Rendezvous with Meghana & Shauravi – Founders of Slurrp Farm

We are in conversation with Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, founders of Slurrp Farm and mommies with a mission to make Indian kids eat healthy! 

Slurrp Farm

Shauravi with her 3 yr old son & Meghana with her 4 yr old daughter

When Meghana & Shauravi could not find healthy and yummy food options for their children in the Indian market, they decided to make some! As their tag line goes “founded by two mothers, for their children, and yours”

Read on to find out all about their journey till now

BAM: Tell us how did Slurrp Farm come into being?
SF: Both of us have lived and worked in London. On our trips home, we were bombarded with requests from friends and family members to bring healthy, organic and yummy products for their children. This had us thinking. Moreover, on moving back to India we realized there was indeed a dearth of good commercial products for Indian kids and just like us, many parents were worried and helpless about this very fact. So, we decided to do something about it and thus, Slurrp Farm was born.

BAM: What is Slurrp Farm all about?
SF: Slurrp Farm is all about bringing 100% yummy-ness onto your family’s plate in the form of natural and healthy food that is made using a combination of traditional recipes and real ingredients.

BAM: Why stress so much on creating a healthy commercial product when kids are mostly fed homemade food and nothing can be healthier than that!
SF: We are passionate about raising awareness of healthy eating for children and giving busy parents like us, the convenience needed in terms of being able to find food options which are as good as what we would make at home.
A huge part of what motivates us is the desire to return to simpler times, in response to the disarray in the way people are eating nowadays. This has led to several problems including the worrying prevalence of childhood obesity and diseases such as diabetes and cancer, which are often linked to the quality of our food. We believe that in some sense we need to go back to eating like our grandparents did, to question and understand the provenance of ingredients, and to eat organic whenever we can.

BAM: What is your source of inspiration and innovation for the products that you come up with?
SF: Our inspiration is definitely memories of our grandmothers’ and mothers’ way of feeding us. While everything fed to us was not always yummy, it was definitely natural and wholesome.
Meghana was often forced to gulp down a Ragi drink because of it goodness, that’s where the innovation bit came in, to replace that force with willingness.

We constantly strive at creating something yummy that kids will love to eat and mothers will be happy to feed.

BAM: What is the USP of your products?
SF: Currently we are offering Cereals and Cookies. These are available in never heard of combinations and flavours, and made using whole grains, without any added flavours or preservatives. We don’t use any transfat and we use much less sugar than comparables. We are very committed to sourcing the best quality of ingredients.

Our recipes are always tested by lots of children and parents. The products are what you would create in your kitchen using natural ingredients.

BAM: At a personal level how do you ensure your kids eat healthy and some tips you would like to share with fellow mothers?
SF: We ensure that our kids eat vegetables, fruit, and diverse set of grains and a bit of nuts on a daily basis. All our meals include significant amount of vegetables – we started early with them and hence broccoli and carrot feature on our kids list of favourites.
Over the years we have made changes such that now you will find very little to no white sugar or refined flours in our kitchens. The best way to make kids eat healthy is to set right examples for them. We ourselves eat our greens!

Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, Co-Founders, Slurrp Farm 1

From moms to mompreneurs

Hope you enjoyed reading Meghana & Shauravi’s story! Do check out their products at www.slurrpfarm.com

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

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Rendezvous with Vivienne Kaunds – A Cake Artist

If you read my post on Nabeel’s Birthday Party then you did notice the lovely Mickey Cake we got him. It was a well executed cake by none other than this month’s inspiring momma Vivienne Kaunds. She is a passionate self-taught homebaker who took to baking solely for her child as a way to relive her childhood, just like her mom used to bake for her. Read her cute & inspiring story here…

Vivienne Kaunds

Vivienne Kaunds (R) at a cake decoration workshop

BAM: Hello Vivienne, so tell us how did baking happen?
Vivienne: I have grown up feasting on yum cakes, jams and other treats baked by my mom. I knew this is exactly how I am going to bring up my child and so I started baking when I was pregnant.

I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are offering something good.

BAM: Oh, so it seems your mom has been the inspiration behind your baking
Vivienne: Yes, mom inspired me a lot. In spite of being a working woman, my mother ensured her kids ate only homemade goodies made from top class ingredients. On returning home from school the aroma of her freshly baked cakes engulfed me and my friends from the road itself. It is this experience and love that I want to give to my children that they can cherish all their life. I feel I owe it to them and want to give back something that I loved looking forward to.

BAM: From Personal Baking to Professional Baking…what led to Happy Cakes?
Vivienne: I was pregnant and free which gave me ample time to bake and experiment. I made cakes for family and friends on special occasions as a gift. Soon, my daughters 1st birthday arrived and I made a stunning fondant cake for her that brought in a lot of appreciation and cake orders for me. This is when I decided to take my passion to the next level, Happy Cakes was born in Oct 2014.

