All in a Bowl

Amrita Prasad
Sunday, 17 June 2018

Pune-based entrepreneurs, offering salad box subscriptions, make eating healthy easy and affordable too

Think salad and sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes come to mind instantly. But salads can be really interesting and fun, and easy and quick to prepare. And even if you don’t have time to make a salad bowl for you or your family in your time-crunched lifestyle, try taking subscription bowls/meals. We talk to a few entrepreneurs who are offering such healthy delights:  

Light and easy
Tulsi Raisoni, who owns Garden Bar, has been serving Puneites salad boxes in different parts of the city and has recently introduced overnight oat bowls subscriptions. Raisoni, who retails through www.gardenbar.in, says, “We started with Garden Bar to promote healthy eating for today’s fast paced life. I was in the USA for a couple of years, and saw how life had started to get busy due to work that there was absolutely no work-life balance. Hence it made me push harder to make healthy eating an essential part of my lifestyle. After coming to India, it became a necessity to start something like this as there was barely an option available that provided quick and healthy subscriptions.” 

Garden Bar offers vegetarian salads with 10 different options to choose from. Every salad has a unique dressing and a combination of leaves, veggies, fruits, nuts, cheese, seeds. “We also customise salads as per requirement (vegan, diabetic, etc). Apart from salads, we have also started with overnight oat bowls. It’s new to the Pune market and the idea has got a great response. Overnight oats is not something fancy, but it’s a transitional process of soaking oats in Greek yoghurt overnight, topped with nuts, fruits and seeds,” explains Raisoni.

The five varieties of oat bowls include Berry Blast (a combination of strawberry Greek yoghurt, chia seeds, oats, cranberries, watermelon seeds), Crazy Monkey (Dutch chocolate, plain Greek yoghurt, oats, roasted almonds, chia seeds, bananas, grated chocolate), Tropical Treat (mango Greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, fresh mango, coconut shavings), Bravo (plain Greek yoghurt, oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, roasted almonds, bananas, cornflakes, grated chocolate) and Super Super Oat Bowl (plain Greek yogurt, oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, green apple, pumpkin seeds). 

Raisoni says that her customer base is focussed on housewives, office goers and basically people who are either busy or looking for healthy options. However, every salad box that is made is curated by the doctor who is onboard with Raisoni. “We have a doctor who strictly monitors the salads and oats or whatever new products that we introduce. We also offer free consultation for clients who have issues related to the salads, nutrition or their meal requirements over phone calls with our doctor,” she adds.

Garden Bar has an entire system set up on the website, right from selecting the choice of plan, to selecting delivery slots and dates, and making the payments. A three-day subscription for salad and overnight oats bowl box is priced at Rs 420 and Rs 480, respectively. However, you can also opt for salad and oats bowl subscriptions for a longer period. Apart from credit/ debit, PayTM and online transactions, senior citizens and others who are not so well-versed with technology, can opt for cash on delivery too. 

Farm fresh   
Rucha Rana and her husband Ameya Supnekar are into farming and run their salad subscription business called Grovow. Says Rana, “We have been farming for the past 8-10 years and our focus, as a farmer, has always been on: ‘How I can get better at consistent returns for my produce’. So we set up one of the first direct farmer to consumer initiatives in 2011 in Pune and since then we have been working in that direction. Grovow is taking us a step closer to our goals.”

Every ingredient that goes into the salad is produced on their farm. The subscription offers come under two sections — Make Your Own Salad (where you can completely customise your package with respect to ingredients and dressings) and Weekly Salad Menu (every week, there is a new menu which is a wholemeal salad with an ideal combination of healthy carbs, proteins, salad leaves, veggies and low calorie dressing). While the basic salad subscription begins at Rs 327 for three packs, the price varies depending on the type of subscriptions and ingredients. 

Rana says, “You can customise your packs. We have a standard combination of eight exotic vegetables in each box which is advised by our nutrition panel. Then we have add-ons like Sweet Corn, Pomegranate, Veggie Delight, Masala Tofu, Sprouts, Herb Chicken, Tandoori Masala Chicken, which, along with the seven dressings, can be mixed and matched according to your taste.” 

Some of the varieties that the weekly salad menu offers include Tikka Salad, Salad Mexicana, Fattoush, Rojak, Straight from the Wok and so on. To order your subscription, visit their website www.grovow.com or Facebook page, and select a pack depending on your taste buds, then decide the number of packs (3, 6, 12, 20, 30), choose your favourite dressing and specify the duration (daily, alternate days, weekly). 

Taste bhi health bhi 
Neha Gaikwad, owner, The Salad Works, who promotes clean, hygienic and fresh eating, says, “The Salad Works is your ‘box of health.’ Each meal is designed by our expert team of chefs and nutritionists. Whether your goal is weight loss, or muscle gain, staying in shape or simply eating healthy, we have meals to suit everyone’s needs, and each plan is delicious.” 

Gaikwad’s motive behind introducing The Salad Works was done in a bid to contribute towards solving the current challenges of obesity that is a result of eating fast foods.  “We don’t repeat a salad in one month — each day you get something new. At The Salad Works, each meal is packed separately in hygienic, convenient, microwave-safe disposable container trays that come with a clear account of its nutritional content. Our mission is to be the leader in the provision of healthy, quality, great tasting salads at an affordable price,” adds Gaikwad. 

Like most other salad subscription services, at The Salad Works, you have the freedom of making your own salad by choosing your own ingredients but by paying some extra bucks. Gaikwad, who likes Indian spices, says, “I have been on a diet and can’t eat restaurant food.

However, I’m a hardcore non-vegetarian and foodie at heart and it was difficult for me to eat diet food such as boiled eggs or boiled chicken. My fiancé, who is a chef by profession, suggested me to try some spices and marination that would suit my taste buds. This led me to experiment with salads and give them an Indian or a Continental touch. My friends loved my preparations, and I lost about 13 kgs weight in 2.5 months. That’s when I decided to turn this into a business.” 

Gaikwad has her kitchen in Kothrud and sells through Facebook and Instagram pages. Some of the varieties of salads are Grilled Paneer Salad, Minty Tofu Salad, Grilled Chicken. Eggs Jeanette Salad, Piri Piri Chicken Salad, Sprouts Bhel Salad, Paneer Lasuni Salad, Chicken Veggies Stir Fried Salad, Brown Rice Salad and so on. “A trial pack three-day subscription is priced at Rs 350 and a week-long subscription that is valid for 10 days is priced at Rs 1,080. A 15-day subscription valid for 20 days is priced at Rs 2,350 and a 30-day subscription valid for 35 days is priced at Rs 4,400,” says Gaikwad. 

To order from The Salad Works, visit www.facebook.com/The-Salad-Works-207982066467464 or www.instagram.com/thesaladworks. You can also email Gaikwad at thesaladworks@gmail.com

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