Pune Eat Outs 'coz Pune Eats Out!

पुण्याचे खाद्यप्रेम अनुभवलय ?What is PEO ?

Pune Eat Outs is Pune’s premier and most popular social food community. What started off as a journey of simply sharing food-related experiences in the city, is today a thriving community of PEOple, restaurateurs, home chefs, and much more. Despite being over 2,00,000 in number we’re super active and yet we’re a closely-knit bunch of enthusiastic souls.

Bringing together food experts, restaurateurs and everyone who loves to eat - since 2005. For over 18 years we have bonded over the common love for food, not only online, but also offline through regular PEO Meets and PEOple Connects - igniting a community spirit that moves us to do more and better every time!

PEO is a family and it's PEOple make it what it is today.

What makes PEO truly unique is the genuine bond between food lovers and food creators; helping the culinary landscape of Pune evolve. As the bridge between these two sides of the same coin becomes stronger, the social currency of PEO is being measured in laughs and memories.

Pune Eat Outs 'coz Pune Eats Out!

Years of Food
Friends of PEO

खान - पानावर भान हरपणाऱ्यांची सार्वजनीक सभा !PEO Meets, PEOple & More

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#PEOpleStories: Viara Store

PEO Exclusives Sep 27, 2021
Viara Store is already known on POI as the one stop solution for daily essentials, an array of healthy, local and unadulterated products with a reasonable price tag, making it easier for anyone willing to make a switch to sustainable healthy lifestyle. As a consumer, it’s always fascinating to listen to some amazing people behind the brands, their struggling-learning-evolving journey, shaping of the business and so on. It’s such a privilege for me to talk to one such entrepreneur Mr. Pradeep Chandrababu, the face behind Viara Store, who decided to go out of the way, refusing lucrative offers of more margins, sticking to the core values he believes in with the motto of making organic products easily available and affordable to more and more people. “A good education is a foundation for a better future” Mr. Pradeep completed his engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications, diploma in Import Export Management and Masters in International business. Post education he worked in U.A.E and Ukraine for distributors of Emami. Started with head of marketing to the level of Assistant Director- International Operations. Then returned to India and worked with a Japanese company dealing in Exports and Imports of machines. Though he always dreamt to be a business person since his school days. “I used to write this in my diary, I always wanted to do something on my own. Job was always let down for my creativity. I wanted to do things differently, systematically but as an organisation having a set of protocols, with certain hierarchy, nothing different was much appreciated”, he recalled early days. Uncovering true callingIn 2009 he started his company ‘Bridges and Bonds’ alongside the job, with focus on Export of agri commodities. Due to the recession, the original plan didn’t work and he started struggling and hustling on his own, finding how export, finances, documentation, banking works. He started with various products and zeroed down to Basmati rice which has good buyers, in turn good pay, something which he could settle onto. Later he left the job and took export of Basmati rice to Sweden and Middle East and for many years, he continued to deal in the same as a trader. And the foundation stone laidIn 2019, Mr. Pradeep started supplying premium long grain Basmati rice to wholesalers, restaurants, hotels. But in just a year, in 2020, lockdown happened and everything was shut down. He made his way out of this, grabbed the opportunity to approach directly to the customers and that’s how it began! Journey from a single product to diverse portfolioHe got ready to set forward with the same core product ‘Basmati Rice’. There was just a very tiny constrained warehouse with limited stock capacity to start with. He started delivering rice directly to end users and through word of mouth the client base expanded very well. Then people started suggesting to keep few more products like wheat as there used to be long queues for groceries and online delivery was a still thing of luck with those limited daily slots. So customers were very happy with the service, good quality basic groceries getting delivered at home, that too at affordable prices -what more you need! For example- Basmati rice generally available in shops at Rs110-120 per kg is sold for Rs80/kg, it’s still most sold and popular product of them. His father suggested to add unpolished daals in the store as he tried one variety directly sourced from the farmers and found huge difference in taste compared to polished ones. Then soon after wheat got introduced, people started asking for flour instead of wheat. Mr Pradeep suggested to customers if can freshly grind wheat in neighborhood flour mills after order is placed and people happily agreed to try it out. He just kept just 2 best varieties of ground aata- Sihore sharbati for Phulka and Lokwan wheat for Chapati. Then he learnt about one of his friend manufacturing cow ghee using