Women to Watch: "Play Safe, Believe in Yourself and Take the Leap," shares Aavika Chhawchharia of Honey & Dough
Women to Watch:

Aavika Chhawchharia used to like a bakery chain a lot in Chandigarh that made her wonder why there is no pan-bakery brand in Delhi. This compelled her to launch Honey & Dough with her husband. Honey & Dough is a friendly neighborhood bakery that offers scrumptious baked goodies, a hot cuppa & toothsome nibbles. “Equipped with the latest technologies; it proudly boasts the highest quality and hygiene standards. No special order is beyond our bakery's capacity,” shared Aavika who began her journey in 2016 with their first outlet in Defence Colony to fulfill the need for a quality bakery that would address the requirements of every customer by being a one-stop shop for a range of products. “From ambrosial desserts to appetizing savories, we serve it all,” she added. And, what started, as the bakery is now full fledged Café. Excerpts from the interview:

How does it feel to run one of the most successful bakery concept in India?

We started with Honey and Dough at a time when not too many cafes thronged the market in 2017. However, we grew gradually out of our own experiences and mistakes. Simultaneously, we learned about the tastes of Delhiites and the changing trends. Participating in food festivals gave us monumental exposure. Today, after six years and with ten outlets, we feel over the moon when people revisit our cafes and relate to our culture.

What was some of the hurdles that came on the way?

Like every business or establishment, we had our initial hiccups. Our biggest challenge was when we were setting up our team with like-minded people who could work in harmony and grow together. In addition, we also had to put deep thought into the locations of our cafes and their décor. Finalizing the menu was also a challenge but then we hired the best in the industry for the same. Now that we are ten cafes and six years old we understand what goes behind. We are on our toes constantly, devising strategies to serve our customers better.

What has kept you going?

It is encouraging to see customers return to our cafes for our food and coffee. Their appreciation and suggestions empower us to serve them better. This has helped us in building our name and goodwill. Our cafes are now bigger and people can host their private celebrations there. Hence from a small bakery, we grew to a café and now we also host events. All this wasn’t possible if our customers didn’t back us up.

What’s your expansion plan?

The plans to expand and reach out to the masses have always been our priority. We would love to expand to other cities but right now our focus is on Delhi and NCR primarily.

Tips for fellow women restaurant owners.

Firstly, be prepared for challenges but do not let them pull you down. Challenges come in plenty. Secondly, study the trend more and do not be repetitive in the menu. Thirdly, invest in the right people with the expertise to suit your establishment. Fourthly, invest gradually, not in one go. Play safe. Lastly, believe in yourself and take the leap.

Top Trends that you foresee.

Trends change, flavors change and food habits change too. Matcha coffee, flavored coffees, specialty drinks, and artisan coffees are ruling the café culture these days. With people moving towards more organic meals and diet-specific, cafes have incorporated specialized keto meals on their menus. Nobody knew sourdough bread a few years back, but now it’s choice at most cafes.

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