Lazeez overcomes obstacles with community support

By Kayla Williamson and Nathan Salsbury
This summer, Lazeez Flavors of India moved to Spring Arbor after a corporation bought its Westwood Mall location.

This summer, Lazeez Flavors of India moved to Spring Arbor after a corporation bought its Westwood Mall location.

After four months into their two year contract, Sangeeta Awan and her daughter Mehr, a former Spring Arbor University (SAU) student, began wondering what they were going to do next.

Mehr said after their contract was terminated, she and her mother were in a state of shock.

“We didn’t know what to do,” Mehr said. “The Lord led us here, and Mom saw this place. In two weeks we had signed the lease here and then in about a month we had moved over. So that was just a total God thing.”

Photo by Kayla Williamson

Since their move, the Awans said they have received support from not only SAU faculty and students, but also many members of the Spring Arbor community. The move into the area has also provided Assistant Professor of Marketing Allen Knight’s business classes with the opportunity to use what they are learning and apply it to a real-life business in order to help Lazeez succeed in this new location. Knight has been working with some of his classes this semester using Lazeez as an example of a real life business. He is having his public relations, marketing and small business classes work with them to look at to look at a real business and compare it to what they’re learning.

“The students can say ‘okay, here’s what the textbook is walking us through and here’s an example of a business and we as students can be involved, talk to the owner and see what issues they’re encountering,’” Knight said. “And at the end of this, maybe we can offer an updated or modified business plan.”

Taking the lead for three of Knight’s classes is senior Lacey Morgan.

“Dr. Knight has put me in charge of our public relations class, our marketing class and small business management with an entrepreneurial approach,” Morgan said. “So I’m the team lead in all of those classes for Lazeez.”

Through these projects, Morgan said they will do an audit, or business plan, then work on a marketing plan using their findings and, finally, further develop a business plan with a public relations standpoint.

Photo by Kayla Williamson

Professor of Communication Robert Woods, although not working on any projects for Lazeez, gave high praise of the restaurant.

“I eat there as often as I can and have as many meetings as I can there,” Woods said.

Woods also mentioned he suggests the restaurant to many people, both students and faculty. Mehr also spoke about how grateful she and her mother are that news of the restaurant is spreading so strongly by word of mouth.

Lazeez Flavors of India is now located in the Village Crossing strip mall on Spring Arbor Road. On Mondays they are open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday-Saturday they are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.