The biggest incentive to shop for grocery in recent times is that you get to support small businesses. Those brands who locally source & produce their goods. From creating jobs for local communities to empowering the economy with their skills, they're giving us every reason to make a conscious change in the way we shop. From yoghurts to natural juices, artisanal chocolates & hand-blended spices, it's time to make these local brands a part of our kitchens. With a plethora of options out there, these local brands are giving us #VocalforLocal goals.
1. Keya Foods
Incepted in 2009, Keya first started selling premium herbs, spices, sprinklers and seasonings. But, today KEYA has over 100 products across categories including instant soups, pickles and the ready to eat range of fruit and nut snacks. They also recently added products like pasta & ketchup to their existing list of goodness.
Proud to be India's first cold-pressed juice company, Anuj Rakyan's incepted this idea with a mishap in the kitchen! From distributing these cute little bottles of health through Dabbawalas in Mumbai & Pune to going big with retail giants like Foodhall & Nature's Basket, they're taking one step at a time to make raw pressed juices a household name.
Must-Try: Orange Juice, Berries Smoothie, Coconut Water & Almond Milk
This completely mechanized dairy-farm just on the outskirts of Nashik, owned by Shrirang Sarda, was only started 3-years-ago. Keeping the traditional essence of the door-to-door milk service, it delivers purity in each bottle to more than 6500 homes in Mumbai & Nashik.
An organic food business initiative by the Mumbai-based Shriya Naheta is an online grocery store that sells fresh produce like salad leaves and exotic vegetables. Zama sources their produce directly from the place of origin, from passionate farmers & artisans across India, like pink rice from Meghalaya, cashews from Coimbatore and saffron from Kashmir.
Kuhu Kochar & Tejasvi Chandela's artisanal brand out of Jaipur is a premium hand-crafted chocolate brand that draws inspiration from simple life tales. The cacao is grown under ethical and sustainable conditions by skilled Indian farmers, and their crop is directly purchased and roasted by the brand. From using the chocolate for baking to eating it as is, All Things Chocolate gives us many reasons to be happy.
Must-Try: Roasted Malabar Cocoa nibs, All Things Tropical, 64% dark chocolate (Single Origin Malabar Forest)
Founded by Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana in the year 2012, it started as a coffee plantation but now they have cafes across India. When you pick up a pack of Blue Tokai Coffee, you'll find details of how the coffee was made and which farm it came from within India, thus being transparent about its source & product quality.
Founded by Mikhel Rajani, owner of Francesco’s Pizzeria, Arjun Rastogi & Kshitij Neelakantan, they gave India it's first-ever original hot sauce! From the classic hot sauce to Bhut Jolokia, one of the spiciest chilli in the world that is grown in Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, this sauce can be paired with most Indian dishes.
This luxury tea start-up, The Good Life Company was started by Bhuman Dani & Shariq Ashraf in 2017. From 100 varieties of tea blends to various instant coffees, their wide range of products will spoil you for choice.
Upping the snack game, TBH is a gluten-free & 100% preservative-free food brand that was started by Mayank Gupta & Ritika Agarwal. From using the vacuum frying technology to reinventing the concept of eating vegetables as a snack, this brand has come a long way!
Must-Try: Crunchy Tomato, Crispy Beetroot with Sea Salt & Purple Sweet Potato
Founded in 2014 by Jane Mason and Fabien Bontems in Puducherry, Mason & Co. takes the farm to bar concept quite seriously. From sourcing the organic cacao beans from farmers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu to an all-women unit in Auroville, they've been vocal for local in the truest sense. If artisanal chocolates are your weakness, flavours like rosemary and sea salt are definitely worth a try.
Now run by the young sister-duo, Yahvi & Parthivi Mariwala, after taking reigns from their grandparents & parents, Nandan Coffee is a household name waiting to happen.Their passion for coffee can be seen in the section, 'Brewing Guide' on their website. This organic, home-grown hand-picked & roasted-to-order coffee is produced at The Nandanvan Estate, located at 4500ft above sea level in the lush valleys of Kodaikanal. It is a single-origin coffee which basically means that the coffee you'd be consuming comes from a single growing region or farm. You can usually spot them serving the best coffee in town at various pop-ups around the city of Mumbai.
Founded by Aditya Sanghvi, a guy who wanted to solve the snack-crunch problem by reinventing healthy snacks, Snackible is the perfect small business idea. If you're a snack lover, you already know this brand but if you don't here are some yummy things they make that'll get you completely hooked. They also deliver all across India, so order away!
It is India's first-ever mead producing brand from locally sourced honey! Started as a fun garage project by Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwasin in Pune, it has found a loyal fan base across the country. They've concocted some pretty interesting flavours like Apple Cyder, Coffee, Orange & Bourbon Oaked Apple flavoured meads to keep up with the changing palettes of the youth.
Another bean to bar brand from God's own country, Kerala was launched in 2015 by Devansh Asha & his wife. From sourcing the cacao beans from the Idukki region in Kerala to impacting lives of more than 2000 farmers who grow them, Pascati is India's first USDA and fair trade compliant chocolate brand. Some of the highest-selling and most experimental flavours include a lemon ginger dark chocolate bar, mango dark chocolate bar, Hibiscus-raspberry chocolate & the Blueberry-walnut.
