Wed, 16 Oct, 2019

Healthy lunch a phone call away @The Tiffin Factory

30th September 2019, 02:44 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR   

At ‘The Tiffin Factory’, everything works on cloud basis, i.e. online, from accepting orders to publicising the menu. There are no hoardings, no signboards, not even any seating arrangement. The food cooked at Porvorim is delivered to the respective clients at their address. Moreover, this team of four provides a square meal, which is just a phone call away. Providing a healthy lunch on a phone call and delivering it on your table wherever you are in Panaji, Mapusa or Porvorim, the team maintains a homemade touch and taste to the food they cook, spicing it with lot of passion.   

Business professional couple Supriya and Sameer Borkar, her brother Dr Vibhas Prabhudesai, a maxillofacial and hair transplant surgeon along with his fiancée Dr Ancia Vaz, a periodontist and implantologist - are the brains behind the Tiffin Factory concept. This young team has come together to create something that they felt, was lacking in Goa – the ‘taste of home’ served on your platter wherever you are, be it home or office and that too at an affordable price. They made it possible. Moreover, that too, within a short span of time. Launched officially on August 1, with just 50 online orders, the Tiffin Factory has grown rapidly and has now added new, complete meals, on their menu. Sharing different responsibilities, they work together to put the best meal in their tiffin boxes – food that is simple yet savoury.   

“We are great foodies ourselves and so it automatically seeps in the food that we make – be it for us in small scale in our own kitchens or in a bulk for our clients spread across these three places. And since the response from our happy customers is growing day by day, we are making plans to expand across North as well as South Goa in the near future,” shares Supriya Borkar who steals the credit to make The Tiffin Factory popular on social media as the main face of this venture on Facebook and other social platforms.   

Sharing how they arrived at this concept, Supriya states, “Actually, it started casually. We never planned to go commercial. We four are foodies and share the common passion of having good food. Therefore, it was during one of our dinner table conversations that we thought of providing the same good food for the senior citizens who cannot come out of their homes to eat out, yet who crave for food that tastes homely and is hygienically prepared. We wished to give them ease of eating out at their homes. The idea conceptualised on our dinner table! We developed it and thought of giving it a small try.”   

The team put heads together and bettered the concept. Initially starting with simple Goan fish thali that was self-contained, convenient and easily eaten anywhere, even on a bus stop or a railway station. “But as the taste gets saturated after eating the same stuff day after day, we thought it would hamper the orders, as we would not be able to cater to a wider audience, or not get repeat customers in the long run. Fish thali is a favourite in Goa, no doubt, but not all of the younger generation crowd would go for fish thali on a daily basis. For them to enjoy what we offer, we thought of providing a quick bite in a box meal containing a complete meal. Here came, xacuti-rice-salad and cafreal in an innovative box meal. The idea got clicked immediately,” smiles Supriya. However, there are lot of North Indians working in Panaji-Porvorim area who would not want to go for fish thali or xacuti and cafreal. For them, The Tiffin Factory started to offer ‘desi box’ with butter chicken or paneer makhni. In their effort to offer something for everyone, including kids, teens, youth, officer goers, elders, they added Chinese box to their menu, containing fried rice.   

Agreeing that food is something, which one must cook with passion putting mind, heart and soul into the process. For Supriya and her team it’s passion and compassion. But this process has its challenges too. Presenting a thali with 10 items is not an easy task, admits Supriya, as one must not run out of any one of the single item. “We can’t be running out of things. If there are 10 orders from a single office, all 10 boxes must contain the same quantity and quality of food. Even the portions must be equal and the size of the prawns too. We do not want to leave any loopholes and allow people to compare the taste, size or portions of food in each other’s boxes when they sit together on a single table. We have to take care of this simple but vital fact,” maintains Supriya, however she adds in the same breath that this does not mean that they keep lot of stocks on their shelves.   

On the very first day, The Tiffin Factory served 50 customers. Their’s was the busiest kitchen on that day. As the buzz was created on the social media, inquiries poured in and people placed their orders in advance. It was in the mid-July that Supriya began creating sensation on the social media and waited for the response. Luckily, people were eager to try out and place their orders. Her message is loud and clear that the food would be prepared and served only on orders, as they do not want to waste any of the food. There would be no bulk storage. The vendors come every morning and stocks of meat, fish, chicken, vegetables and other items is purchased fresh, on a daily basis. The orders are accepted by 12 noon. The head chefs who take hold of the kitchen by 11 am get an idea of the quantity. The food is prepared and packed. The delivery boys dispatch the parcels during rush hours, lunchtime – 1-2 pm – in Panaji, Mapusa and Porvorim.   

Regularised tiffin orders on a monthly basis by senior citizens are offered concession of 10 per cent. Asking why would elderly people order on a daily basis, Supriya points out that many senior citizens want some me time to devote to their long cherished hobbies after their retirement. “All their life they worked hard to earn their living and had no time for themselves. Such people now want to give time doing things that interest them, not cooking for self. It is this section of the population that would be our regular clientele and we would be most delighted to serve them,” Supriya assures.   

Keeping their fingers crossed, the Tiffin Factory team dreams to expand in other states too, especially metros, where a demand for homely, healthy, hygienic food is always on the rise, as people feel guilty to eat outside food on a daily basis. If provided a choice, they would prefer to grab Tiffin Factory meal boxes as if someone’s aim is genuine, sky is the only limit to grow.   

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