After 13 Years, How These Restaurateurs Are Driving Biz Focusing on Sustainability, Competition and Concept
After 13 Years, How These Restaurateurs Are Driving Biz Focusing on Sustainability, Competition and Concept

Combining resources, strategic loan acquisitions, nationwide exploration, thorough research, mentorship, and a shared vision to introduce European craft beer culture to the area, the dynamic duo of Amritanshu Agrawal and Dr. Priyanka Gupta founded the ground breaking microbrewery, Hops n Grains, nestled in Panchkula back in 2011, then the fifth of its kind in India. Inspired by the fine traditions of European craft beer, exquisite cuisine, and a welcoming atmosphere, the innovative Hops n Grains has flourished for over 14 years, earning prestigious accolades like the Times Food Awards for Best Trendsetter Microbrewery in North India and the esteemed Best Brewmaster North title at the Brewer’s World Awards. As the second oldest operational microbrewery in India, the remarkable success of Hops n Grains spurred the ambitious duo to expand their presence in the industry, leading to the launch of another acclaimed microbrewery, The Great Bear and Kitchen in Chandigarh, alongside Hops n Grains in Mohali. Never content with their achievements, the resilient pair ventured into the realm of artisanal chocolate craftsmanship with the introduction of Mozimo, North India’s premier bean-to-bar chocolate cafe in Chandigarh in 2023. With Amritanshu’s MBA expertise in financial and operational realms complementing Dr. Priyanka’s shrewd business sense rooted in her medical background, they together manage interior design, marketing strategies, and administrative functions while juggling familial responsibilities, including caring for their two daughters. Their partnership embodies daring innovation, forward-thinking, a love for the brewing art (zythophiles), and extensive travel experiences, all driven by unwavering perseverance and a shared commitment to excellence. Excerpts from the interview:

You brought the beer drinking culture to the Tricity of Chandigarh 13 years back? 

Indeed, we launched Hops ‘n’ Grains, the 5th microbrewery in India, which stands today as the country's second oldest operational microbrewery. Our founding vision for Hops 'n' Grains was to pioneer the craft beer concept and combine it with exceptional culinary offerings. From the outset, we aimed to introduce a European-inspired brewery to the region, and now we are embarking on a journey to establish India's premier European craft chocolate brand.

What was the genesis of the Mozimo concept?

Our journey began around 2021 as daring explorers, passionate aficionados of all things delightful and indulgent, set out in quest of the ultimate chocolate experience. To us, chocolate transcends mere confectionery—it embodies a realm of creativity, a realm of discovery, a tribute to elegance. For over two years, we scoured markets and chocolate hubs, driven by our insatiable chocolate cravings that led us through India, Dubai, and Europe. We delved deep into the secluded cocoa plantations of South India, establishing ties with farmers dedicated to sustainable and ethical practices, and meticulously handpicked beans steeped in heritage and tradition. Drawing from the heart of Europe, we procured cutting-edge machinery designed to impart an authentic bean-to-bar artisanal essence to our chocolate. It was on European soil that we immersed ourselves in the art of chocolate making, discovering the true essence of flavour and luxury melting in our mouths.

What sets Mozimo apart from the competition?

Fuelled by a deep-seated ‘sweet passion,’ we dedicated all our efforts to our cutting-edge café, Mozimo. Established in 2023 in Chandigarh, Mozimo stands as India’s pioneering genuine European-handcrafted bean-to-bar artisanal chocolate, honouring the distinctive and exquisite flavours of single-origin cocoa beans. More than mere chocolate, Mozimo represents an immersive journey—a luxurious and indulgent experience, a true guilty pleasure, we dare say! 

How do you define sustainability in your context?

Step into our workshop, a dynamic culinary space and a chocolate aging sanctuary where the enchanting alchemy of cocoa unfolds. Witness the transformation of cocoa beans—roasted, cracked, winnowed, and refined on-site with European precision and cutting-edge machinery, coaxing out their innate flavours to capture chocolate in its purest essence. Opulent, playful, and meticulously handcrafted, each Mozimo bar possesses a delightful character and spirit, a masterpiece born from the skilled hands and fervent hearts of our artisans. As a brand tailor-made for connoisseurs of chocolate, we are dedicated to constant innovation, seeking new avenues to curate confections that not only tantalize the taste buds but also promote our well-being and environmental stewardship. At the core of Mozimo lies a commitment to sustainability, actively crafting products that promote health and environmental well-being, eschewing plastic packaging in favour of eco-friendly alternatives such as paper and glass jars, along with paper, jute, and cloth bags. We adamantly reject preservatives and additives, opting for purity in each delectable creation. Moreover, our unwavering dedication extends to sourcing cocoa exclusively from regions free of unethical labour practices, such as the ethically sound cocoa plantations of South India.

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