As the Mumbai-based patisserie expands its wings to Hyderabad, founder Kainaz Mesaman tells the story of her ‘food-obsessed’ family
Kainaz Messman Harchandrai, the co-founder of Theobroma, the patisserie with a cult following, calls her journey a homegrown one.
Mumbai-based Theobroma just opened its first outlet at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad on December 1, and Kainaz is overwhelmed at the response. “We were not expecting this turnout. I am grateful for the love. We plan to open three more in Hyderabad,” she says. Established in 2004 as a single Parsi family-owned outlet at Cusrow Baug, Mumbai, Theobroma today has 60 outlets across Mumbai, New Delhi, NCR and Pune. Now, after Hyderabad, it plans to expand further South and enter Bengaluru by next year.
An alumna of The Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Mumbai, and Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD), Delhi, Kainaz was a pastry chef at the Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur before starting Theobroma in 2004. Though a chef by choice, her family made her an entrepreneur. “We want to expand and be available across the country but it is not an easy task. Our training for the staff alone is for a year and then there are other logistics involved,” Kainaz says.
Describing the hard work and effort required to make their signature pastry, chocolates, sandwiches and more, she adds, “We always wanted to set a benchmark for basic, high-quality desserts but not price them high. Our products are made using the best available local produce over expensive imports.”.
Kainaz and Tina recently wrote Baking a Dream: The Theobroma Story, published by Harper Collins India. The sisters tell the story of how their ambitious and slightly eccentric Parsi family grew a home-catering enterprise into a successful business venture.
“In the book, we take a no-holds-barred look at the challenges of working with family and offer tips on how to turn a passion for baking into a profitable career. At the end of the day, we are family and we make up and brush aside our differences and come to a common understanding that works best for the brand. Sharing our stumbles and successes,” says Kainaz, adding that the book also serves as a guide to other entrepreneurs looking to scale up their ventures.
Talking about their best sellers, Kainaz points out a few of her favourites: “The pineapple pastry, the brownies, the chocolate mousse, fruit danishes — quite a lot actually. What I usually always have at home are the almond biscottis and the palmiers. Either one of them is a must-have with an evening cup of coffee with my husband.”
Theobroma’s first Hyderabad outlet is at Jubilee Hills, Road No. 10, Apurupa BDR. Call 8886653160/1