The story behind ‘The Theobroma Story’


It is troublesome for us (and others too, we discover) to not go for a second serving to from an expansion that features Millionaire and Chocolate Overload Brownies, cream cheese sandwiches and mini squares of crimson velvet pastry as we wait to interview Kainaz Messman Harchandrai.

As we swirl bits of chocolate from the brownie in our mouths, we recollect recollections of previous visits to the unique Colaba outlet and ruminate concerning the model the Messman household has constructed, Theobroma.

And as we breeze by means of the pages of Harchandrai and her sister Tina Messman Wykes’ ebook Baking a Dream: The Theobroma Story, we realise how the patisserie that started off of Colaba Causeway in Mumbai is a lot greater than a Parsi-family-run firm.

Unlike most different Irani and Parsi cafes in Mumbai, the Messman household made one large change in its approach of working which helped them transfer past Colaba, and open 50 shops (and counting) throughout the nation — settle for change and outsiders within the enterprise.

Her mom’s recipes for mawa muffins, walnut and chocolate chip brownies, the Parsi chutney of their chutney sandwiches and egg chutney puffs proceed for use although. Harchandrai and co-founder Wykes share these and lots of different enterprise and private nuggets within the ebook.

“Like with so many other Parsi families, we started as a family-owned business. We still are one. What has worked in our favour is that though my parents are as Parsi as one can get, they are very forward-thinking. Many families don’t move with the times and that’s the toughest part of working within a Parsi family,” says Harchandrai.

She refers back to the one-year battle of convincing her father to make an outsider (Wykes’ buddy from her coaching days at KPMG, Cyrus Shroff) the CEO of the corporate at a time after they had been struggling to set down processes and preserve a regular throughout their 5 shops within the metropolis in 2013.

“It’s a coincidence that Cyrus was a Parsi; our current CEO is Rishi Gour.” Shroff continues to be a mentor to the enterprise and is part of their board.

What I learnt from my mom

“For most people, their knight in shining armour and first heroes are dads. For us, it’s our mum. As kids, I remember seeing my mother stay up till 5 am to complete an order. She would still diligently look after us and even devote her free time to us. As we grew up, we started helping her too,” says Harchandrai.

Back within the day, her mom would provide sandwiches, rolls, puffs, burgers, muffins and pastries throughout all MAFCO shops in Mumbai, a enterprise she ultimately walked away from as she felt that she was neglecting her daughters. Kamal continued to run a dessert enterprise out of their dwelling, and in her ebook, Harchandrai says that Theobroma is an extension of her mom’s enterprise.

The story behind ‘The Theobroma Story’

“Food was the focus in our house. We chose our holiday destinations based on the kind of food we wanted to have. And I have to credit that to my mum, she saw to it that we were exposed to every cuisine when Mumbai hardly had any good international restaurants,” she says.

Her father, Farokh, is equally inspirational for the sisters. Having run a number of profitable companies, he continues to work in the present day on the age of 76. “They led by example, we saw them both work incredibly hard,” says Harchandrai.

Highs and lows

It’s not simple scaling a enterprise, Harchandrai reveals. “When the business is small, you don’t have the financial muscle to hire the right people. We didn’t know anything about a retail business, that it is so much more than a product. We naively assumed that because we had good business from home, it would be a little more of that in a shop format. We didn’t even know what it would take to fill the shelves.”

The transition to a much bigger mannequin was not an in a single day miracle, she says, particularly discovering the precise key companions and promoters. “Have clarity about your expectations, what you want your business to grow into and what you want to become. Giving up control is not easy, but before you go out looking, you should know what you want. What made you grow from a small to mid-sized business is what will prevent you from going mid to big. There is a process of unlearning,” she explains.

It’s additionally vital to grasp that with a enterprise, all the things stops at you, she says. Be it neighbours, workers or Government issues, one has to hands-on to take the large leap.

The ebook is on the market on Amazon.in and Kindle by means of Amazon.

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