Juggling multiple roles while cooking fantastic dishes sure makes one stand out in the crowd. Her love of food made Hyderabad-based Shreya Mundra, an advocate by profession, stand out in an initiative by Maggi India to empower women from all across the country with the skills and knowledge to start their own food businesses.
From 8000+ entries in Stage 1, 250 participants were selected and given a month-long training and mentorship by industry experts to launch a food business. Of these, 20 who had successfully completed all modules were selected to move on to Stage 3, based on the results of an online test and the votes received for their recipes. They were required to make a business pitch to a jury comprising top people from the food and hospitality industry. The best 10 contestants were given financial support of `5 Lakh to launch their business with brand development support from Maggi India. Shreya was a winner under the ‘Food Delivery Business’ category.
Shreya says, "I was browsing through Instagram when I saw the advertisement about the competition in January, I immediately signed up with my recipe and food business model. After three weeks I got a call saying I was on the shortlist of 250. For Stage 2, I had to create a recipe using their product and made it to the top 20 with my ‘Mexican Theplas’. For Stage 3, I had to prepare a 5-minute video business pitch for the jury in just two weeks. I am really happy to have been selected as one of the top 10."
Cooking has been a passion since childhood for this 26-year-old and she runs a home kitchen named ‘The Apron Tales’ with support from her mother and sister. "From childhood I loved cooking and I wanted to join a culinary school to make it my career. But as my family is pure vegetarian, they were not happy about me cooking non-vegetarian food at the school. So I studied law, as my entire family is into the profession. It is like two sides of the same coin — law and food — I love both," shares Shreya.
She says that though she has been a food blogger on Instagram, it was only when she saw her friends coming up with unique business ideas during the lockdown that she was inspired to start her home kitchen in July 2020. "My family has been very supportive, the entire joint family comes together to help me out — from packing to delivery," says the advocate-chef.
Shreya is planning to set up a double-decker food truck offering fixed menu breakfast and lunch by next year with her prize money and brand promotion support.