In this series, we talk to people who turned their passion for food and baking into a business idea amidst lockdown and COVID-19 fears. Some have been in the market for years and others saw the new opportunity and took it! These home businesses are changing the game and have overcome the odds of running a business during quarantine. With increased restrictions once more, we talk to home bakers who are operating during these times to bring the sweet and savoury to your very own doorstep!
A passionate cook, Fazla Fazuldeen has always been encouraged to start a home business by family and friends. “That is when I decided to start Sensational Savouries, by marrying my love and passion for cooking into a venture that offers high-quality delicious food made with love and with sensational goodness. My love for cooking began when I was young. I enjoyed cooking for my family and would try my hands at new recipes: this brought out my creativity.”
What do you offer?
We offer Koththu, biriyani, lasagna, baked macaroni and short eats. Our best sellers are the Koththu and biriyani. I must say that we prepare the Koththu from scratch, the parathas are homemade using high-quality ingredients. Our client favourites are our Koththu, especially the seafood one, and biriyani of course.
When did you start operations?
After much planning and research, Sensational Savouries saw the light of day in the year 2017. Like most home business owners, we created a Facebook and Instagram page for our business and took it on from there. I still remember vividly the first order that went out from our kitchen; it was an order for Koththu in 2017 for a corporate event!
What is it like running your operations in times like these?
It was a challenge to operate during such uncertain times but we took it in good stride. We did not function during the very first lockdown due to severe restrictions. However, during the second lockdown, we continued our operations as we were well prepared. Our koththu was a hit as people opted for homemade cooking due to hygiene reasons.
How are you ensuring that proper hygiene measures are taken in preparation and delivery?
As a mother of three, I take food safety very seriously. The food is prepared under strict hygiene. That is why we even make our parathas at home for the koththu. Food is well packed and delivered by trusted delivery partners. We are fully vaccinated too.
What do you enjoy about baking and operating your own home baking business?
What I enjoy the most is when my customers come back and tell me that my food made everyone’s mouth’s drool, I get so much satisfaction. I really love seeing happy faces and full stomachs and know that I played a part in making people happy. What I like about operating my own business is that I get to be my own boss, in the comfort of my home whilst being a mother to my three children. I must say though that it is no walk in the park, it can be challenging at times having to juggle a lot of things at the same time. But since I accept orders only on a preorder basis it makes it easier to schedule my day and orders.
How do you see home bakers going forward post-Covid?
We have been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. The current price hike and shortage of food have impacted us greatly. Sourcing ingredients can be difficult; unlike restaurants, we don’t buy and stock up in bulk. It’s definitely going to be a challenging one also due to the uncertainty in the economy. However, we are hoping that things will get better in 2022.
What’s next for your brand?
We are planning to introduce new dishes to our menu and also expand on our vegetarian options.
Any advice to anyone who wants to start their own business?
Do what you most enjoy and love. Always follow your passion. You also have to be very determined and keep going even when you are tired. Owning a business requires you to put in a lot of work and a lot of hours. Endurance and persistence are vital skills that you must have to make it through these long hours and get things done.