Animal Tea Party Cake

Jungle Tea Party Cake – Everything you see here is edible

BAM: Congratulations on completing a year! How has it been so far?
Vivienne: Overwhelming! My phone has been ringing ever since..just like a call centre phone. I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are doing something good for which they come back. I usually limit myself to 2 -3 cakes per week and mostly which are weekend ones. I toil throughout the week on fondant figurines & cut-outs. Weekends are reserved for baking and giving finishing touches to the cake.

For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward.

BAM: How do you refine your skills? Are there any workshops or courses you attend on a regular basis that help you hone your skills better?
Vivienne: Not really. I basically refine my skills with every cake that I do. I have never repeated a cake design, it is my need to create new that helps sharpen my skills. Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.

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BAM: Must say your daughter is one lucky girl. Does she help you around?
Vivienne: Haha..she is just 4 but definitely an aspiring baker. Besides, my daughter is my biggest critic and motivation. On her last birthday I made her a book shaped cake, which has been my best cake till date. Soon after the party she hugged and thanked me for it and quietly whispered, “Mom, next time please make sure the pages turn.” Her innocent feedback opens up new areas to explore. And yes..I am working on a flipping cake for her 🙂

Rapunzel Book Cake

The Book cake (that din’t flip) made for her daughter

Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.

Danielle Birthday Cake

Vivienne’s daughter admiring her mom’s creation

 

BAM: What is your work day like?

Vivienne: I don 2 hats everyday…Vivienne the Homemaker and Vivienne the baker. My day starts at 4am, this is the best time according to me where I am in my baker mode and work passionately till 6am. Then, switch to the homemaker mode when activities like getting ready for school, cooking, household chores, etc take place. I once again don the bakers hat in the afternoon when my daughter arrives from school. We work together; she owns a set of fondant accessories that keeps her busy while I do serious stuff.

BAM: Any expansion plans like a bakery?
Vivienne: I charge people for their orders only to cover my costs, in most cases I break even. For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward. I operate from home and that is how it’s going to be in the coming 20 years too. My greed is creativity, I believe when I shift focus from innovation to making money, Happy will collapse.

Vivacious Vivienne is what I did like to call her after this conversation. She is stunning, full of energy and above all passionate towards her craft. Hope she inspired you in some way. Check out her FB page here and some of her drool worthy cake images below.

 

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Rendezvous with Dr.Hema Priya – A Recipe Blogger

“Opportunist is someone who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principle”

Keeping the above in mind it can be aptly said that our Inspiring Momma for this month’s Rendezvous is truly an opportunist who decided to take charge of the situation and help out other confused and curious moms using her education and experience. I am talking about none other than Dr. HemaPriya Natesan, a MBBS, a recipe blogger and a mother of 2 little moppets 🙂

HEMAPRIYA

Read the Rendevouz below to know more about her.

BAM: Tell us something about yourself.
Dr. Hema Priya: Well, to start off with I am a mother of 2 kids; a boy who is 6 and a cheerful girl who is 15months. Other than that I am an MBBS with a Fellowship in Industrial Medicine. Currently, I am the Chief Blogger of the site http://www.mylittlemoppet.com.

BAM: Wow from a doctor to a mother to a blogger. What lead to the transition?
Dr. Hema Priya: When my daughter was born I had help from my mother and mother-in-law who managed my elder one and the house for me. I just had to tend to my new born which left me with some spare time; I used it to browse the internet and became a member of many mother-child forums online. I noticed that most moms lacked the knowledge of what, when and how to feed their young ones, they needed some guidance not only from a fellow mom but someone more professional and experienced. That is when I decided to pen down articles, recipes and other related info for such mothers. This led to my blog which I eventually converted to a fully fledged owned website.

BAM: Tell us something more about your website.
Dr.Hema Priya: My website http://www.mylittlemoppet.com is exclusively meant for mothers who have a lot of queries regarding how to bring up their child by providing them the right nutrition. I post a lot of toddler recipes that have been passed on through generations in the family and which I have tried and tested on my children. Besides, the site has expert posts by nutritionists, child psychologists and paediatricians that talk about other aspects of bringing up a child.

BAM: There is a lot of technical know-how required to maintain a website. How do you manage?
Dr.HemaPriya: I am a self-taught blogger who has also learnt how to create graphics, website designing, etc. I click, edit and post photos on my own. The site was built by a software person who also manages the backend.

BAM: What are your future plans for the website?
Dr. Hemapriya: The website is doing exceptionally well now. We have 7000+ email subscribers and have traffic of 1 lakh visitors a month. To sustain, one has to constantly come up with something new in order to keep the reader come back. I plan to have a few e-cook books which the readers can download and refer to anytime. I have also started a shop on the site where baby and child related products are sold. The shop is something I plan to concentrate on for now as it needs a lot of expansion.

