Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Purav Makwana, Owner of FreshChefs, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FreshChefs provides a subscription-based meal kit service that makes cooking restaurant-style Indian dishes at home quick and easy, taking as little as 15 minutes.
We provide pre-cut, pre-portioned ingredients, proprietary sauces, and authentic Indian spices, along with easy-to-follow cooking instructions. Our target customers are busy people who love to eat healthy Indian food but do not have the time to spend time grocery shopping or preparing food.
Tell us about yourself
FreshChefs was borne out of a necessity. In the fall of 2019, we moved to the suburbs of Toronto, which led to the commute time of almost 2-2.5 hours each day. That meant that by the time we got home, it was already 7. Cooking meals from scratch would easily take us 1 hour, which would leave us no time for any other tasks.
We started ordering take-outs a lot as we would come home tired and would not feel like cooking. But we soon realized eating take-out frequently would not be good for our health. We started looking for healthier options and discovered meal kits like HelloFresh and Chefs Plate. We tried meal kits for a few weeks and loved them. We wanted to try to find meal kits that offered Indian recipes as we were used to eating Indian food. But we did not find any existing player offering Indian meal kits.
We did brief market research, talked with our friends, and got to know that this solution of conveniently cooking Indian food is desired by many people, and there is a target customer segment existing without any solution. It is very satisfying when customers compliment us and share with us how much the FreshChefs meal kit is resolving their problems. It motivates us to reach out to more people and help share healthy cooking with everyone.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have delivered more than 100 meals to customers since our launch.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
From my experience, the hardest thing to do while running a business is manage your time. When starting out, there are a million things you will need to chase, and you will soon lose your focus. So figuring out the right strategy for you and your team to spend your time each week and month will become vital in the initial days.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top 3 pieces of advice for someone who wants to start a startup:
- Don't wait for an opportune time. Right now is the best time.
- Always keep your focus on your customer and improving your product. As people say, there should only be 2 things you should be doing when starting out - build a product and talk to users.
- Keep your expenses as low as possible. Depending on how lean you are, it can make or break your company.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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