Rachel Goenka, the sassy lady of Sassy Spoon is the Founder and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company. She holds an enviable chain of chic restaurants, bars, bakeries & patisseries. Rachel is redefining how restaurants in India curated desserts with a range of innovative offerings at her restaurants.
The chocolate spoon company was the first to bring Eclectic European cuisine in India in 2012. Mam, please tell us how welcoming the Indian palates were for this cuisine?
Rachel Goenka:- Extremely welcoming! I started The Sassy Spoon at a time when people were actually looking for creative and innovative European cuisine so the restaurant was very well received and we became synonymous with out of the box food. I love putting my own sassy twist to traditional dishes and this is something all our patrons love.
Apart from your restaurants, you have other revenue streams like catering, corporate lunch box services, and private labelling. Mam, please tell us how are these ventures helping you in providing more services and the expansion of your brand?
Rachel Goenka:- There is a benefit for any businesses to explore ancillary revenue streams through verticals that complement our core business.
Cake Me Home is the first cloud-based dessert only delivery brand. Mam, please tell us how did you come up with this idea. And how are your target audience responding to this service?
Rachel Goenka:- We feel there is a gap in the market for a delivery only dessert brand. Additionally, we created this brand to address the growing demand from our corporate customers for quality desserts on a contract basis.
The Sassy Spoon, Powai has the theme of travel the World on a plate. Mam, please tell us about the cuisine diversity and menu range which you offer in this outlet?
Rachel Goenka:- The concept behind the Powai outlet stays true to the essence of travelling the world on a plate. The menu, the interiors & the overall vibe depicts wanderlust, adventure & exploring when it comes to a culinary journey. Every element within the new outlet is inspired by Travel with a very bohemian and carefree spirit. We have over 15 different cuisines from Greek, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, French, Thai, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Cajun, American and food from different regions from India.
House of Mandarin, Powai boasts beautiful interiors. Mam, please tell us the influence of interiors and atmosphere in a restaurant on the footfall?
Rachel Goenka:- The market has evolved and it’s no longer just about great food and great service, It’s extremely important to have a beautiful, high energy space that also keeps customers coming back apart from the food and the service.
Baraza Bar has a Portuguese theme and offers Taproom service of Craft and Draught beers. Mam, please tell us how Baraza proves to be a perfect spot for relaxing in Pune?
Rachel Goenka:- Baraza has a massive outdoor space which is essential in Pune. The weather is amazing most of the year and people love sitting outdoors. The entire outdoor section is surrounded by trees so you feel like you are in a different space altogether. The food is amazing and the service impeccable so it’s a great place to chill out.
Wicked China, Pune offers Asian Tapas cuisine with a large variety. Mam, please tell us how well does it fit your Chinese cuisine?
Rachel Goenka:- Wicked China is a funky Asian space which is why I decided to do Asian tapas. It’s the first Asian tapas resto-bar in Pune and we have some creative food like wanton nachos and drunken chicken cigar rolls as well as crowd favourites like chilli chicken etc. The whole idea is to have great drinks space with amazing food! The food is fun and quirky, just like the décor.
You have also written a book named ‘Adventures with Mithai’ please tell us what is this book about and how did you get an idea to write about Mithai?
Rachel Goenka:- Adventures with Mithai is my first book and the concept is about taking Indian mithai and turning it into a contemporary dessert. I have been playing around with these ideas at The Sassy Spoon every Diwali and I finally decided I wanted it to be the premise of my first book. It also shows you how you can repurpose extra mithai rather than throwing it out by turning it into a totally different dessert. The book has 50 recipes ranging from desserts, ice creams, cakes, kulfis, truffles, cheesecakes, truffles and macarons. I’m extremely proud of it as it recently won the prestigious Gourmand World Food Award for India in the pastry category.
How have you started Sassy Littles which caters into healthy and wholesome snacks for kids? How progressive is India towards healthy eating?
Rachel Goenka:- I started Sassy Littles because of my son Kabir. I really wanted to make sure that he isn’t eating processed food that’s laden with preservatives and sugar and other additives as they contain a lot of chemicals. What started out as me making snacks for him at home catapulted into a line for children because like me there are other mums out there who also share my views about healthy eating. Sassy Littles uses wholemeal flour and also has gluten-free options where I use zucchini, pumpkin, coconut flour, quinoa, sweet potato and spinach. It doesn’t contain any nuts for now although I will be expanding the range and including some nut options as well. For sweeteners, I use jaggery, fruit purees, dark chocolate, honey and maple syrup. I use other ingredients like flaxseeds which are extremely nutritious for children.
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