Meet the SHEROES - Srishti Handa
SHEROES chat with Srishti Handa who started The Temperamental Chef, a brand that makes only vegetarian frozen. Read and know what made Srishti start-up-
Tell us more about yourself and what you do.
For the past year I have been running a vegetarian frozen food business in New Delhi, India, under the brand name, ‘THE TEMPERAMENTAL CHEF.’ We wanted to provide customers with some interesting, high quality offerings and that’s how it was born. I have always been a little obsessed with food, brands and the start-up space and had been working in F&B for a while, which made the transition to running my own company much easier.
What was the idea behind starting The Temperamental Chef?
I have always loved animals and am involved with local animal rights groups and charities (in fact, my dog is a rescue from one of the animal shelters). Some years ago, I started reading blogs on what happens to animals in abbattoirs and basically left meat, cold turkey (please excuse the bad joke). I was never a huge fan of paneer, but it was incredibly de-motivating to be the only person at the party chomping on paneer tikka, while everyone else had a plethora of options. I was also working with a vegan frozen food company, which took me to Singapore. Visits to the supermarket were always a treat, because the aisles were overflowing with interesting vegetarian options, especially the frozen section. It is also easier to access ingredients there and my partner would keep creating different vegetarian burgers for me. That’s when we decided to see if we could do something in India. I felt like there could only be two reasons why no one else was doing it, either they hadn’t thought about it, or customers didn’t want anything too experimental. We’ve been in the market for about a year now and see an encouraging response, but understand the challenges of operating in such a niche market and know that we need to work on an aggressive customer education campaign.
There are a lot of major brands providing frozen food, how is The Temperamental Chef different?
We take great care in sourcing quality ingredients, so that we have quality products. The products are healthier than those offered by our competitors, they are lower in calories and free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Most importantly, we try our best to offer some really interesting and innovative things, which are different from everybody else.
Message to all SHEROES out there.
It sounds cliched, but you will never know what you are capable of, till you try. Of course it’s scary and of course you will be riddled with self-doubt and have some really low days, but know that it’s temporary and that the opportunity to do something significant is incredibly rewarding. Most importantly, just have fun and build a strong support system.