-Vishakha Goswami (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kolkata: Chef Moumita Bhoumik, one of the leading academicians in Eastern India is trying her hands-on experience in entrepreneurship. She is a celebrated culinary artist, an expert in molecular gastronomy who has worked with world-class chefs for about a decade.
Amidst the pandemic, she had launched Panchmishali, an organic shop in September in Kolkata. Despite the uncertainty of the future and knowing that the hotel industry is going through a rough patch, along with her co-founder she decided to break the monotonous routine and build something different. By identifying the gap in knowledge about the organic and vegan ingredients in the hotel industry. She decided to curate an organic shop to bridge this gap and make people aware of the availability of various ingredients and products that are available within the country.
“After spending almost nearly 16 years in the industry as a culinary expert and as an educator in hotel management studies what I have realized is that there is a lack of knowledge regarding our national products that are available in the country. Though many chefs nowadays are working towards bringing up all those organic ingredients in Indian cuisine. However, in cities like Kolkata, the possibility of growth was pretty less compared to other cities. So along with another partner of mine, we decided to start with our first company named Panchmishali.”, said Moumita in a conversation with Chef Bharath.
Desi Bideshi Bistro:
Alongside Panchmishali, Bhoumik decided to start a cafe as well in the same premises. With a motive to showcase the cuisines that are made up of those organic products that were sourced from different states.
“We started with our local products like Nolen Gur, Khejur Patali Gur, which were made in Bengal only, slowly we expanded its sales in other states also. We then started bringing in a substitute of mozzarella that was available in Kashmir called Kalari and berries – like golden berries, rose berries which are not available and most people don’t know about them. We got spice, coorgi coffee and all of that from South India. We even got Dalle Khursani Chilies from North-Eastern states. Kahwa Tea and pink tea – the finest blend of kahwaa tea from Kashmir. A delicate blend of kahwa leaves, rose petals, cardamom and saffron. So we source all of these, we showed them to people. We started sampling. Within a short period, it became acceptable and popular in our city. Then we thought that now it was time to take the next step. We started our small little Indo and we named it ‘Desi Bideshi Bistro’.”
The objective of building this café is to bring these organic products from all over India and incorporate them into our bakery products and other cuisines. We have some other popular dishes which are acceptable by all Bengali communities only. For example, we make a very popular chicken roast, which is made of Nolen Gur & Kasundi which are local products from Bengal. By using these we gave a different taste to Kasundi Nolen Chicken Roast.
Another special dish they have is Angare khumb burger and spicy mushroom burger with kalari cheese from Kashmir.Chef Moumita is bringing a fusion of delicious cuisines made of all the organic products from different parts of India. Within six months, she has seen a rapid demand and growth in her café.
Distribution and Sales:
Currently, they are taking orders on their social media page i.e, Instagram and Facebook. “We have two distribution forms at the moment. We are selling in-store and take orders via social media pages. We are building our websites from where we will serve the customers”, says Moumita.
“Is in next 3 yrs we have a plan for 2 more outlets in the city. Also, make our organic product range on a large scale production thus giving our local artisans a better platform”, Moumita concluded.