A financial expert becoming a food entrepreneur is not a common occurrence. Yet, that is exactly what Narayanan Gopalan did — he moved from working in the finance wings of various IT firms to establishing a little eatery on the busy stretch of Banaswadi Main Road. His passion for finance and food is what has kept him in good stead.
Narayanan worked in the finance sector for more than a decade until he decided to take a break from working 14 hours a day and plunge into teaching finance. But, he didn’t want to give up his passion for food — and so, Narayanan joined hands with three of his friends and started ‘Fresco Cafe’, which opens its doors at 5.45 am and runs non-stop until 9 pm. Narayanan has two workers, who work in shifts to ensure that there is food at anytime and the regulars don’t leave disappointed.
The tag-line of ‘Fresco Cafe’ is ‘taste that is guaranteed’ and Narayanan works very hard to ensure that he lives up to that promise. “I believe in honesty, trust and perfection and I expect those who work for me to not compromise on these three things. The food is made only when an order is placed and nothing is chopped or cooked in advance and stored,” Narayanan tells Metrolife.
The eatery has rice items such as bisibele bhath, lemon rice, puliyogare, vegetable pulao and vaangi bath for breakfast and lunch, in addition to idli and vada. There is filter coffee and a variety of juices available. There are also grilled sandwiches and vegetable pizzas.
The food is reasonably priced between Rs 5 and Rs 20. “We have a lot of college-goers and people who live and work in the vicinity, who come by for a quick bite. By now, I have a rough idea as to how many people may come for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The spice is kept at a reasonable level and we make sure we use the best cheese and fresh veggies in the pizzas and sandwiches,” explains Narayanan.
Being a foodie, Narayanan cooks as well. “I love food and I usually cook all the dishes in the authentic style. I am not too much of an experimental cook. Taste matters a lot and I try and replicate the same for the customers,” he adds. There are people streaming in even after 7 pm to get a quick sandwich or pizza packed up.
The eatery occupies a small space, which is creatively designed to include a milk boiler, fridge, built-in sink, an oven and griller.
“The biggest challenge is to keep the place dust free. It is wiped and cleaned all the time,” he says.
Fresco Cafe is located near Indian Oil Petrol station, near the Aiyappa temple, Banaswadi Main Road. For details, call 8884245860.