Passion on the Plate: The Delicious Story of FoodForia
The delightful creations of FoodForia have been born from a passion for food, unwavering belief, and a zest for life – Payal Khanna’s life. It’s more than just a culinary journey; it’s a story of dreams turned into delicious reality, with Payal’s dad’s wisdom and support forever etched into its narrative.
Payal, one half of the dynamic duo behind FoodForia asseverates.
That’s how it all begun.
In 2016, Payal lost her guiding star, her dad which hit me like a ton of bricks. “His health journey told single sided story, but I had a hunch it was about more than just the medical diagnosis. It felt like he’d lost the joy of eating, stuck with a diet that was more like survival rations,” she says.
That’s when it hit her like a lightning bolt – our body’s a temple, and it deserves blessings in the form of good food, “Healthy snacking isn’t just about being kind to your gut; it’s a dopamine dance party waiting to happen. And here’s the thing – it’s not just about tasting good; it should look like a masterpiece too!”
As she dove into making food that was both healthy and a feast for the eyes, it magically ascended like a ton of snacks –The EUREKA moment! Food and Euphoria! That’s when FoodForia was born, a sprinkle of magic in every bite.
Desperate Times call for Creative Measures
While Pandemic was a major setback for the business, Payal thought about ‘A box of Mangoes.’ The entire world was locked and so were the Hotels and restaurants. People were turning to Swiggy & Zomato for their daily meals & keep FoodForia had to struggle to stay on the map. The founder speaks about the creative idea, “Selling organic mangoes seemed like a lifeline. Getting mangoes from different parts of the country was a challenge in itself, we did make it happen. Thanks to the relentless support of multiple transport companies and farmers who challenged difficult circumstances to support us. The mangoes were loved by our clients and with every box we sent small samples of our snacks. All in all, the experiment was a success.”
“Listen up, snack seekers, because we’re about to blow your taste buds away! At FoodForia, we’re the snack wizards who whip up goodies that are healthier than a yoga class at a salad bar.”
FoodForia snacks are like the superheroes of the munching world. They’re gluten-free, refined flour free, refined sugar-free, and 100% roasted to crunchy perfection. Handcrafted with love, these gems are kept free of preservatives and anything artificial. It’s like a snack revolution in every bite!
A mouthwatering lineup by FoodForia will make your taste buds dance, including Savory Snacks, Cookies, Ready-to-Cook Noodles, Spreads, Jams, Mukhwas, Vegan Sweets, and more! These treats aren’t just healthy, they’re also bursting with unique flavors and modern twists that’ll leave you craving for more!
But wait, there’s more. The snacks are like fashion-forward chameleons; they’re customizable with dairy-free options too, catering to all your taste bud preferences. And if you want your snacks to rock a unique outfit, the packaging can be tailored to your heart’s content.
So, if you’re ready to dive into a world of snacks that are not just good for you but insanely delicious too, welcome to the FoodForia revolution! “Don’t take our word for it – you’ve got to try them to believe it. Whether it’s Diwali gifting or simply indulging in guilt-free snacking for yourself, we’ve got you covered!
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s snack our way to a healthier, tastier world together!”
The Dream Team Trio
It all began with a trio of dreamers – Payal’s mom, her best bud Bipran Singh, and Payal herself. Bipran swapped his stellar job for the startup and his experience and dedication turned their idea into a booming success. “Bipran deserves a shoutout and I owe him a mountain of gratitude that can never be repaid,” Payal sincerely acknowledges.
Payal’s mom, an active member of the All-India Women’s Association, used her connections to reach out to women shelters allowing the founders to collaborate with a diverse group of women, each a master of traditional cooking and skilled in turning ancient ingredients into modern culinary delights.
“While I am the brains behind the recipes, churning out ideas faster than a supercomputer, my team of these remarkable women were crafting millets into delectable creations. And just like that, FoodForia welcomed its first product into the world. We believe in the magic of hands-on craftsmanship. Machines can’t replicate that love and care, so all our goodies are hand-made with oodles of love,” the founder says.
Payal lovingly call this team of extraordinary women “Hidden Gems” as they’ve played a pivotal role in getting FoodForia to where they are today and their unwavering support has been FoodForia’s secret sauce.
