Entrepreneurs in their own right

Small businesses

It’s a rarity to see people idling away at home in these busy times. Some pursue hobbies for themselves; some establish small-scale businesses. For those with a flair for cooking, the option of outsourcing is one to consider.

In fact, this trend has been growing, wherein several cafes have started tying up with home-based chefs and small start-ups to sell their products on a profit-sharing basis.

‘Café Mondo’ in HSR Layout is one such place that offers outsourced bakery items. ‘Happy Belly Bakes’, a shop in Fraser Town, supplies the café with cookies, chocolates, pastries and customised cakes among other things. “On a weekly basis and as and when we get orders, we send the cafe consignments of our supplies. There is a profit-sharing model in place because at the end of the day, we need revenues too,” shares Komal Kiran, sales and marketing head, ‘Happy Belly Bakes’.

“The reason for us outsourcing our food is to make sure that our quality products reach out to as many foodies as possible. Some customers may not be able to come all the way to our outlet. So this way, we can reach a bigger market and supply to cafés who appreciate our food,” she adds.

‘Going Nuts’ is a small chocolate-making company that sells its products at ‘Chaipatty’ and ‘Societea’. “We’ve built a big kitchen that serves our own retail units but also has extra capacity. We cater to these cafes so that we run in full capacity without worrying about high rentals. The customer validation is another benefit because we understand how people receive our products in different areas of the City that we haven’t catered to yet. It’s a cost-effective step to test out the market,” explains Gururaj Nayak, who runs the business with Roopashree.

He admits that there used to be a model where housewives could supply food to small restaurants and cafes but that is slowly dying out. “I’m skeptical if that’s a viable model because by 2014, there’s been a mandate passed where even home-based bakeries have to register as a company. Since it’s a commercial unit, there has to be a proper kitchen and health standards maintained. Plus, the overheads are too much,” shares Gururaj.

Sindhu Basavaraju, who runs an online cake shop called ‘The Little Patisserie’ with Supriya S, says that the benefits of outsourcing are the same as any production kitchen. “Take a pub, for instance. Their business is liquor but even they need food. If you have a kitchen where you can make food and supply to them, they need lesser man power and have to do lesser work. It’s the same case with places like Doff where we supply our products,” says Sindhu, adding that the savings on the rental space is the biggest takeaway.

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