Apurva comes from a marketing and sales background and after doing her post-graduation in marketing (MBA), she joined one of the leading resorts in Goa in their marketing department, but her soul has always remained in the kitchen. She always has a passion for culinary activities and right from a young age, she loves to be in the kitchen, cooking mouth-watering food and serving it to others has been her hobby. She is also a foodie: she loves food more than anything else and that is the secret behind her success in the culinary arena. Today, she runs a very well-established business called Delicious Delights, which makes tasty sweets that melt in the mouth.
For any woman to get married and go into another family, is a challenging task due to the sudden change in environment, sometimes customs and culture, but for Apurva, it was a completely different experience, since she got married to a man who was also a foodie and enjoyed visiting different places in the search of great cuisine. “I have been a foodie all my life and I think I am very lucky to have a family where I got married, as they are also foodies. I remember exploring restaurants in Goa, around 5-6 years back when there was no trend of Instagram and influencers and all, but my interest was never to become an influencer: I explored the places only for the love of food,” said Apurva.
The Beginning of the Culinary Journey
Apurva’s husband has a very sweet tooth and he cannot resist the taste of Mysore Pak. “My husband, Suraj loves Mysore Pak and whenever he has an opportunity to visit Chennai, he would bring some back and if he has any friends travelling, he would ask them to bring some back!” said Apurva adding, the signature product of the Delicious Delight is Mysore Pak and it came into existence due to her husband. “It took me almost 10 attempts to master the preparation of Mysore Pak and that was the beginning of a new journey into the world of culinary delights.”
When Apurva started the preparation of sweets, she decided to revive the forgotten recipes. “We have many varieties of sweets in the shops but we have lost our own recipes that were given to us by our grandparents. Who makes the laddoos of wheat that our grandmothers used to make? I saw the trend was vanishing and decided to revive it,” said Apurva adding that the Goan Konkani family comes together and makes sweets during the festivals and she had learned this from her aunts, who used to make sweets during Ganesh Chaturthi. “Though we live in a nuclear family, during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali we all come together and prepare sweets.”
Another thing that prompted Apurva to venture into the preparation of sweets was the degrading quality of the sweets in the state. “The sweets that are sold in the shops nowadays are of a sub-standard quality compared to what it used to be earlier,” said Apurva. She started introducing homemade sweets into her son’s tiffin to make sure that he does not eat the adulterated sweets from outside. “The motichur laddoo that is available in the market, makes use of artificial colours and that is not good for the health of children and that prompted me to prepare homemade sweets without artificial colours and ingredients.”
The USP is Quality
According to Apurva, when she prepares sweets for her own consumption or for her customers, she makes sure that it is always fresh and prepared only against the orders. “I don’t make and keep sweets: it’s done strictly on order so that it remains fresh. This is the reason people repeat the orders with me and they are happy with the quality that I provide them,” said Apurva adding that she has major customers from North India who order their requirements well in advance, “I get orders for destination weddings and these customers are very particular about the quality and they always have customised requirements which they send to their guests along with the invitations and hence maintaining the quality is my prime concern.”
Apurva says that she uses only the very purest ingredients and for that, she identifies vendors who make ingredients themselves. “For example, I never buy ghee from the market. Instead, I have identified a lady who makes this at home and this way I also give her some business and try to empower her with that. Even as far as the packaging is concerned, it is very unique and I am sure that you won’t be able to see such packaging anywhere in Goa. I make sure that all the packaging material is biodegradable without plastic and the packaging is also sourced from women entrepreneurs from Mumbai and Delhi.”
Passion for Cooking
Apurva has had a passion for cooking since the age of 12. “I used to make biryani and my cousins were big fans of it and I was always in the kitchen. I was always passionate about food and culinary delights and then I decided to turn that passion into my profession,” said Apurva. She would always experiment with new things in the kitchen. “After leaving my job at the hotel, I decided to dedicate my time to my passion. Even at home, I cook myself, despite having maids because my husband and my kids like the food prepared by me. My husband always encourages me saying ‘you know the science behind cooking’ which makes me feel proud and empowered.”
There is a very interesting story behind how her passion turned into her profession. “It all started with my preparation of the Mysore Paak that caught the attention of my neighbours, who started asking me if I can prepare some for them. They were ready to pay for it, and it all started from there. Another thing that encouraged me was the appreciation of my neighbours who would say they did not get such sweets in the shops: the quality and authenticity are of top-notch.”
Apurva says that none of the sweet shops sells the “Moong Laddoo” “There is a big difference in the taste of homemade sweets and the sweets manufactured in factories. “They make use of artificial colours to make it look very attractive and some ingredients to keep it fresh for a longer time, but it is not good for our health. I prepare something called Eden Rose which is a Gulkand flavoured Laddoo and colour we use in that is extracted from beetroot and we use concentrated juice extracted from fruit to get the pink colour in the Laddoos,” she said adding that the idea behind this is that she wants to serve her customers exactly what she’d give to her family. “ When I don’t serve anything that is harmful to my family then why would I do that to others? To get the yellow colour I use Haldi or Kesar and the same values I keep intact in Delicious Delight.”
For Apurva, profit-making is secondary to creating a brand “When someone eats the sweets prepared by me and says that it reminds them of the food made by their mother, it makes me feel very proud. I have a plan of introducing the recipes that have become extinct in due course of time. And I also believe that one woman can empower others and I do this myself by giving opportunities to other women which is why most of my suppliers are self-employed women. I do what I preach and that is why I have taken my mother-in-law with me in this entrepreneurial journey of mine.”