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Chocolaty start to a Sweet New Year: Meet Ujwala
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS!!
Let's start this new year with a sweet....and thus we are interviewing UJWALA from DILETTO CHOCOLATES :)
What led you to a food start up?
I have always been really passionate about cooking as it gives me a lot of pleasure and in a way helps my creativity take shape. It was at a chance event when a close friend needed chocolates for her party that I decided to try making them. As my work got appreciated and grew with regular orders, I decided to give up my 15-year-old job and started Diletto.
Leaving a job! How did you make up your mind?
It wasn’t easy quitting a full time job and starting a business about which I didn't know much. But, the support of my family and close friends helped me pass through this phase and gave me the confidence necessary to make a name for my brand. It was an uphill task to source good quality ingredients keeping the final cost of product in mind, experiment with new recipes and market my brand especially to the corporate clients. I have constantly been learning since, incorporating new ideas both in terms of taste and presentation of product.
Share about your venture "Diletto"...
Diletto is an italian word, which means "something that gives great pleasure." Having a sweet
tooth ourselves and a heavy indulgence in our chocolates and desserts, we thought, it would be
great to share this huge pleasure with everyone, hence the idea - Diletto.
With modest beginnings in December 2008, we have been making fine quality chocolate. No matter how sumptuous a meal is, there is always room for dessert. In addition, to making chocolates, we also specialize in making desserts such as puddings, cheesecake’s, soufflé's, mousse, etc.
Your packaging looks really interesting, can you share more about it?
I didn't have to look far with regards to packaging, since I have experience in the field. The positive feedback from clients both for packaging and product taste grew with each order and helped boost my confidence. Apart from chocolates, I have added cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies and many other baked products. Now, I not only design packaging for my products but also do so for fellow bakers and chocolate makers under the brand – Papyrus. Papyrus also caters to design of wedding cards, paper bags, boxes, corporate stationary, etc.,
What are your strong principles that has taken Diletto so far?
We strongly believe that "customer is the king" and so are driven by our goal of offering something new to our customers keeping in mind the quality, hygiene and presentation of our products. Having discovered how creative one can be with chocolate, we thought of developing the concept of printing on chocolate. The success of this has led to the launch of CHOCOPRINT in 2010. Our chocolates are designed to be individualized using any image or logo which can be perfectly reproduced using approved edible inks.
What are your Current Achievements & Future Plans? -
I have received the COWE Excellence Award under the Food Category in 2016. I have recently been selected for the Walmart sponsored Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (assisted by Vrutti) amongst a number of applicants. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I was told that the eligibility criteria of turnover were relaxed by the selection committee because my work is neat and professional. Future plans are to acquire a couple of machines which will assist me in production and add new products to my existing range. My long term goal is open a one of a kind chocolate store in the city, made of all things chocolate.
Who is behind your success? -
"There is no substitute for hard work and hard work & sincerity always get rewarded." This is something I live by everyday. My family comprising of my mother and younger brother has been my biggest support. They have always helped me complete orders, given honest feedback for my recipes and have always stood by me. Second to none are my employees, suppliers and clients who keep coming back for more are all part of my success.
Thought for the New Year - "There is no such thing as a good time, if you have thought of doing something, start doing it rather than pondering over the thought, failure is ok, its a part of life's lesson, Success will follow soon"
Tell something about yourself…. "Saranya, from Pollachi, a small town in Coimbatore. I belong to an orthodox family and I was married at 18. Then I moved abroad after doing my MBA and worked as a technical recruiter in a consulting firm. I worked in London for 2 years. Currently I take care of “ Sharanalayam ” as a Secretary." I am also an American board certified associate behavior analyst (BCABA). Movement out of corporate to where you are placed now..tell us about how you landed here? "One fine day we decided to leave our jobs and move back to India to stay with my parents inside Sharanalayam campus. The main reason was to support my mom to run this. However, my husband who was into hospitality business started a restaurant in Pollachi." About Sharanalayam Sharanalayam was started in 2000 by my mother Vanitha Rengaraj in a rental building and presently sits in a 3-acre campus and 200 inmates: Sharanalayam Dhaya : A Home for th
About yourself Sethulakshmi (a.k.a.Sethu) is a trained ethnographer, involved with communities that are vulnerable for HIV, for the past 20 years. She has extensive experience in engaging, educating and linking communities to the much-needed health care research and for their own health care needs. Her work has transformed over this period to focus on, gender issues, urban poverty, issues around fragmented education of children in urban slums, livelihoods and sustainability, economic opportunities for women and being part of a team as supervisor that focuses on sustainability of a large organization currently driven primarily on donor funding. She manages over 20 direct reports and 950 volunteers. Briefly, she is a positive thinker and a consensus builder! About ECO-KITCHEN ! The YRG Foundation has over the last two decades built rapport with most communities that are presently in need, and its work on health literacy, urban asset building and food security has helped b