Chef Shreya Mundra’s food is one to savour
25-year-old Shreya, who is ably helped by her mother and sister, cooks authentic Indian and Italian dishes
Hyderabad: Masked, gloved and aproned, Shreya Mundra, her mother Anju Mundra and sister Anchal Mundra, every day stand in their home kitchen for hours together cooking authentic Indian and Italian dishes and also some specials you’ve never heard of.
The kitchen smells of pleasant aromas. But they are not cooking for the family. Instead, they’re preparing meals for strangers, selling their food.
Advocate by profession, 25-year-old Shreya lives in Hyderabad in a joint family and has spent time in the kitchen trying traditional and unheard-of recipes since she was 15. She wanted to join the culinary school, but she couldn’t. However, she decided to showcase her cooking skills on social media and in 2018, started an Instagram page ‘The Apron Tales’.
“What merely started as a food account to post pictures turned into a business as I always wanted people around me to taste my food,” says Shreya who kicked off her food business during the Covid-19 lockdown.
She didn’t want to appoint any chefs due to the pandemic. At that time, her mother and sister came to the rescue. The trio cooked, packed and delivered the food to customers and soon tied up with Swiggy and Zomato. Today, the three self-taught chefs are pro at cooking almost all Italian and Indian dishes and are always on the go.
They receive at least three orders a day. And, Shreya is running her super successful business while working as an advocate at the same time. She says she clocks monthly revenue of nearly 30,000. However, at times, she faces her biggest stumbling block: financial constraint.
One day, she came across a campaign ‘MAGGI Desh ke Liye 2 Minute – Ek Chhoti Si Koshish’ that was launched by Nestlé India. It was aimed at helping women become food entrepreneurs and gain financial independence with a seed capital of Rs 5 lakh each to 10 winners. She contested and won. The recipe sent for the contest was Mexican Thepla, which she says one cannot find anywhere on the internet.
From more than 8,000 entries in stage 1, only 250 participants were selected. They were given a month-long training and mentorship to launch a successful food business. Finally, the top 20 were selected for stage-3 based on their online test, votes received for their recipe and successful completion of all modules. In the last stage, all the 20 participants had to make a business pitch to a jury.
“I was the only contestant from Telangana to be on the top 10 list,” Shreya says adding that the winners get financial support along with kitchen and home studio set up and also a brand development support. She is planning to set up a double-decker food truck in the city offering a variety of food items with her prize money.