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Spice of Kerala, and more

S. Anil Radhakrishnan
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The ‘Café Kudumbasree at the Global Village food pavilion on Bolgatty Island in Kochi.
The ‘Café Kudumbasree at the Global Village food pavilion on Bolgatty Island in Kochi.

The face of women’s entrepreneurship, Kudumbasree, is serving a delectable fare with authentic regional flavours at the food pavilion of the Global Village on Bolgatty Island in Kochi.

The varied cuisines of Malabar, Cochin, and Travancore come together under the umbrella of ‘Café Kudumbasree’ brand, which has five stalls at the Food Pavilion. From its humble beginnings, Café Kudumbasree has today become a successful chain, managed chiefly by women entrepreneurs and known for its quality food and service.

For the more health conscious, there are oil-free snacks, herbal drinks, and fresh fruit juices. Kudumbasree’s Mini Café boasts a special herbal concoction developed by its own researchers in partnership with Oushadhi and the Spices Board. Chief among these are seven kinds of Gooseberry juice made by pairing the fruit with rock salt, turmeric, honey, carrot and beetroot, among others. They are also part of Kudumbasree’s State-wide efforts to promote the cultivation of Indian Gooseberry, known to have medicinal value. Visitors who want to know the recipe of their favourite dish can visit the café’s kitchen, talk to the chefs, and watch them at work.

In 2009-10, Kudumbasree’s Thrissur district mission formed a management and marketing group called AIFRHM (Adebha Institute for Food Research and Hospitality Management) to help improve the condition of canteens and catering units.

Women employees and entrepreneurs from 700 units have been trained under the project and their restaurants are branded together under Café Kudumbasree in a bid to standardise food and services.

Hygiene and quality are the topmost priorities at the restaurant and all earnings from the stalls go to the respective catering units, says Café Kudumbasree Chief Operating Officer K.P. Ajayakumar.

The ‘Café Kudumbasree’ food pavilion at Global Village has special herbal concoctions too.

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