• Ruchika Vyas Bakes it Up with Her House of Cookies

    Ruchika Vyas studied fashion styling, and began working as a stylist, but it was her love of baking that brought her a business.

    Like many food-related ventures, Vyas’s Mumbai-based House of Cookies began as a home-based enterprise, but shortly became more professionalised, simply because of the demands of the business. But Vyas had been always clear about one thing – that she’d be a niche baker with a focus on cookies and nothing else, and it’s this, she believes, that makes her successful.

    We met Ruchika to know more about her love for baking. Excerpts from an interview with SheThePeople.TV.

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    Why did you decide to turn baking into a business?

    I freelanced as a fashion stylist in Mumbai and baked as a stress-reliever between shoot.

    I’ve always been interested in baking, thanks to my aunt, who would whip up the most amazing cookies, cakes, brownies. After a while, I took a break from shoots and since I was sitting at home, so I started baking a lot more and sending the results to friends and family. Finally, they coaxed me to look at doing it more seriously.

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    So I decided to give it a shot as a part-time venture. The festival season was around the corner so I decided to test the waters by taking orders. We started with Raksha Bandhan and by Diwali that year, our orders had doubled. And there was no looking back from there.

    Women are naturally more emotional, intuitive and this helps when you’re running your own business since it’s a lot about personal skills.

    I started House of Cookies in 2013. From the very beginning, I wanted my business to be in a niche, I wanted to offer what nobody else was doing. There are so many bakers doing so many things but you rarely see someone specialising in a product. Sure, it can get restrictive but that’s exactly what keeps it challenging. You need to keep pushing yourself to constantly reinvent under a certain periphery and keep things exciting not only for yourself but for your customers as well.

    Also Read: Baker, editor, spirituality-seeker all rolled into one: Meet Karen D’Souza

    What has establishing your business been like?

    Over the years now, we’ve grown from home bakers to a humble business with a small team and a centralised kitchen space, all of this with no culinary background or experience.

    Entrepreneur Ruchika Vyas, founder of House of Cookies 2014-10-06 17.13.59

    In the beginning, my dad, sister and brother-in-law helped me with the business administration, and my mother helped in the kitchen. My friends were equally involved from brainstorming for ideas to help out at popups, so it’s really been a collective effort.

    I invested my own savings and my family helped me out as well.

    When you’re passionate about something, take a leap of faith, work hard, stay focused, and everything falls into place.

    What is your USP and what future plans do you have?

    We wanted House of Cookies to be a gourmet cookie company. All our cookies are freshly hand-baked in small batches throughout the day, using only premium ingredients. By focusing only on cookies we try to innovate and experiment within that zone. Every few months you’ll see us adding unique cookie flavours or do different products like cookie butter, cookie cake, cookie shakes while still staying within our niche.

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    Currently, we retail online through our website as well as through various apps like Swiggy, Scootsy and Zomato. Also at pop-ups, but we are looking at setting up retail outlets in Mumbai soon.

    Also Read: Catering to your sweet tooth: India’s Best Pastry Chefs

    What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

    In the food industry, consistency is the biggest challenge. From finding suppliers of imported ingredients, to maintaining quality control, to retaining a well-trained, hardworking team, everything is about consistency. Keeping up with the constant demand to innovate is also challenging.

    Entrepreneur Ruchika Vyas, founder of House of Cookies

    Also Read: Commerce to Culinary: Kishi Arora picks food stories from journeys around the world

    What skills do you need to become a successful entrepreneur?

    To be a successful entrepreneur one needs to:

    • Stay focused
    • Work hard so even if you fail, it will pay off
    • Have a vision for the future
    • Know your goals and not get distracted
    • Learn from your mistakes
    • Have patience and perseverance

    What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

    There would be many, when for the first time House Of Cookies was featured in the print media of the time when one of my favourite celebrities gave us a shoutout on social media.

    But our biggest achievement so far, is definitely the love and appreciation we get from our loyal customers. It makes all the blood, sweat and tears behind it completely worth it.

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    Digitisation is a new opportunity for young companies like us to reach out to a wider market. It gives all entrepreneurs an equal platform of opportunity irrespective of gender, age or geographical location.

    Who inspired you to take up baking?

    My mom inspired me to get into the kitchen, my aunt inspired me to bake, and my dad inspired me to turn it into a business. Also, while travelling abroad, I came across lots of niche dessert shops, which you really didn’t see here until very recently. 

    WATCH: Digital Women: Deepa Jain’s WowTables is a disruptor in the food industry

    It’s a great time to be a woman entrepreneur in India right now! It’s inspiring to see this wave of change, people take women more seriously and it keeps you motivated to give your best. 

    What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?

    As cliched as it may sound – Do what you love and love what you do. Take the risk, but be patient for the results. Keep challenging yourself cause your only competition should be with yourself. And lastly, believe in yourself.

    It’s the generation of the #girlboss! 

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    Read More Stories By Ria Das

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