A Post-graduate in Public Administration and MBA with specialisation in Human Resource has no regrets of quitting her job to become a full-time home maker and be a full-time mother to her daughter of few months.
This happened in 1994… come 2020 and Moushumi Moitra still has no regrets.
She is still a full-time homemaker and a full-time mother and much more. She is a celebrated Home Chef and a Vedic Astrologer… the two major passions of her life. She used her spare time to hone her passions and today she has turned her passions into profession.
For Moushumi, Profession is where you focus on career growth and Passion is something that your heart yearns for. Over the years, passion has gotten fused with a bit of profession. In fact, the lockdown has kept the professional in Moushumi very busy… sometimes doing double shifts to ensure every order is delivered and people enjoy a good meal during the otherwise mundane life in lockdown.
Evolution of passion into profession
Cooking has been Moushumi’s passion from childhood and will always be. She used to love watching her grandmother and mother cook and was very inquisitive about what all they would put in the curry to create a relishing end-product. What amazed her the most was the fact that they never used any measurements and depended on their instinct and hands to put the spices… and Voila, created magic every time.
Over the years, Moushumi has been experimenting a lot with food, especially Bengali cuisine, and dishing out exceptional finger-licking foods.
In 2018, Moushumi was introduced to the concept of Home Chefs through an online portal known as Authenticook. She connected with them because she loved the concept.
Here people from different countries, backgrounds, cultures come together and spend one evening at the host’s place over a traditional meal for a moderate fee… also learning about their cultures, family, and of course the cuisine.
What Moushumi loved the most was the lively conversations and exchange of information on varied range of topics and each other’s cultures. Soon she became one of the top-rated hosts on the site with her exceptional cooking and conversations.
A friend suggested to Moushumi to take the concept of home chef and hosting a little further and introduce little cooking sessions with them. This became a big hit, and she had many guests from all over the world who visiting her place to learn. A good 3-4 hours had to be dedicated for each of these sessions.
Her Bengali food sessions really picked up and were keeping her busy in the pre-lockdown era, but things changed once the lockdown hit
Good Food was the star of lockdown
When the entire world had come to a standstill during lockdown, food was the only thing that added spice to or lives and kept us going. Moushumi too has had to realign herself and her work according to the new normal in the post lockdown era but her passion for food kept her going.
During the Pandemic, the home visits got thinner and thinner. But food is an integral part of everyone’s life, so a few friends and some senior citizens of her colony convinced Moushumi to start home-delivery of her home-cooked authentic Bengali foods.
Since lockdown, many people have switched to work from home and continue to do so. Most of them are young couples and some with little kids or infants, who have to manage office and other responsibilities too. Apart from that, there are senior citizens living without help during lockdown. Cooking would seem tedious and time-consuming for them. So, I decided to start the home delivery of freshly cooked day to day foods at a very reasonable price.
After the initial inertia, of lockdown and hesitance of food from outside, there has been no looking back for Moushumi. Her clientele has been rising steadily by word of mouth and now she is catering to Bengali and non-Bengali customers.
Moushumi continues to live through her passion of cooking during pandemic but has upgraded her packaging to ensure safety and hygiene during the tough times. Along with designing a menu for ease of ordering, she delivers food in hygienic boxes and cleans the kitchen more often to give confidence to my clients.
I have kept the prices for dishes as extremely competitive so that more and more can have a taste of my passion at a reasonable price and also do not miss home food, when away from home.
People understand the difference between food cooked as business and food cooked as passion and that seems to be the reason that the response has been overwhelming for Moushumi. There has not been a single day during pandemic when she did not have orders, in fact, she has had to do double shifts on certain days to ensure all orders are delivered and the quality is not affected.
Enabling he house help.
Another reason for Moushumi to venture into home-deliveries instead of taking time off or upskill herself further during lockdown was to empower her house-help who takes lots of interest too in her home chef venture. She wanted him to have the experience and learn to carry the venture forward.
I also share the profit with him, other than his normal salary. This motivates him to have more interest and zeal!
Takeaway from Lockdown
The response to her home chef venture has been greatly satisfying for Moushumi. In fact, it has helped her Home chef Venture manifold.
Never had Moushumi thought, when she quite her job in 1994, that her love for food would one-day become a full-time venture and something she would be loving every day and every bit.