The Hemp Factory is set to educate and satiate the city with a range of delicious, hemp-based cuisine
There are some things in the culinary world that will always spark conversation. Pineapples on pizzas, the validity of veg biryani and now that India’s racing into the future we can add one more name to the list – hemp seed. The much-maligned, most often misunderstood ingredients were finally vindicated in November 2021 when the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) allowed the sale of hemp seed, hemp seed oil and hemp flour as food and an ingredient for food. People jumped on the opportunity and hemp-based cafes began springing up in different areas of the country. In June 2022, another milestone was crossed as Mumbai got its first ever hemp-centric cloud kitchen with the opening of The Hemp Factory.
Co-founders Dhaval Panchal, Navneet Shetty, Kajal Lahane & Saurabh Dhonde, in partnership with Bombay Hemp Company (BoHeCo) – an organisation that for years has been championing the use of hemp as a medicinal product – this creative kitchen is here to change public opinion, educate and of course, dole out delicious food. To do this, they decided to make optimum use of their packaging, printing facts and information on all their delivery containers to ensure people were fully aware of the meal they were about to eat. “Awareness is the most important part.” says Dhaval Panchal, co-founder and CEO of The Hemp Factory, “We have such a long history of hemp use in India so it’s just a matter of spreading the right knowledge about the nutritional value.”
Often referred to as hemp hearts, the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant and their powdered version are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals. “It’s got more protein than eggs!” adds Panchal who after 7 years of working with BoHeCo is thrilled to have broken into a space where he can deliver this message literally to people's doorsteps. “Although,” he laughs, “you’ll still get those one or two customers who leave angry reviews because our products don’t make you high. It happens most with our brownies.”