Food was something that Harsha and her family has always been deeply passionate about. Masala Box was born out of Harsha’s futile search for healthy options in restaurant menus at the time of her pregnancy, then the thought grew firmer over time as she realized the market need for healthy, home-made food.
‘Masala Box’, a unique initiative from a Kochi (Kerala) based women Harsha Thachery, a marketplace that connects their Home chef with customers. These Home Chefs cook food according to customer’s choice and they can buy it from either logging on to the masalabox.com or giving a ping to their phone number. Harsha, the founder of ‘Masala Box’ talks more about her innovative idea to The South Indian Post.
Tell me about the story behind Masala Box, what made you to think differently?
The idea of starting Masala Box was born out of my futile search for healthy options in restaurant menus at the time of my pregnancy. Then I realized that the market need for healthy, home-made food. So why should I start a venture like this.
I shared this idea with my husband and to the best friend. Both of them were very much supportive. Immediately after the discussion we started the work for this.
How the name MASALA BOX came? And Why?
Typically masala box is a container used to store an assortment of spices. Since from my childhood days, I was very much interested about this container. When I started the company and was on the lookout for a name, “Masala Box” seemed apt as it painted just the right picture apart from have a nice ring to it and an undertone of Indian culture.
What was the initial expenses you invested and how you managed it?
At the very beginning, the expenses incurred mostly comprised of sourcing high-quality packaging materials and putting together the company’s very own delivery team. The first round capital to start “Masala Box” was raised by me with the help of my family.
How can you ensure the quality of the item you serve?
We carry out a thorough quality and taste test before any chef is onboarded with Masala Box. Apart from this, we also carry out frequent taste tests wherein the chefs are required to send samples of the same food that they serve the customers to our quality control team who ensure all the quality and quantity parameters are adhered to.
How it works with the housewives?
At Masala Box, we try to leverage the most underutilized segment of the population – homemakers – to create a network of new-age entrepreneurs. By joining our chef network, housewives and home chefs not only get a platform beyond just family and friends to showcase their culinary skills but also make it a source of income. They are able to achieve financial stability by cooking a few portions of food, that too in the comfort of their home kitchens.
How you manage the dispatch and the delivery?
We provide the packaging containers to our home chefs who package the food items once it is prepared. Our delivery team picks up the packaged food from the homes of these chefs and ensures that fresh, tasty meals are delivered to all our customers while it is still steaming hot.
What was the initial response of the people to this?
From the time of it’s induction, Masala Box has been doing well as the demand for home-cooked food in the market is very high. The fact that we door deliver home-cooked meals draws in a lot of customers, especially from the segment of the population that is on the lookout for healthy food or lacks time to prepare their own meals.
Do you have permanent customers?
We have quite a few repeat customers who have been ordering from Masala Box very consistently. Majority of our regular customers comprise of office-goers as they struggle to maintain a healthy diet with their busy lifestyles and lack of time to cook at home. There is also a huge segment of health conscious people who order through us as our food is 100% free from any kind of preservatives and additives.
Masalabox is a first-of-its kind platform that aims to make homemade delicacies available at customer’s doorstep. At Masala box, we aspire to create a new generation of entrepreneurs by leveraging one of the country’s most underutilized assets – homemakers, said Harsha.
In an attempt to create more opportunities for this segment of the population, we have meticulously curated a network of skilful home chefs who whip up delicious, homely food from their home-kitchens to cater to customers taste buds.
At present, we deliver nutritious home-style food prepared using the freshest ingredients through Tiffin by Masalabox – a fully-customizable, subscription-based meal plan system, apart from undertaking corporate and party orders. We also offer an assortment of handpicked staples, sweets and snacks prepared by talented chefs from across the country through our product offering – Handcrafted.
We offer the food from best chefs in town. We connect talented chefs and our customers can enjoy a world class meal each day created with fresh handpicked ingredients and no additives, she added.
Recently Masala box started in Bangalore. Within the next five years they wanted to take their venture to the nine cities of the Country. Those who are interested in joining with their project as chef can sign using this link - https://www.masalabox.com/chef-registration