A graduate from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Pooja has grown in a family of restaurateurs and chocolate lovers. Her father and brother own a Mexican restaurant and her mother is into a chocolate business.
Tell us something about the Indian bakery industry?
There is growth in every aspect of food today. Bakery industry which was earlier not so popular, is gaining attention these days in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Lots of patisserie chains, dessert chefs and pastry chefs are coming up these days, hotels are opening bakery chains at their locations and restaurants are including bakery and desserts menu in their À la carte menu. Thus, we can see the change happening.
We see that bakery industry is mostly supported by home grown brands. What is your view?
Baking is easy to do and born out of one’s own interest. Also, it is the only venture in food industry which doesn’t require great investment and capital, and hence is the main reason why it is mostly dominated by home grown brands.
Tell us something about your brand Le 15 Patisserie?
My shop is now five-year-old, I started it when I was 23 and today am operating four shops in Mumbai and a couple of stores are lined up in Mumbai and in coming days, I am also planning to enter Delhi.
Are you in talks with investors to raise funds?
We are talking to so many people to raise funds to expand our services in Mumbai and other cities as well. We can finalise the deal anytime soon.
What is your view on the job done by ‘Foodhall’?
As a pastry chef, it is too difficult to find ingredients to bake good cakes and food, so I think Foodhall has done a great job by bringing a platform like this where one could get the global products at a single door. Meanwhile, it is a good retail outlet for people who love international cuisine which was not easy to find in any normal retail shop in the country.
According to expert chefs, it is always good to use simple and local ingredients in a menu. What is your say?
I think it can work for chefs but we as pastry chefs require certain ingredients, certain bakery items, sauces, creams and butters which we are unable to get in India and thus gourmet products is an amazing solution for the same.