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A Potful of Good Food Delivered Home

A Potful of Good Food Delivered Home

Haandi Mutton Maharaja
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Started by three like-minded foodies, Haandiwale is a food delivery business serving authentic cuisines from Bihar across NCR

In a year of full of many shock and awe moments, Noida-based former media and communications professional Bhavna was busy cooking up a surprise.

She, along with two other like-minded foodies, co-founded Haandiwale, a food delivery business serving authentic cuisines from Bihar across NCR during the fag end of the lockdown.

Barely three months after starting operations, the trio inaugurated a small shop-cum-takeaway outlet for Haandiwale in upmarket Kanchanjunga Market in Noida.

Having served in almost all the verticals of media in diverse roles, Bhavna had quit a cushioned job in 2019 to start a small not-for-profit community of artists called Artist Adda.

Haandi Paneer Pasand
Haandi Paneer Pasand

“We had grand plans for 2020, but the world knows that nothing has gone as planned this year. Ours was a no different story. The co-founders of this venture are successful engineers, and one of them is an alumnus of IIT/IIM. All are passionate food lovers too!” recounts Bhavna.

She is a self-proclaimed lover of good food, but not fond of cooking. The idea of getting into the business of cooking and serving Bihari food is courtesy two other founders, both of whom are men hailing from Bihar.

“Handiwaale’s co-founders are great in the kitchen. Their culinary skills are praiseworthy, and these amazing artisans can wield a pen with the same ease as they wouldhold a ladle to dish out a finger-licking meal in no time.”

The delicacies from Bihar is the mainstay of Haandiwale, and for obvious reasons. The trio zeroed in on to cash in on the growing demand for original ‘Bihari’ food because they felt that “there’s a huge gap in this market here in NCR.”

The menu comprises – Litti-Chokha, Litti-Mutton, and Sattu Paratha.

Haandi Mutton Raseela
Haandi Mutton Raseela

The non-veg fare has Haandi Mutton Raseela, Haandi Mutton Maharaja, Mutton Biryani while the veg items include Haandi Dal Makhanwali, Haandi Paneer Pasanda and Haandi Veg Biryani.

“My first order was the quintessential Litti-Chokha. And I loved it! Full of flavour. True to the soil. It was a taste of home!” says Srishti Shankar, Output Editor, DD News.

The royal Haandi Mutton Maharaja from the premium shelf takes about 6-8 hours of slow cooking to come to perfection and remains one of the most sought-after delicacies. “Those with a sweet tooth can choose from Thekua, Gudwali Kheer and Chhaina Rasgulla,” adds Bhavna.

Haandiwale dished out the first meal from its base kitchen in Noida on July 22, 2020, and since then, there has been no looking back. On weekdays, they get about 20 orders a day, and it almost doubles  on weekends.

The brand owns a food license from FSSAI and has a safe and hygienic kitchen as per the WHO standards.

The safety measures adopted by the brand have impressed the likes of Dilshad Master Kumar, Leader-MHE, who vouch for it as Haandiwale was the only one to enter his household ever since the virus came visiting.

Haandi Mutton Bhuna
Haandi Mutton Bhuna

“Bhavna is a part of the team so for us, safety was a given. We weren’t disappointed as it was one of the most satisfying meals in a long, long time. The bhuna gosht was lovely, and the veggie biryani was fascinating!”says Dilshad, Master Kumar, Leader-MHE.

The name drops a hint on the brand’s USP – an earthen potful of sumptuous food. The founders were clear that they wanted it to be a rustic and rooted experience. With a strict no-to-plastic policy, earthen pots were the only option for them.

“The tie for the brand name was between Matka Foods or Haandiwale Foods, Haandiwale won hands down, with the tagline Taste Happiness. Mitti se jude rehne ki khushi ka alag hi swaad hai!” adds Bhavna.

The other highlight of the brand is its completely reusable and eco-friendly packaging that is also an extension of a responsible business model that has been receiving encouraging reviews from customers.

“Succulent mutton cooked in a reusable Haandi was an absolute treat for the whole family,” says Priyanka Agarwal, owner and founder, The Seventh Sense, whose six-year-old is the latest entrant to Haandiwale’s food fan club.

There is a force of about six full-time team members and four part-timers other than the two founders who are always on their toes running the operations.

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The brand has partnered with Zomato and Swiggy to reach to a wider customer base in the vicinity. “However, we do have our riders for delivery of food to far-out locations,” says Bhavna.

The orders can be placed through its website (www.haandiwale.com, or a call on 9311771417 or through the apps) and through the brand’s first outlet cum takeaway counter.

Kheer Gud Wali
Kheer Gud Wali

“Since the food is par-cooked and prepared fresh, we take at least an hour to deliver. A few delicacies like Haandi Mutton Maharaja and Haandi Kheer Gudwali are available only on pre-orders. However, going by the response the wait has always been worthy,” says Bhavna.

Currently, the base kitchen is in Noida, but the food delivery brand will soon have operations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The delivery option is available in Noida and NCR.

“We plan to have at least five more outlets in the neighbourhood that this base kitchen will cater too. In the second phase of expansion, we will have branches in Mumbai and Bangalore. We are also open to offer our franchisee to someone with similar passion, mindset and business ethics,”says Bhavna, buoyed by the response.

The happy tribe includes Seema Singh, founder, Roots Tale, Madhubani art & craft, who appreciates the creative cuisines on offer at Haandiwale.

“The food is finger-licking good. My son polished off the plate in no time and smacked his lips,” says Seema Singh, founder, Roots Tale.

Marketing for the brand has been through Haandiwale’s social media handles, and lip-smacking food has helped create its loyal tribe through word of mouth publicity.

Bhavna
Bhavna

“Social media has played a crucial role in creating awareness of our brands. With regular posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we have been able to keep the promotions rolling,” says Bhavna.

The response has been quite overwhelming, the customers are returning, and the trio is delighted with the way things have panned out.

“Since ours is a responsible business model, and we are in this for the long haul, our organic growth has been more than satisfactory,” says Bhavna in the parting, adding, “We are not just another food delivery start-up!”

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