In the quest of providing healthy Cookies and cakes to her daughter, Gurgaon based mother Vandana Mehta founded Chocolat Corner in 2017 from home. Now the business has generated Rs 25 lakh revenue in FY23. Startup Pedia had an exclusive conversation with the woman entrepreneur Vandana to chronicle her inspiring journey.
Vandana has been a health conscious person from the beginning. Her mindfulness towards healthy foods intensified when she was blessed with a daughter in 2013. Since kids can’t resist, cakes and cookies, Vandana became concerned about where she could find such kids’ favourite sweets, but healthy. She did not want to take any chances with big brands’ fake- claim to be healthy.
“Big brands claim to be healthy, but when we see the ingredients closely the products are not healthy. They have processed ingredients like refined sugar and preservatives,” said Vandana while talking to Startup Pedia.
Vandana has worked in corporates across different sectors like telecom, retail and real estate until she was blessed with a daughter.
Initially, Vandana used her remarkable culinary skills to bake different kinds of healthy cakes for her daughter at home. She used different kinds of healthy flours such as millets and almond flours instead of maida (refined wheat flour). It was not easy for her because she had to work on the taste as well as the look of the cakes. However, eventually after experimenting with various healthy ingredients she would manage to come up with tasty and mouth-watering cakes.
When she observed that her family and friends were praising her healthy cake recipes, Vandana invested around Rs 20000 for a commercial oven and other baking stuff. She launched her brand called Chocolat Corner from home. She would make different kinds of cakes and chocolates at home single handedly and then showcase them at society’s events and schools’ functions.
Originating from a humble foundation of 3-4 confections and cake recipes, Vandana’s dessert and cookie brand has blossomed into a diverse selection of 70 products, including brownies, cakes in various flavours, and tea cakes. Discussing the wholesome components integral to crafting the extensive array of treats, Vandana highlighted the use of oats, whole wheat flour, almond flour, jaggery, Couverture chocolate, and nuts in her creations.
Apart from Chocolat Corner, Vandana also launched Blissfully Yours – an exclusive brand for healthy cookies in February 2023.
Under Blissfully Yours, Vandana has 12 varieties of cookies to offer such as ragi cookies, jowar cookies , oats cookies, cranberry cookies and breakfast cereals. The brand also has peanut butter and almond butter granola.
Vandana reiterated, “As a healthy food brand, we don’t fake-claim, we practice what we claim. We do not use any preservatives, refined sugar and colours in our products. My aim is to serve healthy products .”
In the initial six months when she was operating from her home, Vandana’s Chocolate Corner made Rs 1 lakh in revenue. However, as the word spread, the revenue boosted to Rs 5 lakh in its first year of launch. Since then there has been no looking back.
“Our revenue has been increasing. Even during the pandemic, in 2020, we did Rs 7 lakh in revenue. In 2021 we did Rs 9 lakh. In the last financial year FY23, we clocked Rs 25 lakh in revenue,” revealed Gurgaon woman entrepreneur Vandana.
There are different prices for different products of Chocolat Corner and Blissfully Yours.
Chocolate boxes start from Rs 350, tea cakes start from Rs 500, one kilogram cakes start from Rs 1490 and 200 grams cookies are for Rs 220. While chocolates and cakes are sold in Gurgaon, cookies are sold across Delhi NCR’s supermarkets. They are also available on the brand’s official website (www.chocolatcorner.in).
Chocolat Corner’s products prices are comparatively lower than other healthy brands. While other brands sell 80 grams of cookies packet in an expensive eco-friendly packaging for Rs. 200, Blissfully Yours 200 grams cookies packets are sold for Rs. 220.
Organic and healthy foods are usually costlier than unhealthy ones because the ingredients and manufacturing cost is higher. However, the Chocolat Corner founder Vandana Mehta believes that more and more people are preferring healthy foods ever since the covid-19 pandemic hit.
Vandana said while talking to Startup Pedia, “For instance, about 5 years ago people hardly knew about millets. Now, the Food and Agriculture Organization and United Nations has recognised 2023 as the International Year of Millets. People are becoming more mindful of what they are eating.”
Vandana now has a studio as well as a cloud kitchen. In the cloud kitchen, manufacturing of the products is done and then packing and other things are done in the studio. About 5 employees are working for the brand.
“I have been a health conscious person and I feel that this habit should be passed on to the next generations. The brand I am building will help me to do that,” signed off Vandana.