a traditional method at his farm in Satara. Even at the discounted price, this ghee was expensive than a few other popular brands so people initially hesitated but once they tried it, they became regular buyer of this product due to it’s quality and distinctive taste as it’s made in iron vessel on traditional firewood Chulah. Also a healthy food eating habit became quintessential especially during the pandemic. People were willing to switch from sugar to chemical free jaggery, though the main challenge with the usual 1 kg cone was- it’s difficult to break and consistency isn’t idle to be used in drinks or tea. Hence they came up with jaggery granules and jaggery powder m as a solution. Similarly Khandsari Sugar got added in the products list a great alternative to get more minerals and nutrients in the diet and lesser chemicals and bleach. These few are some of their pilot products. Good friends came forward to help lay the rootsIn early days, prior orders were taken and accepted on WhatsApp, marking down on a paper sorted by society name, announcing a fixed delivery day. Then one of Pradeep’s friends helped him out with a google form, on which they listed mentioned pilot products. And several other friends helped out with packaging, delivery, spreading the word, getting the orders, IT etc Time to choose a great brand name!“And then I thought, why not give this platform name, why not create a range of products different from usual retailers which is chemical free, adulteration free, good for your health. Only few people are able to afford organic products in the daily routine. So I tried to come with a way to meet both the ends. Our brand name “Viara” meaning “Faith” is what we have earned from our clients through our products and services” Pradeep proudly explained. Our grandparents were healthy with a good life span; without any lifestyle diseases- all because of the ancestors wisdom of keeping traditional food techniques and unadulterated food ingredients incorporated in daily routine. So with a motto to bring back the way of food our grandparents had, the tagline was marked ‘Bringing back our Grandparents Foodstyle’ Soon with continuous product additions, they moved from ‘Viara’ brand name to ‘Viara Store’ as those products covered almost everything daily kitchen needs under one umbrella. With that change, they upgraded from google form to basic website. Organic products at affordable prices“When we started with the healthy range of groceries, most of the people were asking us for organic products so it became inevitable to me to include organic products into our portfolio and that’s how I started exploring more about it. The certification for organic products costs around 1-1.25lakhs and there are regular audits too with certain fees to be paid each time. That certification cost is generally added into costing of the product and thus taken from customer’s pocket. So I decided and found out the way to provide organic products without pinching customer’s pocket.” Mr. Pradeep elucidated. He sourced products from pesticide free and chemical free farm which in turn is a definition of organic product but listed it on website under ‘pesticide free’ category, thus without adding a burden of other costs. Unique product offeringsMr Pradeep elaborated more about unique product offerings. “We are planning and always like to keep experimenting and trying out new things so there will be lot of new additions to the store like we have black rice from Assam which is very unique and we will keep getting more such products. Also cold pressed cooking and speciality salad oils range like flaxseed oil, sweet almond oil, walnut oil, apricot oil, moringa seed oil, karanj oil are very unique and not easily available in the Pune market.” ChallengesThe biggest challenge they faced since the start is logistics. There are several customers who expect delivery on the same day. Pune itself is a big market and as a startup with very limited resources, it is really challenging. The team is trying to expand gradually and slowly and trying to deliver faster. In the current scenario, where major concentration of their clients is in Viman nagar, Kalyani Nagar, Baner, Balewadi, Wakad etc- they deliver within the day and for the rest of areas delivery is done next day or a day after max. Future plansAlso the next plan is to deliver pan India without hampering affordability of the products as major retailers charge hefty commissions to use the platform. Once the team sorts this current challenge with regards to shipping, repackaging, logistics cost, the plan is to grow and make these products reachable all over India. On closing note Mr.Pradeep adds, “The journey till date of Viara store has been very diverse, indulging and exhaustive. We helped lot of community kitchens and charities and received appreciation for that as well. But apart from that, the connection we have with our clients, customers and brand which we have created is what matters the most!” PEOple, do try their unadulterated Millets, unpolished Pulses, Flour, Cold Press Oils, Ghee, Spices and more. https://puneorders.in/peo/viarastore/ PEOple Story by Sayali Yevale-Raundal
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#PEOpleStories: We Idliwale