Lastly, it’s the one-woman creative tornado, Jessika! “Having her by my side feels like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat. You see, she’s the wizard who waves her creative wand and brings my wildest ideas to life on the canvas. Trust me, having someone as brilliant as her on the team was not just the easiest choice; it was the smartest one too,” chimes the founder.
FoodForia doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality. No whole wheat, no refined flour, no refined sugar, no preservatives, artificial colors, or additives. The company takes pride in sourcing grains locally and transforming them into scrumptious and healthy snacks. It’s a recipe for success that the brand is eager to share with the world.
For Payal, being an entrepreneur is like trying to juggle flaming knives while riding a unicycle on a tightrope –some days, you deal with folks who are trickier than a Rubik’s Cube, while others, you’ve got the sunshine and rainbows kind that make your day a wild rollercoaster of joy.
“From day one, we’ve made it our mission to keep things fresh, like a chef’s special that never gets old. Innovation is our middle name, and we’re determined to serve up a unique experience every time our customers take a bite.”
As FoodForia spreads its wings, Payal finds herself in the lap of luxury, catering to high-end hotels. The company teamed up with the illustrious Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi to become the G20 gifting partner. “It’s making us feel like the snack royalty we are. Cue the proud chest-puffing moment!”
The snack-tacular news doesn’t wrap up here! Foodforia also had the privilege of being the gifting partner for the Ethiopian Embassy at their wedding Summit. It was like a marriage made in snacking heaven, and Payal couldn’t be happier to be part of their special day.
“And that’s not all, folks! Zee Business rolled out the red carpet and invited us for an interview on their show, “Leaders Today.” It was a whirlwind of an experience, a platform where we spilled the beans on who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We loved every minute of it!”
Company’s marketing focus has been on B2B, but it’s got big dreams, “we want to waltz into every household, but don’t expect to find us on the grocery store shelves. Reason- FoodForia oozes exclusivity, and we’re keeping it that way.”
In the grand scheme of things, Payal believe that healthy eating shouldn’t be an exclusive club for the elite, “It’s time to democratise the deliciousness. So, get ready, people, because we’re gearing up to bring our treats straight to your doorstep.”
Exclusive Interview with Payal Khanna
Payal grew up in a liberal environment, where her parents had always been a pillar of support and instilled in her the importance of voicing her thoughts. Being a single child, they taught her the value of sharing, caring, and self-confidence.
Payal completed her graduation from Delhi University and then pursued her post-graduation in Foreign Trade at IIFT, Delhi. She started her career as a pilot, flying for regional airlines overseas and even Cathay Pacific. However, life brought her back to India, where she realised the aviation industry here was nearly saturated. So, she pivoted, becoming a content writer while pursuing education parallelly. She even tried being a Movie Jockey, bringing some cinematic flair into her exciting journey and also delved into the intriguing world of paper import-export at Hindustan Times.
While wrapping up her commercial pilot’s license, I decided to spread my wings in unconventional ways. She soared into the skies as part of “Eye in the Sky,” where she reported on New Zealand traffic from above – talk about a high-flying job!
That’s not all- her adventurous self also stepped behind the bar, mixing up some liquid magic as a bartender. Later, she took to the skies again, this time with charter airlines, offering passengers scenic flights with breathtaking views.
Cooking ‘is more than just preparing meals, it’s an art form’, she swears and thrive on creating new recipes, experimenting with flavors, and bringing joy to people’s taste buds. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s jamming on guitar and drums, embracing the world of music. Her way to recharge, finding balance, and busting stress – a trek, a hike, playing a bit of squash, doing kick-boxing, or enjoying a good run.
We aren’t packing up yet, here’s more interesting glimpse of our interaction with Payal.
What made you choose this industry?
Payal: “This is what I was meant to do.” These words have been bouncing around in my brain for generations, and every day, they guide me like a North Star made of clarity.
My journey isn’t just about munching on healthy snacks; it’s about smashing the misconceptions that have folks all tangled up about food. When I lost my dad to the darkness of depression, sparked by the shackles of severe diabetes and food restrictions, I felt a surge of energy inside me. It was like a lightning bolt of determination hit me square in the taste buds.
