If you are a foodie, but wary of eating from thattukadas (roadside eateries on pushcarts) thanks to unhygienic environs and food safety concerns, then your wait should end in just over a month from now.
Consumerfed (Kerala State Co-operatives Consumers’ Federation Ltd.), the apex body of consumer co-operatives in the State, is all set to launch a chain of thattukadas under its brand name Triveni to provide quality food in a hygienic way.
“The first one will be launched at Gandhi Nagar in Kochi before Onam. If found successful, similar outlets will be opened gradually in all 140 Assembly constituencies in a year,” Consumerfed managing director Rigi G. Nair told The Hindu on Tuesday. The outlet at Gandhi Nagar will come up on the premises of Consumerfed’s head office.
Successful operation of Triveni Coffee Houses coupled with widespread food safety concerns prompted Consumerfed to launch the new initiative.
Triveni thattukadas aimed at reaching out to a larger customer base will have the traditional menu associated with other thattukadas in addition to light refreshments. Groceries for their preparation will be supplied from Consumerfed outlets.
Unlike conventional thattukadas that open in the evening and function late into the night, the Triveni outlets will operate from around 9.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. Besides they will be static units and not the usual pushcarts.
Consumerfed has already got a design of the outlet made in stainless steel by an Aroor-based factory approved. The structure will take up hardly 100 sq.ft. Solar panels will be installed on its roof to make it energy efficient.
“Setting up an outlet will cost about Rs. 5 lakh each. It will also provide employment to two persons. They are not being set up with profit motive but as a market intervention to serve quality food to the public. Since huge investments are not involved, we are sure that they will easily break-even,” Mr. Nair said.
Consumerfed is yet to reach a decision on who should be entrusted with the operation of its thattukadas. As a means of self- employment, it will most likely be outsourced to unemployed persons with reasonable know-how of cooking. Besides, direct operation of thattukadas is likely to create bureaucratic hassles, including in appointments. “Consumerfed will reserve the right to closely monitor the functioning of thattukadas. We will create a special wing with managers of each region being given charge to inspect their operations at least once in a month,” Mr. Nair said.