International Women's Day – Impactful Women In Delhi’s F&B Scene
Image Credit: Woman of substance

International Women's Day is on the 8th of March. It is the day that we take out and dedicate to the lovely women in our lives who have helped us build our lives. A society without the contribution of women will not be a society at all. They are the emotional support, the logical brain, the generous heart and the entrepreneurial expertise that we all need to survive. Talking about the women in 21st century, most have built their lives themselves and while doing so, some have become exemplary. This Women's Day, let us look at some such entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry who have made their marks in the city of Delhi.

Gunjan Batra – Founder of Comfort Bakehouse by Café Delhi Heights 

Mother of two, Gunjan, after realizing her passion of baking in lockdown and after settling her kids on their education grounds, decided to give wings to her dreams- she thought of Coming up with its own Comfort Bakery. The Bakehouse reliably turns out aromatic loaves of naturally leavened Sourdough, croissants, vegan breads, or cookies that you crave daily. It handcrafts everything in-house with patience and passion and the Comfort Bakehouse experience is a one that cannot be replicated with mixes, preservatives and shortcuts.

Christine Samandari – Co-Founder of L’Opéra

In 2008, Christine and her family moved to New-Delhi India where she started a new career as an entrepreneur and social activist, where she co-founded L’Opéra. Her inquisitive nature, her love to engage in new experiences, her urge to create something lasting and her desire to promote the French (culinary) culture in India led her on this journey with her son. From the selection of the brand name to the design of its logo, the interior design of the outlets, the selection of the furniture, the conceptualization of the packaging items, the staff uniforms, training and grooming to the final approval of the products, there is barely any significant area of L’Opéra’s operations which does not fall into her orbit.

Aavika Chhawchharia - Founder of Honey & Dough

Aavika used to like a bakery chain a lot in Chandigarh, which made her wonder why there is no pan-bakery brand in Delhi. This compelled her to launch Honey & Dough with her husband. Honey & Dough is a friendly neighborhood bakery that offers scrumptious baked goodies, a hot cuppa & toothsome nibbles. She plans to take this legacy forward by making it a global venture and is aiming to build all the upcoming outlets of Honey & Dough as Café format in best and bigger ways.

Chef Vanshika Bhatia – Co-Founder of OMO - Soul Food Community 

OMO - an ingredient-forward fine-dine restaurant situated in Gurgaon’s Galleria Market, is the brainchild of Chef Vanshika Bhatia, Deepika Sethi, and Grace Muviah. They ethically source produce and ingredients from local farms across India. The menu boasts contemporary dishes using unique, exotic, and seasonal ingredients as well as an in-house coffee brand Ngarum. Chef Vanshika believes that her food should look, taste, and feel wholesome and nutritious, and she revels in creating dishes for the pleasure of others. She takes inspiration from her family's culinary heritage and ancestral roots in Bannu, a region characterized by its aridity, and where food evolved in response to both climate and circumstances. Vanshika Bhatia has been cooking and baking since she could reach the stovetop and now the world is privy to it.

Avantika Sinha Bahl - Founder and Managing Director of Kampai, Mai Bao

Founder and Managing Director of Kampai, Avantika conceptualized the brand because of her love and fascination for Japanese food and cultural scene. On her multiple trips to Japan over the years, her fascination with their rich heritage and culture only made her more passionate about her dream project. Her love for the beautiful flavors and ingredients from the land of the rising sun and recognition for a demand for the cuisine in her hometown made her pursue the restaurant at a young age of 25! She is also quite passionate about healthy cooking and experimenting with new flavours and cuisines. The idea for Cocodate was born during lockdown when she decided to get certified as a vegan pastry chef and convert her passion into a brand.

Sheetal Saxena – Co- Founder of Colocal & Athyeka Cafe 

A banker by profession, sheetal did not think she would get into the business if not for an Instagram live that she watched where she saw how chocolate is actually roasted. Deeply intrigued about the process, he started to research more on the topic. all that research and the hard work finally led to Delia's favorite Chocolate Factory that this Colocal located in Dhan Mill. Other than Colocal, Sheetal also has a cafe serving wholesome South Indian food called Athyeka.