We Indians are known for two things: Culture and FOOD! Nothing can beat our love for food. Every state, every district and every other town in India will have its own delicacy which leaves a lasting food experience for anyone who tries it!
What is it that makes Indian food so delicious? We believe the major ingredient that enhances the taste of any dish here, is the love of the person who’s cooking it! Anything that is made out of love, will always taste delicious. But Delicious is often visualised with something that has some unhealthy ingredients attached to it. Is that always true though? Can healthy food not be delicious? Well, today we bring to you one such story which will change our perspective!
The food venture that simply began with an idea of serving delicious and healthy food to their customers, is today a food brand that made it to Shark Tank India Season 2. The story of The Simply Salad by Payal Pathak and Soham Pathak from Ahmedabad.
“Consistency is the only way towards success.”Payal pathak
STARTING SMALL AND MAKING IT BIG
Payal Pathak, a single mother living with her 19-year old son in Ahmedabad, recently made it to Shark Tank India Season 2. The mother-son duo not only won the deal but hearts with Payal’s culinary skills born out of curiosity and love!
Like many of us, Payal was also working hard to make the ends meet for her family. She owned a PG Business – A paying-guest facility for girls in Ahmedabad. With COVID-19 coming in, things started to change for her. She had to shut down her PG Facility. Though it was a tough time for all, Payal found an opportunity in disguise.
An absolute foodie from Saurashtra (South-Western part of Gujarat), Payal had an end number of recipes that she had built on with simple vegetables during her weight loss journey. One change that pandemic brought with it to focus on was – a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to everything that can help you build your immunity and keep you fit was the mantra everyone followed.
And this is exactly what paved the way to build The Simply Salad.
To run a restaurant that simply focuses on salads doesn’t really sound like an easy job. Payal started with basic salads at first and Soham supported her with marketing of it. The duo recalls the difficulties they faced with about 2-3 or 0 orders a day during their initial days. Today, their daily order list consists of a minimum of 120-150 orders!
What changed in between that the sales increased to a great extent?
“When I started with this business, we didn’t receive a great response in terms of order. However, people were supportive of our initiative and inquired if we have got other things on the menu. Hence, we did have to update our menu with regular food items like poha, upma, etc. and along with these people started to order salads. There was also a time when we had chai on our menu only to satisfy the demand and need of the business.” – Payal Pathak
In business, we often face challenges like these where we have to alter a few things as per the need of that time. Payal mentions taking this one step where she was adamant about serving only salads through their restaurant. Though they had once made a few changes to their menu, eventually they wanted to focus on bringing dishes which are healthy; focusing on salads. As a result of this decision, today the restaurant serves multiple dishes with a combination of about 15-18 main ingredients.
Food that is healthy and delicious.
“If I ask you to eat Quinoa, you won’t feel like having it. But if I offer you Quinoa Khichdi, you’d like to have it.” Payal highlights how involving healthy ingredients in regular food dishes can do wonders for us to associate with the food item! She calls her ingredients ‘Superfoods’-
Payal strongly believes in keeping things simple. Even with her PG business, she mentions to have clean and homely stays for the girls. “The stays we provide might not be the luxurious ones, but they are surely a place which brings in a homely vibe. Basic and clean.”
Similar has been her approach with food. “Our geographical location plays an important role when we choose food. We must choose to eat fruits and vegetables which are grown locally. They are easy and healthy for our bodies to process and digest. Hence I recommend having simpler meals consisting of regular vegetables.”
Her faith in keeping it simple and consistency in bringing new recipes has brought The Simply Salad where it is today. Even the judges at Shark Tank couldn’t resist having her simple salads!
THE VISIONARY AND THE STRENGTH OF THE SIMPLY SALAD
Soham Pathak, is the co-founder of The Simply Salad. A boy with great vision and clarity, currently handles marketing and communications for the brand. Speaking about the business, Soham mentions expanding it in Ahmedabad very soon.
“I am fortunate that I got to be involved in the business early. We were in debt at one point in time. I knew we had to make things work to sustain a good life for my mother and myself. Since I am very young, people really want to hear me out and that has helped The Simply Salad with loads of connections at work. I am glad I have this opportunity because of my mom.”Soham pathak
Hard days teach us all how to sail through and win at life if only one remembers to work hard, never lose hope and keep trying!
The understanding and maturity with which Soham handles the business today is truly inspiring.
The Shark Tank happened for The Simply Salad as a result of Soham’s enthusiasm in the business. He believed in their work and did not mind trying out things which can help the business to grow. The result of this is clearly reflected in their work and journey today.
The success of The Simply Salad is commendable!
What started as a business by two people, currently has a team of 18 people working with them.
The Simply Salad’s journey of s believing in one’s product and sticking by each other beautifully unveils the core strength of any business. We loved the way the proud mother and son spoke about each other and supported each other throughout their journey.
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