PEO Exclusives Aug 30, 2021
#PEOpleStories#HumansOfPEO A new-age Idli joint, inspired by the streets & households of South-India. As a fellow foodie and a customer, I have always enjoyed relishing the food and enjoying the experiences created by our very own skilled craftsman/woman and entrepreneurs based here in Pune. These are extraordinary people who have given our city, a unique food identity of its own. And so it is always a privilege for me to talk about these trailblazers and pen to life the beautiful stories their start, pain, struggle, hard work, frustrations and ultimately success – the tip of the iceberg we all see. Isn’t it fascinating to know how the food you love began its journey? How it all came to be? Here is one such story of a young entrepreneur who introduced Punekars a different way of enjoying the staple South Indian Idlis. Unlike our southern counterparts, we’re used to enjoying Idlis with regular sambhar, variety of chutneys and podi or gunpowder with ghee etc. But with his venture We Idiliwale, Abhishek Joshi introduced the city to a southern style of enjoying Idlis with Chicken curry made in Kundapur Style, which has attracted quite a following since it began and made us see humble Idli in a tasty new way. Apart from serving the Idlis with Chicken curry, they also have the classic portions with Sambhar, three varieties of chutneys which one can enjoy. They also do Dindigul Biryani, Chicken Ghee Roast, Andhra Style Chilli Chicken, Prawns Ghee Roast and Japanese inspired Curry buns stuffed with Kadle Pudi (channa mix) & caramelised onions or Chicken Ghee roast as part of their extended menu. Abhishek completed his MBA from Singapore and worked with his father in Goa for five years in Real estate, before quitting and leaving for London to study bartending. After returning, he did some private gigs as a guest bartender in Goa for about a year. Later on, he joined the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICC) in Dubai to train as a Chef. After completing his studies, Abhishek got an opportunity to work at Folly in Dubai as a Commis Chef under Nick Alvis and Scott Price who are known for working with Gordon Ramsay. Abhishek was part of the preopening team of Folly at Dubai and worked there for a year. Hoping to do something in Indian food, especially the regional cuisines, He returned to Mumbai and joined as a trainee Sous Chef under Chef Thomas Zacharias of Bombay Canteen. While at Bombay Canteen, Abhishek felt the desire to step up and instead of just working under the shadow of these prominent chefs, he wanted to do something of his own. With this in mind, he started to look out for a place to start a restaurant, and that’s how, through a friend, he landed up in Pune. Abhishek reminisces, how they stumbled upon this small place, with no product in mind, but just a thought that he wanted to do something homely and something very Indian, something that is quick, familiar to most of us yet very comforting. Having had no investor back up or any monetary support from his family and facing countless rejections by Investors, it took Abhishek almost year and a half to just get started and open up his place. It was one of the most challenging times I have had to endure, He says, When you meet so many people and get refused so often, it tends to be very frustrating despite having the skills and ability. But he was determined to continue on his path of realising his long-cherished dream. And where there is a will, there is always a way. When Abhishek’s childhood friend, Chirag Jadhav, heard of this concept, he spared no thought and decided to bring his friend’s vision to life. Chirag, a third-generation entrepreneur, has always been passionate about food. Having a stone cladding manufacturing unit and managing some of the most prestigious heritage restoration projects under his belt, Chirag also ventured into the hospitality industry with a multi-cuisine restaurant and bar based in Pune. Chirag is the mind behind the business operations of We Idliwale, credited for shaping up the business to what it has grown to become whereas Abhishek is the creative mind behind the Kitchen with his rustic menu offerings. The origin of the food served at We Idiliwale lie in the childhood experiences of Abhishek and his memories of cherishing the home-style food at his Attya’s (Father’s sister) place who was married off to a Kundapur family. Being a south Indian family, having Idli with Chicken Curry was one of the Sunday family rituals that Abhishek grew up with. When he started, he was surprised to know how very few people were aware of such a tasty and delicious combination of Idli with Chicken curry here in Pune. Having Idli with a non-vegetarian curry is prevalent in South Indian households and readily available across every nook and corner as filling street food across Southern India. In essence, it is not an experiment or a fusion dish that we may like to think of, somewhat a staple and very much a family and home-style comfort food enjoyed by many.In the beginning, the customers used to trickle in and word yet to spread out. But when a food experience post on Pune Eat Outs made people on the forum notice his place. They started selling out as early as noon every day as more and more people started visiting them and word of mouth spread – Pune responded amazingly well to this regional delicacy. And during one such sell-out days, his family paid a visit to his restaurant to try his food, almost after a month since it was opened. Witnessing first-hand the reaction of people enjoying and accepting the food that they had grown up eating their entire life made all of them feel very proud and incredibly proud of their son Abhishek. For Abhishek, this was the sweet payback for all the hard work and efforts he put in, and he couldn’t have been in any happier place than this. Then COVID-19 and the lockdown struck, it tested the best of us, and many of us are still reeling from its after-effects. The food and hospitality industry was amongst the hardest hit. Post lockdown he anticipated whether it would be a good time to open, with bleak business and people afraid of ordering from outside or eating out. He didn’t know how people will respond.Fortunately for him, they responded well to his post COVID-19 brand building exercise and the safety protocols he had put in place, leading to a rush of orders higher than ever before. The appreciation and the scale of support from his regular patrons in these disturbing times have been overwhelming and has kept him going stronger than ever. This year, having sold more than 10,000 plates of Idlis with Chicken curry, despite facing hardships due to COVID-19. Abhishek and his team have come a long way in giving us a comfort street food with the same quality, hygiene, and discipline of a fine dining restaurant that he learned under Chefs’ tutelage at Folly and the Bombay Canteen. An avid lover of books, music and chilled beer as he unwinds and looks upon a New year full of promising outcomes and renewed hopes. He warmly welcomes all of you to make this humble Idli great again! Inspired to try Chicken curry with Idlis now, click on this link https://tinyurl.com/rexhykzk and order from We Idiliwale anywhere across Pune. #PEOple Story by Jomy Thomas Nangani
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#PEOpleStories: AF Desserts

