“We could not have done this without their help,” is one of the first things Khosrow and Maryan Gharavi said at the beginning of an interview just one year ago, after opening a new grocery store in Monroe, NC.
The owners are husband and wife, Khosrow and Maryan Gharavi who started their own business (Save-A-Lot as a franchise) about a year ago, (February 10, 2016) with the help of the NCWorks Career Center-Union. Originally, the couple were both working full-time in other industries.
Prior to the idea of having a grocery store, Khosrow looked at other programs and felt like a grocery store was different from other franchises he explored. Immediately after expressing great interest in the potential store idea, the family moved forward with the process of opening their own store. The process took about two years. It was two years of going back and forth with different banks and the Save A-Lot corporation.
“First, he had to prove to Save-A-Lot because we didn’t have previous experience in the grocery store industry,” said Maryan.
The process was very intense filled with interviews, trainings at other stores, and so much more. Suddenly things finally began to move quickly just two months before opening the store in Monroe. The Save-A-Lot corporation told the future owners it was time to start recruiting employees to help set up the store. At this point the Gharavis didn’t know what to do in regards to hiring employees on their own. In fact, Save-A-lot told the family to put up signs on the outside of their building to help advertise the positions. The whole hiring process was something completely new to the couple.
They knew they needed immediate help with the hiring process and only received a couple applicants from the signs placed outside the new store. One day their life changed when they were directed to the NCWorks Career Center-Union still two months prior to opening the store. The couple found out about the NCWorks Career Center-Union from the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Eventually they went to the NCWorks Career Center-Union and began working with Thomas Foster, Assistant Center Leader and Linda Ejlali, Center Leader, in finding the candidate pool. A week later, the Gharavi's were given a stack of applications which had already been screened and they immediately began interviewing candidates to help with building the shelves and setting the store. 80% of the people they hired at the beginning of the store's opening, came from the NCWorks Career Center-Union.
“They would go far and beyond both Linda and Thomas. They were both here checking up on us to see how things were going and would bring applications all the time,” the couple said. “It wasn’t just applicants, they guided us, they directed us as new owners of the business with no experience,” Maryan added.
The couple was very satisfied with the individuals they hired through the NCWorks Career Center-Union. In fact, the candidates were so talented, many were placed into managerial positions.
Overall, as first time business owners who both quit their full-time jobs to pursue this new business venture, they've said the business start-up wasn't possible without the help of the NCWorks Career Center-Union.
For more information regarding Centralina Workforce Development Board’s business services visit, www.centralinaworks.com.