Inderpreet Nagpal, a former principal at a Montessori school with an ardent passion for food, started her home catering business HerbsnSpices five years ago.
And about 12 months back she realised that people have stopped making pickles at home and it’s a tradition that is dying out; which implied that the traditional recipes and natural methods of preservation were also dying out. This insight was the main trigger for Inderpreet to set up her pickle business.
People still craved for home-made pickles but didn’t want to go through the pain of making them. Or, they did not know how to make them.
She says, “After speaking to a few people I realised that they still craved for home-made pickles but didn’t want to go through the pain of making them. Or, they did not know how to make them. The recent move towards healthier, organic, less chemically treated food also meant that many were looking for a natural option, made using healthy ingredients.”
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Inderpreet feels working from home helps her enjoy the best of both worlds. She gets to be present as a homemaker, mother and wife (which are roles that are important to her) and at the same time, she can pursue the things she is passionate about and ensure that she financially independent.
“Having worked in an organisation, I realised I am not made for the politics and drama that entails, I also enjoy being my own boss. I work as hard, if not more, but I enjoy it more. In all honesty, it also saves me from the madness which is traffic. And the bonus is I can make pickles while sipping on a red wine or a dram of single malt. Now, where would I get that?”
Inderpreet has sold over 100 kilos of two varieties of her pickles and many others have clocked 20-50 kg. Considering pickle is not consumed in a large amount, this is quite the remarkable feat.
She is also mildly surprised at how quickly her business has picked up. She has sold over 100 kilos of two varieties of her pickles and many others have clocked 20-50 kg. Considering pickle is not consumed in a large amount, this is quite the remarkable feat. Inderpreet also adds samples of two or three more kinds of pickles so that customers get to try something else. Through this, Jackfruit, which would otherwise seem like an odd choice has become quite the favourite of her customers. And at their insistence, she has also started making potato and non-vegetarian pickles.
Presently, Inderpreet owns the entire supply chain via a courier service she uses and has been delivering pickles across the country. She asserts that she wants to remain boutique and not become a mass producer of pickles.
“But the business is growing. I can already see it outgrowing my kitchen, so my immediate plans are to find a place where I can manufacture and store in a larger capacity. And I also want a blended distribution model by ensuring my pickle is placed in select high-end stores where discerning customers are focused on value and will appreciate the effort, care and tradition that home-made pickles represent.
When a customer writes in and says my pickle reminded them of the pickles their grandmother used to make, that’s the highest compliment I could receive because my heart is set on preserving this old family tradition,” she adds.