BluePine Foods is a cultural enterprise that brings authentic Himalayan cuisine like momos to your table. They are committed to delivering healthy, nutritious and good-quality food to their customers. Going by the brand name Yangkiez, BluePine Foods was founded by Aditi Madan in 2016. Aditi is one of the top 6 contestants in Amul MasterChef, Kitchen ke Superstar (Season 3) – the most popular cooking show in India. After her tumultuous and successful journey in MasterChef, Aditi started BluePine with a strong purpose to remove the misrepresentation of Himalayan food being unhygienic and unhealthy.
Her passion and efforts led to constant support from her family and co-workers and BluePine Foods went on to bag a deal on Shark Tank India (Season 1, Episode 1).
Follow our conversation with Momo Mami herself as she takes us through the journey of her establishment from being incubated by NSRCEL (Bangalore) to acquiring a Shark Tank deal. Aditi advises cultural entrepreneurs that a leap of faith is all that is needed to build a successful enterprise.
Breaking stigma around Himalayan Foods – How it all began with momos
I always wanted to invest my time into building an enterprise with the purpose of solving a problem in the market. After my journey ended with MasterChef, I realised that I wanted to make an impact in the food industry. With my roots close to Himalayan food, I was concerned with its misrepresentation. It was deemed a fast-food choice that is far from the nutritious aspect it has. So I decided to start selling authentic, hand-crafted and healthy Himalayan food that could appeal to the taste buds of the customer.
The products went through the testing phase in Jaipur in 2013-14 and we finally registered as an enterprise in 2016 with the brand name Yangkiez. My ultimate goal was to bring healthier dishes like momos to light.
Steaming is the healthiest way of preparing food. We combine this with freshly acquired agro produce to create the perfect blend of taste and nutrition. Our product line consists of momos made with both atta and maida with filling options ranging from fresh veggies to meat.
Momos: A healthy and convenient food choice
Making momos an instant and ready-to-eat food option has been our motto.
Our customers can order our products through both Swiggy Instamart and Zomato via our QSR model. Playing the field with third-party logistics has been our strategy ever since COVID affected the world. We have set up cloud kitchens across cities like Delhi, Noida and Chandigarh for instant pick-up and delivery. Our customer retention rate is 100% as we try to convey the authenticity of our product through each order.
The hand-crafted experience – All for a good cause
I started this company with complete support from my family – especially my husband. I chose to take a unique path without letting the competition in the industry affect me. I wanted to bring genuine Himalayan cuisine to every household in a healthy and curated way.
All of our products are made from scratch and completely hand-crafted by our expert team of chefs. We refused to switch to automation despite the surge in demand solely to open up employment opportunities.
We also began working closely with blind cooking communities to give the visually impaired a fair chance at employment and financial independence.
We aren’t focusing on our social media marketing right now. Since our product has authenticity, all of our customers are organic. They believe in our momos which gives us great publicity through word of mouth.
The Shark Tank Deal – How the pandemic turned out positive for BluePine
BluePine Foods is incubated under NSRCEL, Bangalore. During this period, applications for Shark Tank were open. I was quite hesitant to participate because we were functioning decently as a bootstrapped company and I was adamant about it growing that way. However, things took a sudden turn during the second wave of COVID when I was hospitalised. Getting time to myself changed my perspective of the company. I realised this enterprise was built from the continuous effort, passion and hard work, which I didn’t want to go to waste. I had a responsibility toward my co-workers. This realisation led me to take a leap of faith and apply for Shark Tank.
When we, fortunately, got to the last pitching round, our eyes were entirely on acquiring the investment for the venture. We just had to convey how capable BluePine Foods was to shine in the market and ensure the Sharks believed in our product. We had a 200% growth rate after the episode aired. This was a huge boost of motivation.
As an entrepreneur, the pandemic made me look at things from a positive aspect. I left no stone unturned to make the best of every opportunity, solely because of the belief my family and co-workers had in my passion for BluePine.
Failure – A new best friend for any entrepreneur
In the food industry, every day is a challenge. There are a lot of times when my staff falls sick or does not make it to work, causing delays in production and delivery. The raw material could be held up due to traffic or weather conditions. These are just a few minor challenges we face on a regular basis, which we try to overcome.
Looking at the bigger picture, we have been through demonetization, implementation of GST as well as the onset of a pandemic. All of these setbacks never stopped me from relentlessly pursuing my passion. I think challenges are the pathway to growth for any entrepreneur.
My journey through MasterChef has taught me how to deal with situations under pressure. I was always pushed beyond my limits during the show, which made me resilient and capable of tackling obstacles in my business.
Every enterprise has to overcome a smaller problem, only to deal with larger ones in the future. It’s all a part of growth. The faster you fail, the sooner you will succeed as an entrepreneur.
NICEorg wishes BluePine Foods the best of luck in their journey ahead!