Ishana Passi, a resident of Chandigarh currently studying in London, has been a cooking aficionado since childhood. She used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen where she felt grounded and centred. It had a therapeutic and calming effect on her, she says. Growing up, she realised that cooking and eating together has the power to bring people closer in a complex society like ours where everyone is occupied with their lives. Her passion for food soon turned into a burning desire to share it with others and make them a part of her journey. What did she do then? The pandemic induced lockdown proved to be the eureka moment she was looking for. Ishana Passi calls it ‘a blessing in disguise’ as it led to the birth of Spoonful Stories, a space for affordable vegan food.
“As everyone was stuck at home and started focusing on cooking and eating clean and healthy, I started with a food blog where I would post sweet and savoury recipes. Due to the amazing response with my recipes I was motivated to put a few products out in the market. But I wanted to fill in the gap in the market of delicious and healthy snacks, as the pandemic made everyone a health freak!” she said adding that Spoonful Stories is helping her break the taboo that healthy food is not delicious.
Making Gluten-free food available
The Chandigarh resident also believes that gluten free, vegan and preservative free products are very highly priced and at the same time have a limited variety of products that are easily available. For unversed, gluten is a term used for the proteins found in wheat that act as a glue that holds the food together. A lot of celebrities like Virat Kohli and Katrina Kaif have gone completely gluten free. A lot of restaurants across the country have also started keeping dedicated gluten-free menus for diners.
I chose YouTube over any other platform because it is the easiest to access and most user-friendly option for my audience – Ishana Passi
Inspired by this gluten-free lifestyle, Ishana Passi started coming up with products that were delicious but gluten free and vegan with no added sugar. She wanted to make it affordable for everyone to eat healthy food. She has started accomplishing what she aimed to. Currently, Spoonful Stories has over 14 products that are all gluten free, vegan, with no added sugar and preservatives.
Is she relishing her entrepreneurship journey? Yes, she says that she enjoys entering unchartered territory. Taking a concept that started as a thought in her head and turning it into something that touches thousands of people excites, satisfies and motivates her to work harder.”
But what about the challenges that entrepreneurship comes along with ? Does she get intimidated by them? It is not easy being an entrepreneur, she admits. However, the journey comes with its own set of lessons that must be learnt in order to grow. One has to be very patient, disciplined and consistent throughout the process, she quips. Talking about the lessons, she says that an entrepreneur must trust herself and rely on her own wisdom while making some tough calls related to her entrepreneurship journey. However, it is important to be open-minded towards learning, listening and even failing, she believes.
How I leveraged YouTube to build my business
Technology, too, has played a pivotal role in making her entrepreneurship journey a success. She says that Spoonful Stories has an e-commerce store that leverages the power of social media and digital to reach the masses in the country. Talking about the role of YouTube in her venture’s expansion, she says, “I have been using YouTube for two years now to share my recipes with the audience. I record the videos and upload them on YouTube. I chose YouTube over any other platform because it is the easiest to access and most user-friendly option for my audience”
All entrepreneurs crave recognition for the dollops of sweat they put in to materialise their dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Ishana says that she started Spoonful Stories at the age of 21 with no culinary experience but was elated when all her products were recognised, recommended and accepted by Holistic Lifestyle Coach Luke Coutinho who is also the founder of ‘Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing System’, a multi million-dollar company focussing on integrative medicine, disease, preventive medicine and coaching. She said that her products were even sold on his platform. This recognition, she believes, gave her a big push in the right direction.
Is she content with what she has done so far? Where does she plan to take Spoonful Stories from here? What are her future plans? In the long run, she aims to make Spoonful Stories a one stop shop for all delicious and healthy snacks. She looks forward to receiving professional culinary knowledge and experience to polish her skills and then expand Spoonful Stories across the country. “I would like to see Spoonful Stories grow and have a chain of fine dining restaurants which serve deliciously healthy food!”, she signs off.