Aug 05 2021. views 409
Thanuja Kariyawasam worked in the corporate sector for almost 17 years before she decided to retire after her third born. Because she was always passionate about cooking and dreamed of one day opening her own cafe, Thanuja decided that she would start her own food business.
“I started by creating an Instagram page for my home cooking by the name of ‘an enthusiastic cook’ and then the first idea to advertise a product as a business started after I made a cookie bottle to be gifted as a teacher's day gift, for my children. What started there turned into my small business which initially started by the name of "Grace & Glory" which then with expansion was changed to ‘CIRCLES’”, Thanuja shared.
“CIRCLES initially was mainly focused on sweets and then branched out into savoury food, which has always been my passion”. Thanuja also customises orders based on client requests. Speaking of her experience with cooking, Thanuja explained, “I don't have any restaurant experience but my love for food started at home. My mom is a wonderful cook & she has had hotel school experience and I've always admired and followed her”. So once she gained traction on her Instagram page, she decided to start the venture. “Once I stopped working it became easier to focus on trying out new recipes and to be more creative with my cooking. So together with my mother, I wanted to start this home-based business”.
“I started my business with mainly cookies and cakes such as butter cakes, love cake, banana bread etc and then ventured into savoury food such as pasta, fried rice, waffles, dumplings, quiches, snacks, and I even make many local food such as rice & curries, string hoppers, rotis etc. Most of my orders are very customized when it comes to the local food types as I have many returning customers. Also, the snack box which has become quite a hit is customizable. They can select what they want from the menu to be added to the box and I do the decor free. The pasta are freshly made for each order with mostly homegrown fresh herbs to give the best flavour. In addition, I do gift boxes with cookie packs and handmade gift items”.
“My future plan is to open up my own food outlet and also to expand my business. I also plan to introduce new flavours and menu items which fits our local pallet as well as, hits the spot when it comes to flavors. As we Lankans love our spices and flavours, I want to make my food in the same way we all love to eat in our own homes”.