Food

Coimbatore’s Cafe Totaram enters online space with Snackwala range of traditional North Indian savouries

Ranjana Singhal   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

“Hang in there, learn new skills, take the plunge,” says Ranjana Singhal of Cafe Totaram about her lessons learnt during the pandemic while dealing with upheavals in the food industry. She enters the e-commerce space with the launch of Snackwala, a range of seven North Indian savouries that can be bought online on her website www.cafetotaram.com

“At 52, I am learning the nuances of aggressive social media marketing,” laughs Ranjana and offers me a sample of shakkarpara or toshe, a sweet roll. It is mildly sweet and the taste and texture reminds one of the South Indian badusha. “This sweet is a staple at North Indian weddings. They gift boxes of toshe along with wedding invites to friends and family. When I tasted an authentic toshe at a family wedding in Tiruppur, I tracked down the homepreneur and roped her in.”

Taking baby steps

Ranjana calls herself a catalyst. “I identify talent, give them a platform, and as well as leverage my brand. If there is someone, for example, who makes the best hand-made murukku, I am ready to collaborate. I am working with another person who makes florentines.”

Ranjana, who has been in the industry for two decades with two successful restaurants That’s Y and On The Go, says with Snackwala, she is taking baby steps in the online business. “It is a calculated risk. I wanted something niche and not compete with the bigger players. A product that has long shelf life, meets nutritional requirements, is freshly made, and packed beautifully. And, traditional North Indian savouries was an easy bet as I come from there.”

Curated North Indian savouries like laccha mathri, piri piri mathtri, tossed, dry fruit chivda and brookies

Curated North Indian savouries like laccha mathri, piri piri mathtri, tossed, dry fruit chivda and brookies   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

Right now, Snackwala offers seven products including the laccha mathris, a layered crisp savoury bursting with ajwain flavour that I enjoy with hot masala chai. There is also a sweet version, the milk mathri that comes with a hint of nutmeg and works as a dessert. And, an in-house special, the piri piri mathri, where the crispies are tossed in piri piri powder and mixed herbs. “I am working with our food technologists to try flavours like wasabi and cheese,” she explains.

A range of curated North Indian savouries like laccha mathri, piri piri mathtri, and brookies

A range of curated North Indian savouries like laccha mathri, piri piri mathtri, and brookies   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

There are jeera cookies, dry fruit chivda and Cafe Totaram’s delightful brookies, a happy marriage of cookies and brownies. The products are packed in food grade tins that come from Puducherry, and pouch packs that come with stickers of the product details. “For weddings, the stickers can be customised with photos of the bride and groom. I also want to use my doodling work, another skill which I picked up during the pandemic, to good use on the stickers. People can also order bespoke gift hampers online for any occasion. We customise it. I am reaching out to social media influencers to visit us and post their reviews out there. It’s been overwhelming. ”

As the initial technical glitches have been ironed out, they are ready to go online from today. “The learning has been hands-on, even something like how to pack the products in master cartons complete with bubble bags.”

What next? “Sell besan burfis online... and kick-start another new journey of learning.”

You can order snacks online at www.cafetotaram.com or Whats App 9360381511. Call 4364116.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:17:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/coimbatores-cafe-totaram-enters-online-space-with-snackwala-range-of-traditional-north-indian-savouries/article37882280.ece

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