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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Deepesh Subedi


Central Market

Born in Bhutan in 1984, Deepesh Subedi spent two decades of his life in a Nepali refugee camp. In 2008, when he was twenty-six, his family resettled to the United States without knowing anyone or anything about the country. They were placed in Boise, Idaho where work was hard to come by, and they struggled to make rent. Deepesh’s parents, who worked as farmers in their native country took a job on a dairy farm in Oregon while Deepesh stayed behind to attend Boise State University.

When the family couldn’t take the separation any longer, they all moved to be with friends who had recently immigrated to Nashville. Life began to look up for the Subedi family. The city felt more diverse, and his father found work at Tyson while Deepesh and his brother continued their studies. Nashville did not have stores offering Nepali and Bhutanese goods, like goat milk chews and jars of dried pickled radish. This inspired Deepesh to open the doors of Central Market, to give his customers a taste of home.

Influenced by a friend in Charlotte, North Carolina who imported Nepali goods for refugees and immigrants, Deepesh and his family worked through the red tape and fundraising to open the doors to Central Market in 2014. The grocery’s name is painted on the outside walls of the building in English and Nepali along with an American flag motif.

Date of interview:
2016-04-05

Interviewer:
Jennifer Justus

Photographer:
Emily B. Hall

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