When two foodies venture into a business together, it’s not always a recipe for disaster. Certainly, Varun Jhawar (L) and Nipun Katyal’s foray can be traced to their consternation at the lack of authentic ingredients for global cuisine, a particular favourite with the IIT alumni. They quit their mainstream corporate jobs, started Fizzy Foodlabs in August 2012 with ₹30 lakh in investment (from their savings and from family) and spent the next nine months on product development. The result: Chef’s Basket, which brings together all the ingredients for pasta or burritos. Ingredients are sourced from contract manufacturers and packaged as a meal in a box. The three variants on offer now don’t come cheap (margins are in the 20-25% range) but then, Katyal explains, the target customer isn’t students-on-a-budget. “We are looking at 25-40-year-old adults, living in metros and looking for convenient options to spent their date nights at home.” Some 80 stores in upmarket locations in Mumbai and 11 in Pune already stock the boxes, and the target is to cross 400 by the end of FY14. More recipe launches are planned, including thin-crust pizzas and Thai food. Also on the menu are open-and-eat options, as well as expansion to the National Capital Region and Bengaluru.
The perfect recipe
Chef’s Basket brings together all the ingredients for pasta or burritos
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