PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Bonnie Saran is on a roll. She has just opened her fourth eatery in as many years. Pleasantville's Little Mumbai Market + Little Crêpe Street Express is 2 weeks old, and the lines are already out the door.
First came downtown Mount Kisco's Little Kebab Station in 2011. Saran identified a niche for Indian cuisine when she realized that pizzerias and Chinese restaurants dominated the local takeout market.
Little Spice Bazaar was born in 2012, when Little Kebab expanded to the vacant space next door to accommodate Saran's growing store of spices.
When a third adjacent site opened up, she grabbed it and spontaneously decided, "I'll do crêpes. But I never made a crêpe in my life," she says. "Everybody gave me recipes, including Martha Stewart."
At her new Pleasantville eatery, it was natural to combine Paris and Mumbai, says Saran. Both cities are known for special "street food." Paris has its crêpe stalls, Mumbai has its rice bowls and frankie rolls. Both cities are home to a number of billionaires, yet both deal with a struggling underclass. "Street carts eliminate the disparity," she added. "Everyone is entitled to good food."
Saran's goal is to provide fresh, tasty, affordable dishes, to eat in or take out. Everything is priced less than $10. "Whatever you order or eat today is made today," said Saran. "I have no freezers."
The eatery’s vibrant decor matches Saran's colorful past. Her military family in India was frequently restationed, so she was exposed to a variety of Indian dialects, traditions and cuisines.
After college, she pursued a career in marketing and handled promotions for companies like Coca-Cola, Yamaha and General Motors. Saran was responsible for introducing Corona beer to India.
The two-week vacation that brought her to New York in 2000 has now stretched into 14 years.
And Saran's "Little" empire is about to get even bigger. Another site on Mount Kisco's East Main Street has become available, and Saran's fifth enterprise is in the works.
Little Mumbai Market + Little Crêpe Street Express is at 475 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, 914-773-0500, and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday to Thursday from 4-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday to 10 p.m.