports, her longtime shop on Pacific Highway, Nadarajah is back with another portal to the East, featuring the familiar mix of spices, foods, clothes, and gifts that fans of the Tigard store loved for decades.
The shelves of her new space are stacked with rice, curry pastes, and dahl. Saris and groom’s suits hang in the back room with silks and everyday Indian styles.
She’s stocked fresh henna and mehndi books, replenished the figurines of Hindu deities, sandalwood beads, toothpastes, cooking oil, cookware, and carvings, and waits for her customers to return.
“They don’t know I’m here,” Nadarajah lamented, saying she missed busy days in the shop during her short hiatus. She longed for the bustle and company that came with being a fixture in the community.
Nadarajah sold imports from India and Sri Lanka for nearly 35 years in her former Tigard location before liquidating and leaving it behind at her children’s urging in 2021.
Her shop was among the first of its kind in Oregon – 3,500 square feet stuffed with pieces of her home that no one else carried when she opened for business.
She quickly found she wasn’t the only one longing for the familiarity of old country comforts. Indian customers began traveling from around the metro area for spices and clothes, music and Bollywood movies they couldn’t find anywhere else. Along the way, Americans drawn by the exotic discovered her too. So many that the customer base grew into an even cross-section of cultures.
Though the new Srider’s is smaller, about half the footprint of her original, and it’s moved down the road, right outside of Tigard, she’s happy to be back. Even with a sleepy start.
Nadarajah is no stranger to starting over, but the new space in the plaza anchored by Grocery Outlet at the intersection of Hall Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road comes with modern challenges.
Google and Yelp have yet to catch up, creating an obstacle she didn’t have to contend with the first time around. The search engines only pull the store’s old Tigard address, still tagging Sriders as “permanently closed.”
Still, old faces are very slowly beginning to find her and she is overjoyed to see them.
Specialists in Saris, accessories and Indian groceries.
Srider’s India Imports is located in the Grocery Outlet Shopping Center, 8604 SW Hall Blvd. 503-620-8665
Holly Goodman (Tigard Life) has been a writer and journalist for three decades, and a regular contributor to The Oregonian. firstname.lastname@example.org.