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Posted at: Jun 14, 2019, 8:46 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 4:14 PM (IST)MAKE IN JALANDHAR

Her home-prepared spices do the magic

Her home-prepared spices do the magic
Manisha Chhabra with her dishes in Jalandhar. Tribune Photo

Avneet Kaur
Jalandhar, June 13

From being a doting mother to two sons to recuperating from financial problems she faced in her lifetime, Manisha Chhabra turned out to become an entrepreneur managing a food catering business called ‘Pay N Pick’ from her kitchen at Jalandhar Heights II, and making supplies on orders received through her Facebook page and WhatsApp.

Offering a different taste from what is generally available in most restaurants, Chhabra’s dishes have become popular with people in the area.

Ranging from special bedmi puri aloo breakfast to garlic bread to special flavoured pizza and even variety of shakes, she keeps switching over her menu from the Indian to continental to Chinese to suit all palates.

As a little girl, cooking was an integral part of her life. From watching her aunt cook in the kitchen to hearing her relatives tell her stories of how her mother cooked, Manisha always dreamt of opening her own restaurant and being a foodpreneur.

“I was three-year-old when my mother died. I was raised up by my relatives and they often tell me that my mother was a brilliant cook,” Manisha said, adding that cooking was in her blood and she wants to make her mother in heaven proud.

She said she was also inspired by her friends to start her food business as they always loved eating the meal she prepares.

Sharing her journey, she said, “I just had Rs 3,000 with me and just 30-40 contacts in my phone. I started using WhatsApp group ‘Pay N Pick’ to send them pictures of the food I prepared with the rate list. People started trying and responding on the same group in which others too took the plunge.”

“Requests for adding more names in the group started coming and my daily orders increased. I then had to involve my younger son into the work to assist me during the peak delivery hours,” she said, adding that now she not only receives orders from her own area, but people living at a distance of around 15-25 km too made orders.

“People in my contact, instead of ordering from a restaurant or during any sudden visit of guests at their place, prefer calling me to place orders,” she said, adding that of about a few hundred contacts that she caters to, about 50 are her regular customers and keep ordering one thing or the other on daily basis. “Also, now people place order on my Facebook page too,” she said.

Talking about her USP, Manisha said the spices she used in the food were home made. “From chaat masala, to chana masala to oregano among other spices, all are made at home and even if anyone copies my recipe, they won’t be able to bring the same taste as my spices are special,” she said.

Manisha added that the mothers in her contacts have often complimented her saying that they were tension free as their children were eating home-made hygienic food cooked by her.

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