Must-Try: Hibiscus-raspberry chocolate & the Blueberry-walnut chocolate
This Mumbai-based micro-creamery specializes in making & delivering European cheese to your doorstep! Started in 2014, they use time-honoured techniques to make fresh and preservative-free artisanal cheese with great flavour and intact nutrition. Offering some of the most delicious cheeses like mozzarella & burrata in the city, they also cater to restaurants & are taking orders right now if you're within their delivery perimeter.
Coming from Paras spices, Orika is a premium spices & seasonings brand that elevates the experience of Indian cooking. With more than 30 spice blends, their products are well-packaged and can be used for various cooking techniques- from a marinade to spice blends or even as seasonings.
Celebrating tea in every sip, owner and tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda started Tea Trunk in 2013 after studying under a Japanese master, Nao Kumekawa in Sri Lanka. The gourmet tea blends include a vast collection of green, black, white, oolong & herbal teas; from chamomile to the marigold, matcha, rose, apple, saffron kahwa & many more.
Must-Try: Rose Oolong, Marigold Green and Hibiscus green tea blends.
Another expert tea sommelier who produces tea blends with natural ingredients is Nandini Mehta. These curated tea blends are distributed to various restaurants and hotels, introducing an exciting range of flavours that pairs perfectly with meals.
An IIM graduate & ex-Unilever marketing guy, Shashank Mehta founded And Nothing Else. The small snack bars have absolutely no added sugar, no sweeteners, no preservatives, no soy or gluten, no added flavour and no added colour too, making it one of the healthiest snacks to munch on. It's definitely all-natural & nothing else as its name suggests.
Country Bean is a blend of 100% soluble coffee and delicious flavours, a company founded by Aditi Somani founded in Kolkata. They have a wide range of coffees to offer; from plain instant coffee to flavoured ones like hazelnut, caramel, berry, and choco-orange.
Started by Prateek Bakhtiani, a passionate chef who loves chemistry & fresh fruits; he brings out the deliciously rich and incredibly complex flavours of chocolate with flavours like juniper and raspberry, burnt maple, bergamot and oak. Every piece of chocolate he touches becomes an art. Don't believe it? Check it out for yourself!
Must-Try: the Black Truffle and Raspberry, Black Sesame and Yuzu, Black Stout and Caramel.
Conceived by Poonam Chordia, this zero-waste Chennai-based chocolate brand is a vegan, gluten-free, eco-friendly & a sustainable brand. They use upcycled cocoa husk paper, non-refined organic muscovado sugar and ensures their ingredients travel a minimum distance to manufacture tasty chocolate bars in flavours.
Must-Try: Sukku Coffee, Masala Chai, Lemongrass, Coconut Milk and Cinnamon chocolate bar.
Started in 2014 by Prateeksh & Agnay Mehra, this artisanal brand makes 100% vegetarian & preservative-free cheese. With cheeses from mozzarella, burrata, chevre & camembay, this Mumbai-based fromagerie caters to restaurants in Pune, Goa, Mumbai & Kolkata! You can also purchase spreads and dips off the shelves from Foodhall stores.
This Kochi-based bean to bar chocolate brand sources about 40% of their cocoa from their own farm near Kochi. “Paul and Mike: Farmers and Fermenters". The brand’s name comes from the two farmers called Paul and Mike whom Vikas Temani met on his research trips in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Some of the exquisite flavours that this brand offers is Amazon Pink Pepper, Balkan Rose, Sitaphal, Jamun, Mango & the Plain dark chocolate.
From being an ice cream wala (Hockey Pockey Ice Creams) to a dahi wala (Epigamia), Rohan Mirchandani started this brand keeping in mind the Indian audiences. Epigamia offers a wide variety of yoghurts; from the plain Greek yoghurt to blueberry, mango & other artisanal flavours. Actress Deepika Padukone is one of the investors in this yoghurt brand that is now making lactose-free variants also.
This Kochi-based brand has taken quality & packaging to yet another level with their Masterchef kind of approach. It reinvents the experience of spice & blends shopping for the younger generations. Its effort to bring gourmet ingredients from around the world to Indian kitchens to make cooking easy for the youth has paid off with SKU's like whole vanilla beans from Madagascar, wasabi, Mexican chile, Bhut jolokia, mango jalapeño sauces, banoffee and ginger marmalade.
Started as a Women Initiative Network by wife Anju Srivastav & her husband, Arjun in 2008, Wingreens is now a successful company that has more than 50 SKU's to offer in 150 variants. With two ‘Farm Managers’, and 150 village women from Tauru in Haryana, Wingreens manufactures dips, sauces, pita breads and flatbreads. Some of their well-received products include chipotle sauce, fiery desert mustard dip, dill tzatziki, peri-peri hummus, rosemary hummus & peppermint with green tea leaves dip.
Think of her as a delicacy. She could be a red sauce penne pasta or refreshing strawberry smoothie. A little sweet, quite tangy and unapologetic on the palate. Her soul is that of a gastronome, mind of an illustrator and heart of a writer. She uses these ingredients to plate up tasty stories about food at India Food Network as an Associate Editor. Be it her blogs, articles, reviews or food shows; she promises a wholesome affair.