That’s when FoodForia sprang to life, bursting forth with a simple but powerful idea. Everyone deserves to savor scrumptious snacks, packaged in eye-catching wrappers, and guess what? They can be healthy too! So, here’s to breaking the stereotypes, one delicious bite at a time.
Walk us through you journey towards creating FoodForia.
Payal: From traffic updates to crafting cocktails and whisking people away on scenic journeys, my journey to FoodForia has been anything but ordinary. It’s a journey that wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of my mother, Mrs. Usha Khanna, my ever-encouraging husband, Akshay Yadav, and the enduring influence of my father.
You see, FoodForia wasn’t always a clear path for me. There were moments of doubt, but it was the unwavering belief of my mom, Akshay, and my dad that kept me focused on our culinary dream.
What are the major sources of inspiration?
Payal: I’ve been dancing through life in a whirlwind of inspiring souls, and boy, am I lucky!
My buddy Gaurang, the living, breathing embodiment of the “from rags to riches” tale. He took a humble idea and transformed it into a unicorn company through nothing but grit and sheer dedication. His journey is living proof that success is like a recipe, and hard work is the main ingredient.
But that’s not all. I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with titans from the hotel industry, hearing their jaw-dropping success stories right from the horse’s mouth. It’s like getting a backstage pass to the show of life!
And then there’s my mother, the CA extraordinaire. At 72, she’s still a force to be reckoned with, standing tall beside me, cheering on my little idea that’s now bloomed into something incredibly beautiful. Her life lessons and unwavering strength are my secret weapons.
And let’s not forget my main man, my husband Akshay, the Indigo captain with a heart of gold. When I hit rough patches and questioned myself, his unconditional love and trust were like rocket fuel for my creativity. He turned my moments of self-doubt into unstoppable bursts of inspiration.
In all honesty, my entire family deserves a standing ovation. They’ve been the wind beneath my wings every step of the way. Having such a remarkable crew as your family is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s a blessing in disguise, a constant source of inspiration, and the cherry on top of the sundae that is my life.
Tell us about the very first meal prepared by you. Please share your experience and the reaction you received from people around you.
Payal: You won’t believe it, but my first foray into the world of cooking took flight during my Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training. Yep, you read that right!
Now, I’m all about honesty, so here’s the deal. I didn’t magically become a kitchen wizard. Oh no, I learned my culinary chops from a bunch of my male batchmates at the training academy. These guys hailed from all corners of the globe, and I was like a sponge soaking up their cooking wisdom.
Picture this: my debut dish was a wild blend of Indian and a dash of Italian cuisine. Honestly, I can’t vouch for how it tasted, but my brave friends devoured every last bite. Hahaha! It’s like there’s a secret friendship rulebook that says, “When a friend cooks for the first time, you must finish the meal, no matter what!”
It’s evident that you love what you do, Payal. Out of innumerable aspects in your work, what do you love most apart from food?
Payal” I’m a people-lover! Meeting new folks, it’s like my personal hobby. I’m like a professional observer, always ready to learn and absorb like a culinary sponge.
You see, it’s the stories these amazing people share that put the cherry on top of my day. It’s like a never-ending buffet of inspiration. Each tale I hear sparks a wildfire of new ideas in my mind, like a brainstorming bonanza.
So, when I’m out and about, my brain is in overdrive, constantly churning like a high-speed blender. And you know what the best part is? Those constant sparks of inspiration that keep me going, like a never-ending source of creative fuel.
Payal, please tell us about Zuffon, the latest addition in FoodForia’s journey.
Payal: Allow me to introduce you to the shining star in our foodie galaxy – ZUFFON!
Zuffon isn’t just a brand; it’s our very first creation under the FoodForia umbrella. We’re here to stand out in our own unique way.
We’re cooking up more brand babies as we speak, but for now, Zuffon is our pride and joy. Our mission? To be a game-changer, not just in what we do but also in how we do it.
In the heart of our kitchen, there’s a dynamo named Shevani, my trusty friend, and partner in all culinary chaos things. I bombard her with wild recipe ideas and samples day in and day out. She’s a trooper, never giving up on me, no matter how many crazy trials we go through.
