When Kolkata’s Sital Garodia moved to Bangalore after her marriage she was disappointed to see that the variety of food in the city was much lesser than what she was used to in her hometown so she decided to start a home-based food venture that now serves over 1500-2000 customers every month.
Coming from the land of great varieties of food, Kolkata, Sital always found herself missing the delicacies of her hometown after she moved to Bangalore. A fashion designer by profession, the birth of her first child made Sital’s priorities shift and she decided to continue working, in a field that was not only of interest to her but also one that would allow her to spend time with her child. Sital confesses that it was her love for delicious tasting food that drove her to the idea that many other food connoisseurs like her would also want to treat their tastebuds, so in 2016 she decided to start cooking and selling such yummy treats from her home’s kitchen and named it Homestyle Food. Soon enough she started to recieve over 15 orders a month and used WhatsApp to promote her brand which has grown exponentially in the lockdown.
She shares, “Lockdown has made people realise how important healthy and home-cooked food is for a healthy life. Which is why my orders also increased dramatically since the lockdown.”
While she started with most Bengali dishes, she has now expanded to other cuisines including South Indian, North Indian, Chinese, and Punjabi. All the marketing is done through two WhatsApp groups that have around 500 participants where she shares her menus, and the menu keeps changing which allows the customers a lot of variety.
Her food is very reasonable as she only charges Rs 50-60 for snacks and Rs 100-200 for lunch as she doesn’t want her customers to find her food too heavy on the pocket. She shares, “I get 30-40% profit every month and my business has grown by 10% in four years,” says Sital. She has partnered with ‘Dunzo’ company for delivery.
Sital is now a mother of two, and with her husband caught up in his finance job, she manages both her business as well as her family responsibilities. She shares her routine, “I wake up at 7am and prepare breakfast orders, after this I rest a little then start with completing lunch orders. I also take orders for snacks and prepare these before making dinner for my own family. I invest 8-10 hours a day for my business,” while adding that it is her husband’s support and encouragement that has played a huge role in her success.
When Sital started, she was doing everything on her own but as more orders started pouring in she hired people, and has four helpers now. But all the actual cooking is still done by her. Sital also has big hopes for the future, while she is currently only serving in Bangalore she hopes to tie up with food delivery apps to expand her business. She shares, “I believe that every woman should do something so that they don’t feel like being a homemaker is their only job, and it is very important to be financially independent in these times.”
This story is submitted by Bilal Khan and edited by Alfea Shaikh.
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