BAM: Now the ultimate question, I am sure most mother’s want to know the answer to. 2 kids, 1 popular website, a house to manage, how do you do it all?
Dr.HemaPriya: Hehe…yes it’s very difficult but I believe with discipline and a well-planned schedule one can achieve anything. I have house help to do the regular chores that helps me save time. While my son is away at school and the little one is sleeping I get few hours to check mails and attend to issues. Serious writing and research for the site happens in the night when both kids are asleep. There have been days when I have had my daughter in one hand and I have been typing with the other. It’s crazy at times but dedication can help achieve even the impossible 🙂

BAM: Dr. please share one of your favourite recipes from the site.
Dr. HemaPriya: I have recently discovered the joy of baking and loved making this recipe for my kids http://www.mylittlemoppet.com/homemade-paneer-wheat-biscuit-recipe-for-kids/

Hope you enjoyed our little conversation with Dr. HemaPriya. Personally, I feel her site is a haven for all mothers of new born babies. There are recipes, food guides, food charts and expert articles which you can refer without doubting the source.

Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Rendezvous with Mayavi Khandelwal – A Vegan Food Expert

During a recent food workshop I met Mayavi Khandelwal, a Vegan diet expert. I was amazed to know how she went on from being a vegetarian to a vegan food appreciator and at that very moment knew that she would be someone I would write about on the blog as part of my new series to feature women/moms from the fascinating world of food.
For the uninitiated, Vegan diet is a whole plant based diet where one doesn’t consume any animal products this includes animal flesh, dairy products and even honey!

Vegan_Food_Guide

Vegan Food Guide

To give a brief about her; Mayavi, 53, a heavy smoker, one fine day decided to give it all up and cleanse her system. She was introduced to Vegan diet by a friend and since then there has been no looking back. From a heavy smoker to a marathon runner to a diabetic who reversed the ailment and bounced back at life, Mayavi is here to share with BAM readers her experience as a Vegan and tips for anyone who wishes to adopt veganism.
BAM: How long have you been a Vegan? How smooth was the transition from your regular diet to Veganism.
Mayavi: 23 years ago, when my younger daughter was born she was developing too much colic by consuming my milk. I stopped taking dairy products then which helped ease her pain that was my first time being a Vegan. However, I got back to my regular diet soon.
Then again 2 years ago, I decided to quit smoking and that’s when I turned vegan completely. The diet helped me heal myself and reverse my diabetes; the transition was smooth and has been most beneficial to me.
BAM: What kind of change do you notice in yourself, physically and mentally since you became a Vegan?
Mayavi: There was a huge change in every way. All my aches and pains disappeared within a week! My husband, who used to call me a painful woman as something or the other was always aching in me, was more than happy to have a happy smiling wife. My sugars started dropping and in less than a month all diabetes medication was out. I lost 10 kilos in the first 3 months and then 5 more over 6 months. I started feeling active and full of life. My ability to focus got better and so I took less time to do everything! I started getting complements on my skin and how clear it looked. Emotionally I felt very happy most of the time, more at peace with myself and the world in general. I now felt self love…and that motivated me. I haven’t had a single medicine not even a Crocin in the last 2 years and no visits to the doctors anymore! Am chemical free and full of vibrant health.

BAM: Not many people follow the vegan diet in India, if I may say so not many Indians know what Vegan diet is, in the first place. How are you spreading awareness among the uninformed?
Mayavi: I am part of a project called LIVEYOUNG. We help people to know about this way of living and to adopt a healthy vegan lifestyle. We do free talks for large groups, corporate or just any social gathering. There is an NGO called SHARAN with which I am associated and we do cooking classes. We also do free cooking demos so that people can make an easier transition to Veganism. I am happy to talk to anyone who is interested!

BAM: To start off with a new diet, the first thing one needs to know is about the various substitutes available for their everyday food. Meat options are well-known, but how does one replace milk, butter, curd, cheese, honey, etc in their diet?
Mayavi: All dairy products have replacements it’s just a matter of making them! We have milk, lassi, chaas, cheese butter everything.

BAM: Are these vegan products easily available in the Indian market? What about dinning out options?
Mayavi: Not all products are available but we can see their supply increasing as more and more people are now turning Vegan. Besides, a lot of these can be made at home, easily.

BAM: Anything else you did like to tell our readers?
Mayavi: I believe Veganism is the way to live a healthy and happy life! That way we keep ourselves healthy and also don’t torture the animals! We have no right to steal milk from the cows which is meant for the calf. As a mother I would never allow anyone to touch my milk which is for my babies! Also that’s the only way to save our earth. All diseases would be wiped out if we went vegan. Sooner or later people will know that veganism is the best way to live. Let’s leave this world a liveable place for the future generations from whom we have borrowed it!

Hope you all enjoyed this conversation with Mayavi and I am sure it gave you a good insight about Veganism!

Mayavi has shared a very simple and practical Vegan Mayonnaise recipe which is posted here.

Till then, Love Being a Mommy!
About : Mayavi is a trained psychoanalytic psychotherapist and specializes in working with children, parents and young adults. Currently, she handles her chocolate and vegan food business, along with her husband. She also works with an NGO, called SHARAN, to spread awareness about Vegan diet.