Mother-daughter duo delivers wholesome meals prepared in their home kitchen
BY Newbiz team
In 2021, during the second wave of Covid that claimed the lives of hundreds of people in Nepal, a mother and daughter duo came up with the idea of starting a business to provide nutritious food to families in need. Observing the challenges faced by families waiting for their loved ones in hospitals, including the difficulty of finding healthy meals, Rita Pandey and her daughter Sweta decided to start Bhola Foods, a cloud kitchen start-up. Today, Bhola Foods not only serves hospitals but also caters to corporate offices and individuals. The mother-daughter duo delivers wholesome meals to nourish people prioritising their health.
Bhola Foods is a socially responsible start-up, founded by my mother and me with a mission to provide nutritious meals at an affordable price, shared Sweta Pandey, co-founder of Bhola Foods. “Bhola Foods was born out of my mother’s desire to provide food and my idea of creating jobs,” she added.
Sweta holds an MBA degree from Symbiosis, India, and has gained work experience in various companies. Despite this, her main source of inspiration is her late father, to whom she has dedicated the cloud kitchen. Sweta named the business Bhola Foods after her father's nickname, with the tagline ‘Taste of Happiness’, which, according to her, symbolises the joy he brought to people's lives.
Sweta's father was a stock investor and had co-founded the Trimurti Hall in Birgunj before his demise. After his death, Sweta inherited his shares and entered the stock market. However, on her mother's advice, she gradually exited the market after booking profits.
Recalling the early days of starting Bhola Foods, Sweta said they didn't have a specific timeline for launching the business. "In 2021, as Teej, a Hindu festival, was approaching, I decided to set up a food stall at the Teej Expo held at the United World Trade Center, Tripureshwar. The people at the expo liked the food which gave us the confidence to participate in the Fifth International Women's Trade Exhibition in September 2022," she added.
At the exhibition, Bhola Foods generated more sales, which encouraged them to continue operating the business.
Although the journey was tough at first, Sweta's other start-up, Synergy Plus, came into the picture to support Bhola Foods. Synergy Plus is a digital marketing agency co-founded by Sweta and her friend. The team at Synergy Plus promoted Bhola Foods on online platforms, making it viral and helping the business grow.
According to Sweta, Bhola Foods is generating a good monthly income for her. The company's focus is on providing high-quality food at an affordable price.
“We treat all our customers equally. Everyone who is hungry and is looking for nutritious food is my customer," she added with a joyful smile. “How many days can you feed a sad person from your pocket? Let's start a food business together. We started the business with this thought,” he said, adding: “The profit from this business should be returned to the society through the food itself."
Thus, the mother and daughter made cooking from their home kitchen a business. Not by making a plan, these two caught the idea that came suddenly. "The fire should burn for 24 hours, that's my opinion," she said firmly.
Bhola Foods currently delivers office lunch and a la carte meals within Kathmandu and Lalitpur. “In our office lunch menu, we offer regular Nepali lunch with the option of khaja, while the late-night delivery serves a la carte menu until 3 am,” she added. The late-night menu is available on Bhojdeals, and Sweta said that Bhola Foods will soon collaborate with Foodmandu. Bhola Foods delivers lunch free of cost. However, it charges a delivery fee of Rs 150-200 for night orders depending on the location.
"By serving office lunch for Rs 150, I have been able to employ eight people. That is the profit for me," Sweta shared.
Sweta and her mother, Rita, are working with eight other people who work round the clock at Bhola Foods. Orders can be made through TikTok, Facebook and Instagram pages of the company.
Bhola Foods has been delivering 150 lunch boxes to offices everyday. "People like our food because it's healthy, fresh and tastes delicious," she said, adding: "My price target is to focus on satisfaction without compromising on food quality and cleanliness." Similarly, Sweta emphasises that Bhola Foods places significant importance on eco-friendly packaging solutions.
As for future plans, Sweta is currently working on opening a cafe in Baneshwar and expanding a la carte delivery time from 5 pm-3 am to 11 am-3 am. Her long-term vision is to expand the kitchen operations to Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, as well as to diversify into frozen food and packaged spice products.