PEO Exclusives Jun 24, 2021
‘Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway’ -Earl Nightingale Fatema Hussain Mandviwala, the amazing woman behind AF desserts, turned her long-standing dream of dessert delivery business into reality last year. Born and brought up in Kuwait and shifted to India post marriage, no wonder you spot Shawarma and Baklava in the menu! She always loved to cook, the art she learnt from her mom and grandparents. She completed her graduation in Business Management. However her culinary passion grew over the years and though not trained in formal culinary school, all that fervour was a prime driving force behind the idea of starting her own venture. Not sure of where and what to start with, the formation of the idea began all the way back in 2013 but then life happened. She adds- “We were blessed with a baby girl which kind of put the whole idea onto hold and then it kept getting delayed as I wanted to start my own restaurant back then”. In 2018, after welcoming another bundle of joy in the world she thought it as a good time to push long-awaited goal further up in the priority list and time to get into action. Chasing your dream isn’t easy, especially being a mom to young kids but not impossible! She discussed the idea with her husband and chalked out the detailed plan in November 2019. “I always wanted to start something on my own and AF Desserts is a dream project for me. I thought that I should start this so people can get great desserts at their doorstep. As it was always supposed to be a delivery/pickup counter I made sure it was easily deliverable in jars form. I always loved layered desserts”, Fatema enthusiastically continued. The following month was all about finalising menu, trials, product photoshoots-all done by herself! And in Jan 2020 AF desserts kicked off it’s operations from home. Talking about challenges, she shared something about marketing strategy. Whenever received any enquiries from people about her products, they were asked to try the dessert samples and provide her the feedback/suggestions in return. And she believed that’s how her family grew over time. “By Jan 2020 I started giving free samples to restaurants as I thought they would be able to sell better than a direct buyer. But by the end of that month, I realised that I sold desserts worth 20K and had already given 25K worth of free samples which didn’t seem to be fruitful and then fortunately for me came the lockdown when I took a step back from the thought of supply.” Fatema responded candidly recalling her early days struggles. She further shared that she is grateful to her friend Zainab Poonawala who gave her first order in the lockdown and the review that Fatema received from her helped her gain the confidence to sell it directly to the people. And then there was no looking back, Fatema kept introducing new jars every month and today she even makes snacks for many clients. When asked about future plans, this enthusiastic woman entrepreneur spilled the beans-from starting a kitchen outside home by 2022 to starting a Desserts Cafe by 2023 and aiming to supply her speciality Baklavas (which she delivers pan India) upto 500kgs by the end of this year. In the immediate future she plans to get branding completed, wishes to do plenty exhibitions and plans to take the storm by collaborating with a known brand which is in talks. As a finishing note she adds, she wouldn’t have been here without her husband’s support. “I am thankful to God and blessings of my parents, in laws, family, friends and most importantly love and support from people who trusted and ordered from me. I have always tried to better myself in terms of taste and quality. Most of my products are sugarfree and healthy. I also aim to supply these desserts all across Pune to restaurants as well.” Product offerings-How do you settle your sweet cravings? Love classic desserts as Jalebi, Gajar ka Halwa or Gulab Jamun Rabdi after desi khana? Or do you fancy something fancy, for instance dark chocolate mousse, red velvet, cheesecake jar or tiramisu jars for that perfect finish to a great meal? Or get enticed with an idea of nutty gorgeous baklavas or cheesy Kunafeh drenched in sugar syrup from the world of Middle Eastern Desserts? AF desserts is one stop destination to indulge your sweet tooth! Do you know ‘stressed’ spelled backwards is ‘desserts’! Also do check their snacks and around the world section. You can place your order here and don’t forget to collect a free goodie with your order! https://puneorders.in/peo/afdesserts/ #PEOpleStory by Sayali Yevale-Raundal

लयं भारी ... एक नंबर !Friends of PEO

हेल्मेट नंतर सगळ्यात उपयोगाची वस्तु !PEO Privilege Programme

The PEO Privilege Programme is perhaps a first-of-its-kind of an initiative from a social group. The programme manifests itself in the form of a digital app and card that aims at giving a distinguished identity and a range of exclusive dinning privileges to every member.

The programme is aimed at a close-knit ecosystem, and every facet of every benefit has been curated to get food creators and food lovers closer than ever before.

Throughout the year, we work out some brilliant privileges at select places in and around Pune, and only for a select number of PEO Privilege Members. The privilege offers are more than simple discounts – they’re the perfect amalgamation of the best offerings and unique privileges from some of the most loved restaurants in Pune.

कौतुक काॅलम !Love & Encouragement

आपल्या ठळक बातम्या !PEO in the News