Want to have something desi today? Something which is traditional and unique from what you have regularly. Do you live in Hyderabad? If yes, then there is everything for you ranging from a quirky gourmet ice cream to a ganna juice sorbetto. Already drooling? Well, we are too!
This is not a story of a regular start-up and how it achieved success – this start-up has made a great impact by its quality and taste of food and the classy packaging. This story is about India’s first experiential commercial kitchen, Almond House.
The 30-year-old start-up has become a favorite hangout place for Hyderabad people especially college students. With Indulge (an ice cream brand by Almond House) ice creams, Almond House serves up wildly imaginative gelato and sorbet flavors (some of them vegan) created with 100% natural ingredients, prepared fresh, right in the store.
Almond House founder, Nagarjuna Muppala, a product of BITS-Pilani had dreamt of a next generational mithai house. After a lot of analysis of the market, he found that the market was in a need for quality sweets and savouries. He travelled the country for nine months learning from the finest established mithai houses, before launching his own. Well, we all know the hard work to create something unique is certainly not a cake walk.
There was uniqueness in everything about this start-up including its nomenclature. Nagarjuna made sure that the food products stayed away from all unnecessary additives like colors, artificial flavors, and too much sugar.
Chaitanya Muppala, Nagarjuna’s son, took over the responsibilities of Almond House. Chaitanya got his degree from Sauder School of Business, the University of British Columbia and he has been able to put a great use of it by his unique approach to operations and practices that gave the organization a complete cycle makeover.
Today, when you walk into the Almond House office, you will find that it’s nothing that you’d imagine an old custom mithai store office would be. It is instead, just like any top-notch multinational tech firm where young workforce are busy buzzing around desktops and laptops.
Almond House takes pride in being Telangana’s first ethnic foods brand that follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) norms and has its HACCP certification on its way. Apart from the air-conditioned finishing and packing rooms, all air in the facility is filtered, sterilized with UV light and is humidity-controlled. Yes, we are talking about a mithai store here.
Almond House has strategically invested in and collaborated with several food tech start-ups to be a part of India’s future food tech narrative. Surprisingly, long before there was Flipkart, ShopClues or Paytm, there was almondhouse.com.
Almond House was among the first adopters of the e-commerce doing the dotcom boom in India. In addition, Almond House is the commercial kitchen where customers, students groups and connoisseurs are invited, not to experience the kitchen, but to co-create products with them. Yes, one can have your cake, watch how it is made, and eat it too. After listening to all this, I definitely need to pay a visit to this modern so-called sweet shop and give a treat to all my sweet cravings!
Almond House is an inspiration to many who want to create a unique start-up. The organization very well emanates the effort put in by the family to lead to this success.