Shreya Chaudhary from Gorakhpur after completing her graduation from IHM, Lucknow, took up culinary courses under Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of MasterChef India. “I always dreamt of a chocolate factory since I took up the courses on chocolate making. I planned to get into this business after my post-graduation but, after coming to Manipal I faced a financial crisis because the cost of living is high and I did not want to depend on my family. I met Tejaswi Sood, my batchmate from Noida who was also feeling a pinch on his pockets. Since both of us did not want to burden our families, and he is good at marketing, I asked him if we can penetrate the market amid covid-19, he agreed to support and it worked for us, “she told TOI.
Currently, they are operating from Manipal, but will soon shift base to Delhi after completing the hotel management course. “We want to change people’s mindsets. Chocolates are not luxury products, associated with international brands only. We will soon be collaborating with independent small farmers from Coorg and the coastal belt to procure the cocoa bean and come up with our own concept of bean to bar,” Shreya said.
Orders are taken through their Instagram page and Whastapp and deliveries are across India except for the North East. They offer five varieties of chocolate truffles, two flavours of energy bars, and seven varieties of chocolate bars. Every packet passes through the UV sterilizer before dispatch. The demand for energy bars is growing at the gyms.
The startup has received the support of Chef K. Thiru, principal, H S Sethu, coordinator Welcomgroup Entrepreneurship Development Cell(WEDC), Chef P Valsaraj, professor, WGSHA and Dr Arun Shanbhag, Chief Innovation Officer, MAHE.
Dr Arun Shanbhag, said, “Our goal at the Innovation Center is to encourage our students to be creative and start small businesses. Such small businesses can thrive and help grow our economy, especially during the pandemic. They have a good variety of different types of chocolates. They are making all these from scratch and also trying to include organise, local ingredients as much as possible. Their product, professionalism and packaging is good and I would not be surprised if they become a national brand soon, “he said.