Pune, which has long been considered a sort of stepchild of Mumbai where tired urban folks come to spend their weekends, has really come out of its shell! It has established an identity of its own in many aspects — professional, entertainment, lifestyle, standard of living and so much more! Talking specifically about the culinary side of the equation, sure it’s still famous for its spicy misal and Maharashtrian fare, but step into the quiet lanes of Koregaon Park or Camp and you’ll see the food industry like never before.

Step into the quiet lanes of Koregaon Park or Camp and you’ll see the food industry like never before. Women are leading the revolution

Many major chains from the metros of India have found their home in the hearts and stomachs of this Oxford of The East. Considering the growing and varied appetite of the public, every month food startups (some operating straight from their home) are gaining popularity and fostering innovation in this space. Here are 7 women entrepreneurs who are giving customers happy smiles every time they dig into their goodies!

1. Namrataa Kripallani – Forennte

Namrataa Kripallani - Forennte for SheThePeople.TV
Namrataa Kripallani – Forennte, Pune

A place that has been a Pune staple for me (been living here for 3 years now!), the smell of beautiful red velvet cakes, pies and chocolates is sure to drag you in for a bite. “As a teenager, I always found myself fascinated by all the new foods I tried on my travels and even within the city. Baking caught on very quickly as my friends and family started loving my cakes and deserts.  We would carry along a dessert to our family and social gatherings where I’d be bestowed with raving reviews that motivated the transition of baking being a hobby to a full-blown business. With further encouragement from my husband, I decided to create a brand identity for my range of world desserts and Forennte took birth,” says Namrataa.

She is an ardent believer that in today’s day and age Both men and women with a broader view to life and living are contributing immensely to each other’s growth, both professionally and spiritually!

2. Malika Khanna – Bakelove

 Malika Khanna- Bakelove for SheThePeople.Tv
Malika Khanna- Bakelove

I remember on a gloomy day, the hubby surprised me with a Banoffee Pie from Bakelove and literally love happened! Malika started baking obsessively since the age of 12 and took up a lot of courses through high school and junior college. She has also spent 3 years in New York city studying cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park!

“I was fascinated at the lovely bakeries serving simple, fuss-free yet delicious baked goods and thought it would be a good idea to start a place like this in Pune. The idea of using pure ingredients, real butter, quality chocolate etc, yet keeping the product very simple and less complicated, something that I saw very few places doing,” she says. The bakery opened its doors in May 2015. Keep going, keep innovating and keep selling!

3. Natasha Asnani – Callow

Natasha Asnani - Callow for shethepeople.tv
Natasha Asnani – Callow ( Pic courtesy- www.thegoldensparrow.com)

Looking for your health fix served right? Callow, in the posh area of Kalyani Nagar, is an eatery with everything from smoothies to ice teas to lollies to even pizzas! Callow is co-founded by Natasha Asnani, who has an MBA in marketing and advertising and loves experimenting with food. ” I saw the lack of a smoothie parlour in Pune with fresh fruit berries, peaches, apricots and thought of starting my own. Callow means raw, young and green! We import our raw ingredients from France which makes us stand out from the rest. Everything is fresh throughout the year!” says Natasha.

I saw the lack of a smoothie parlour in Pune with fresh fruit berries, peaches, apricots and thought of starting my own – Natasha Asnani

4. Sajjani Nair – The Secret Chef

Sajjani Nair- The Secret Chef for shethepeople.tv
Sajjani Nair- The Secret Chef
Born out of an impulsive and instinctive need, The Secret Chef is literally your neighborhood gourmet kitchen. Sajjani serves Mediterranean, European, Pan Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines in Pune and everything is made to order! It’s not a restaurant, it’s not a café, it’s a home kitchen that is fuelled on the magic of food!
“I started off not for a lark I would say but I needed closure on the fact that I cooked well.  It was a seed sown by my friends and family, so I started by calling myself “The Secret Chef”, it was a secret unviable dream for me. I am actually a graphic artist! Food has turned out to be a spiritual journey for me!”
Sajjani serves Mediterranean, European, Pan Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines right here in Pune and everything is made to order
5. Michelle Bauer – The Good Juicery
Michelle Bauer- The Good Juicery
Michelle Bauer- The Good Juicery

She moved to Pune in the summer of 2011 and noticed a gap in the market shortly after for non-alcoholic natural beverage options. The Good Juicery and its array of sparkling flavours will hit your taste buds and become best friends with it throughout the year! “We found India to be a very welcoming, social place – with so many great restaurants, festivals and events happening, and more popping up each month. What followed was nearly 3 years of research and development before we launched with a range of sparkling fruit juices. Initially we offered three flavours – Sparkling Passion Fruit, Sparkling Apple and Sparkling Pink Guava, made with no preservatives or artificial ingredients.”

6. Ninfa Chao: Largo Pizzeria

Ninfa Chao- Largo Pizzeria for shethepeople.tv
Ninfa Chao- Largo Pizzeria
How can any food article be complete without the mention of the love of my life- PIZZA! Largo in Viman Nagar (right in the centre of the student community) is a child of pure passion and perseverance. Along with her co-founder, who also loves food, Ninfa decided to serve simple and tasty thin crust pizzas to the folks and the rest is well – history! “The concept of serving large thin crust pizzas was an idea Girish had been toying with for years and it all came together one evening over an animated discussion about dreams, passion and destiny….behold, the idea was born and later christened Largo Pizzeria! 2 years, 2 stores and many more on the horizon!” she says.
7. Reema Sathe – Happy Roots
Reema Sathe- Happy Roots for shethepeople.tv
Reema Sathe- Happy Roots
While everyone is indulging in foods that are great to the palate, Reema Sathe decided to focus on socially conscious food instead. Happy Roots manufactures and markets healthy snacks which are made by small farmers and rural women in Maharashtra. ” I worked in the food & beverage industry for seven years and then, there came a point in my career where I had an inner calling to work with the rural communities. The idea behind the business was to bring farmers and consumers closer to each other. In this entire process, consumers get an access to farm fresh, high quality food and farmers get to own a bigger share in the food value chain,” says Reema.
Women Entrepreneurs of Pune
Women Entrepreneurs of Pune
Feature Image Courtesy: Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen