Granny’s Pizza, the new entrant in the pizza market, is made by the grannies at the Vishranthi old-age home
Whoever said old age is boring, it’s time to think twice. Thanks to Vishranthi, an old age home on Hoskote-Malur Road – Granny’s Pizza has gradually forayed into the Bangalore market.
The grannies who stay at Vishranthi are busy churning out sauces, making pizza base etc. for Granny’s Pizza. Granny’s Pizza was started by Sarasa Vasudevvan, Padma Srinivasan and Jayalaxmi Srinivasan. Padma retired as a finance manager from the Indian Telephone Industry. “It was only in 2003, I realised that I still wanted to do something and Vishranthi was born. It started out as a family trust but in 2006 it became a public trust. People came to know about Vishranthi and Granny’s Pizza just by the word-of-mouth. The pizzas are all prepared earlier. At the sale counter we only assemble it and heat it in the oven and serve. So the service is really quick and the place is less messy,” explains Padma.
She was later joined by her daughter Sarasa, who quit her job with Cathay Pacific Airlines to join her mother and brought in her mother-in-law Jayalaxmi. “She is the docile and my mother is the most active,” she says.
“We wanted to build an old age home and an orphanage. We decided to bring youngsters from rural areas, started giving them vocational training and trained them to speak English and Hindi. Since we needed some budget to run Vishranthi, we started Granny’s Pizza, where inmates of Vishranthi help making all basic ingredients and the youth work at the sale counters,” says Padma.
“We also supply to all HP branches, Symphony, LNT and other major IT firms, where they have given us some space in their cafeteria. But the kiosk in Gopalan Mall, near Byappanahalli Metro Station, Old Madras Road, is our very first independent counter,” beams Padma.
Padma is articulate and speaks passionately about Vishranthi and Granny’s Pizza. “I became a widow at a young age. All of a sudden my world came to a halt when my husband died in an accident. I was left alone with two young children. Then I had to start work to support them. Because of my experience, I prefer young women to always stand on their own feet so they are able to face any challenge that life throws at them. I have made my daughter and daughter-in-law promise me that they will continue to work, no matter what happens,” smiles Padma, who adds that she gives pep talks to all the inmates of Vishranthi.
Sarasa adds: “You will find no preservatives in our pizzas. The vegetables are grown on our farm at Vishranthi and the grannies here take extra care to prepare the sauce and the base. I think these pizzas are a class apart as they are cooked with a great amount of patience and love.”
Granny’s Pizza offers you only vegetarian pizzas. Even in the ingredients nothing non-vegetarian is used, including the cheese. “It’s all home-made. Our cheese is made in Kodaikanal. The base is made with whole wheat or a mix of maida and wheat or multi-grain atta. So it is healthier. This is topped with a home-made tomato masala paste instead of ketchup. Plain maida makes it very chewy, hence we add in the wheat to have more fibre,” explains Sarasa. For the Jains they offer Jain Pizza, which comes without onions or garlic.
“We, at Vishranthi, are really close knit and do not want anything to change the dynamics of the place. So we actually do a trial stay for newcomers,” explains Padma, who takes care of every aspect of Vishranthi. “It is not a place where elders are dumped, but an extension of the family that they come from. No alcohol and meat is allowed in Vishranthi,” says Padma.
They also custom make pizzas and take orders for parties. If the order is more than 100 then “we go to the venue itself. Soon we also plan to start a home delivery system,” says Sarasa.
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