Vinod Hari. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo.
Vinod Hari. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo.

Spice Emporium co-owner remembered for ’putting others first’

By Chanelle Lutchman Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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Durban: Friends of Durban-born Vinod Hari say they will miss seeing him whenever they walk into the Spice Emporium store.

Hari, 70, died on Monday morning at the Ethekwini Heart Hospital due to Covid-19.

He was the co-owner of the Spice Emporium.

Rajesh Choudree, a customer and friend of Hari, said he had a warm personality and always put his customers first.

“Whenever one would walk into the Spice Emporium, he would be there, ready to assist and, if he knew the customer well, he would leave his office and go to the ground floor to personally assist. He loved to make people feel like they were appreciated and made it his duty to give everyone individual attention.

“My wife and I enjoy reading magazines and papers from India. He knew that, so he would often order a few for us at his own expense. His generosity is unparalleled and there will definitely be an emptiness at the store now.”

Kosie Moodley, a high school friend, said Hari was a wonderful person.

“We met at Gandhi Desai High School when we were still young boys. We were quite close. When we later married, he took over the running of his in-laws’ business, Spice Emporium. He would always love to catch up and share stories of the past.

“The last time I messaged him, I requested spices to be sent to London as I recently moved. He kindly said it was not possible and advised me on alternatives. He was a wonderful person and always a delight to talk to.”

Anil Dhupelia, said: “I knew Vinod from school in the late ’50s and up to mid ’60s. His brother was a classmate of mine. Also, the Dhupelia Family and the Kherson Haribhai Family, which Hari married into, were partners in the produce business from before my birth.

“I used to play table tennis with the Hari Family and their friends. We used to invite groups of school friends from the Casbah area to play in our garage. Vinod was always a caring person, striving to expand the business. My late father, Avanikant Pranlal Dhupelia, who passed away on his 90th birthday in Durban in 2019, often mentioned Vinod and his wife Chandrika.”

Hari was cremated on Monday evening.

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