‘Curry queen’ Shaheen Unis seals £150k Asda contract

Asda Buying Assistant June Rose samples the Mrs Unis Naan Bread range. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Asda Buying Assistant June Rose samples the Mrs Unis Naan Bread range. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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SHE’S been dubbed “Scotland’s curry queen”.

Now veteran Edinburgh businesswoman Shaheen Unis has signed a £150,000 contract with Asda to provide the chain with four new flavoured naan breads – a move set to boost her already booming business.

Her company, Mrs Unis Spicy Foods, will supply the supermarket with unusual flavours such as cheese and coriander, chicken tikka and coriander and meat-stuffed keema naan.

The deal is the latest in a two-year relationship with Asda that has seen Mrs Unis’ range of handmade pakora increase from being sold in just two stores to all 61 in Scotland.

The curry tycoon insisted the hand-made products – which will be exclusive to Asda for six months – would use “the best, most authentic ingredients”.

She added: “Asda has been crucial to the success and growth of Mrs Unis and in a larger context, improving the lives of those in the community. With their help, we are already looking at some exciting expansion plans.”

Now well-known as one of Scotland’s most successful businesswomen, Mrs Unis came to Britain as a young bride from Pakistan in 1967.

Seven years later, she and her husband opened their first restaurant, Babar, in Tollcross and in 1999 launched Edinburgh’s first purpose-built factory of authentic Asian food products.

They have since gone from strength to strength – selling more than 730,000 packets of pakora to Asda customers every year.

June Rose, Asda’s regional buying assistant for Scotland, said: “Our relationship with Mrs Unis has benefited both of us greatly. We have been able to bring more authentically produced Indian delicacies to the palates of Scots across the country and Mrs Unis has increased their workforce from 18 to 45 and therefore given employees a new sense of identity, purpose and skills.”