While departmental store chains in the city might be catering to most of your grocery needs, if you are planning try your hand at a novel South Asian, French or Italian delicacy, you need to head to this place to get all your ingredients under one roof.
Situated bang opposite Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park Hotel in heart of the city, is a store that has stood the test of time and has successfully fought the hegemony of departmental store chains. For most foodies and cooks, Amma Naana Departmental Store is like entering a massive wonderland. From varieties of cheese, sauces, dips and dressings to breads, pasta and cold cuts; you have them all. Not just that, they have thousands of unique brands in food, cooking ingredients, snacks, beverages, dog foods, dairy products, chocolates, wines, confectioneries and cosmetics handpicked by the shopping experts.
A part of the merchandise is focused specifically on customer groups. For example, there are Korean sauces to cater to the ever-expanding Korean population in the neighbourhood. In the frozen food arena, you can lay your hands on variety of sausages, salamis and spreads, imported from Europe as well as Sri Lanka. The cheese spread is marvelous and you can find almost all possible varieties here.
Amma Naana had a humble beginning with a 1,000 sq. ft store in 1996 in Alwarpet. They have now developed it to a 7,500 sq. ft advanced store and is the single biggest sovereign supermarket retailer in Chennai. Proprietor V. R. Govindaswamy’s father-in-law owned a 1,000 sq. ft street-front location which was leased to a retailer called Fairlands. With Fairlands re-locating to a much larger adjacent property, Govindaswamy and his wife inherited the space and decided to start Amma Naana in honour of the latter’s parents. Eventually, Govindaswamy decided to buy an independent 10,000 sq. ft property just behind their store. In 1996, they converted three floors of the new building to a modern, self-service supermarket.
Govindaswamy’s son-in-law, Raj, has already joined the family business. Raj is an engineering graduate in computer science and is quite happy contributing to Amma Naana’s prosperity. He is obsessed with making Amma Naana more technology-savvy as well as improving its supply chain efficiency.
Amma Naana is open Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm
All the images have been taken from Amma Nanna website.