This Chhaunk in your food is a must-try
There is opportunity in every crisis’— an axiom that holds for the conceptualization of The Chhaunk, which originated in Bihar’s chowks and aspired to create an ecosystem that feels like home. The idea was to provide all food lovers with a home-style traditional Bihari taste. The Chhaunk showcases one of the world’s most diversified cuisines, which has long been undervalued due to any brand’s lack of a targeted effort.
The two women entrepreneurs Mrs. Manjari Singh and Mrs. Hiranyamayi Shivani, gathered a lot of courage to launch not just a FOOD Venture but an EXPERIENCE that takes you back to your home. The duo always believed in themselves and their conviction towards cooking. They combated all the challenges to establish. In an exclusive interview, Vishal Jasani gets candid with Manjari Singh of the Saas-Bahu duo.
Q. Give us a brief on The Chhaunk.
Manjari Singh – We were stuck in Delhi during the Covid peak, unable to return to our hometown in Bihar. The unprecedented situation and time gave us the idea and opportunity to explore. With great love for cooking Bihari cuisine, my mother-in-law thought of providing food to people when the pandemic impacted several restaurant businesses. While people wanted just some good food, we offered homemade mom’s recipes, served with immense love and care. We started this food venture with lots of courage, and today we are delivering an experience that takes you back to the memories of your home.
Q. What services and products are offered by the company?
MS – When it comes to the traditional taste, Mrs. Hiranyamayi (Bihari food cuisinier) provides all the recipes, including Champaran Mutton, Stuffed Parantha, Kachori Sabji, Puri Sabji, Bajka Kachri, Sattu Ki Kachori Sabji, Methi Puri and Sabji, Litti Chokha, Dal Puri with Kheer, Maal Pua, Thekua, and the Bihar special drink, Sattu Ka Sharbat. These special recipes are made with secret flavours for a unique yet traditional taste. We do not provide any fusion recipe from Bihar and always strive to maintain its authenticity.
In less than 30 minutes, the food order is prepared for takeout or takeaway. The food preparation process is entirely authentic and traditional. Every order is delivered with a free Chhaunk souvenir. Our chefs specialize in regional cuisines and prepare the recipes according to my mother’s instructions. We have tied up with Dunzo, Zomato, and Swiggy to scale with hyperlocal delivery. We ensure that every order is delivered to the customer in the quickest time possible.
Q. What challenges have you faced on this journey of being womentrepreneurs?
MS – We had timing issues initially since we had not been taught to handle cloud kitchen demand 2-4 orders simultaneously and were disorganized. As a result, some of the meal orders arrived late. Slowly, we both mastered the burden of being on time, and we also hired two home chefs from Bihar to relieve the pressure on our work.
We witnessed a great deal of enthusiasm from clients for Bihari cuisine. Our clients supported us and continued to enjoy the Bihari food we offered. Then, we decided to extend the kitchen into new outlets. The affection of clients and their re-ordering of the same cuisine have led us to keep going. It has been our most outstanding achievement and continuous source of encouragement.
Q. If you had an opportunity to change one thing from your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be?
MS – Since we had no experience in this industry, whatever we have achieved until now is because of our planning and little understanding through various online articles. I feel we should have taken some technical and functional expert consultancy at the beginning of the venture. Whatever we learned and improved was through personal experience, which led us sometimes to a fix. However, we managed to overcome always.
Q. What are the company and team culture like in The Chhaunk?
MS – Our company culture provides a very self-driven and open atmosphere in the workplace. We have succeeded in implementing this culture, and as a result, most employees are highly motivated. They collaborate at work, help each other when required and are very vocal about ideas or issues to the owners and managers. We try to provide each member with all kinds of social security like holidays on request, overtime payments, free residence and food facilities, and medical security without discriminating the position.