Our flavors are like a delicious time machine, taking us back to our roots but with a modern twist. Creativity is our lifeblood, and every day, we roll up our sleeves and get to work, raising the bar higher
Let’s talk about the R&D involved in curating next-level food products. What’s Zuffon’s take on this?
Payal: At Zuffon by FoodForia, we’re all about keeping the innovation train chugging along. We firmly believe that great minds don’t just think outside the box; they fold that box into a paper airplane and send it soaring.
Our secret sauce for R&D? Well, it’s not some fancy lab with bubbling test tubes; it’s the everyday chit-chats we have with folks like you. We dive headfirst into conversations about your daily challenges, food restrictions, sneaky allergies, and those pesky untimely hunger pangs. And guess what? It’s like a buffet of ideas!
Every product we whip up has a story, a juicy inspiration behind it. We’re on a mission to wrap each treat with a beautiful narrative, like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. Because here at FoodForia, innovation isn’t just a word; it’s our way of life, and every bite is a chapter in our tasty tale.
Where do you procure the ingredients from? Tell us about your collaborations and how do you ensure that all the ingredients meet Zuffon’s standards?
Payal: “Vocal for Local”! At FoodForia, we’re like the ultimate local food enthusiasts. We’re on a mission to make sure our ingredients are as homegrown as your grandma’s tomato garden.
You see, we’re all about keeping it real, so we go straight to the source – our fantastic farmers. It’s like a foodie treasure hunt! We hunt down these local legends and make sure every single ingredient we scoop up is as organic as a yoga retreat.
Now, let’s talk organic certification. Not every farm can rock that fancy label, but that doesn’t stop us. We’re like the organic detectives, making surprise visits to our farming buddies. We’re the Sherlock Holmes of clean farming, making sure they’re keeping it green and pesticide-free.
And guess what? Nowadays, with all those government programs and incentives, our farmers are turning into eco-warriors. They’re waving goodbye to pesticides and embracing the clean, green farming revolution. It’s like Mother Nature’s high-five to us all!
Involvement of machinery and techs in the food industry is inevitable when large-scale production is the target? Doesn’t the intervention of machinery and techs obscure job opportunities for countless unemployed individuals?
Payal: It’s the magic of the hands! Yep, you heard it right. We firmly believe that machines may be cool, but they lack that secret ingredient – love.
Our products? They’re like little pieces of art, hand-crafted with a dash of passion and a sprinkle of soul. You can’t put a price on that raw, unfiltered goodness. Plus, here’s the icing on the cake: hand-crafted goodies mean more job opportunities. It’s like a win-win for taste buds and wallets!
Now, I won’t lie, we’ve got some machines in the mix too. When we’re talking serious volume, machines lend a helping hand with packaging, all in the name of hygiene. But we’re not about to replace our fabulous human team with robots. Sure, automation reduces errors, but it also takes away those precious job opportunities. And let’s face it, folks, jobs are the real heart and soul of any operation.
So, here’s to a blend of hand-made love and a pinch of machinery, just enough to keep the wheels turning without losing the human touch. It’s the recipe for a deliciously balanced world.
Every job comes with a different type of pressure and stress and every individual has different ways of dealing with them. What works best for you when you feel pressured or stressed?
Payal: Staying sane in this crazy world – cooking is my ultimate stress-buster! I get my chef’s hat on, tunes blasting in the background, and I whisk up a storm in the kitchen.
But that’s not all. I’ve got a whole buffet of relaxation tactics up my sleeve. When I’m not donning my apron, you’ll find me jet-setting to new places, tackling treacherous treks, and hiking like there’s no tomorrow. Oh, and don’t even get me started on squash – it’s like a high-speed therapy session!
And then there’s my daily morning ritual. I’m up bright and early, dedicating a solid 45 minutes to a workout that leaves me feeling like a superhero. But that’s not all, three times a week, I hit the pavement and embark on epic 5-kilometer runs in the evening. It’s like a mini adventure every time!
These aren’t just exercises; they’re my secret weapons for staying mentally and physically fit, like a daily dose of stress-busting magic. So, whether I’m whipping up a culinary masterpiece or conquering a trail, life is my playground, and I’m here to savor every moment!
How did you grow as an entrepreneur in past few years? Please share your experiences with.
Payal: Being an entrepreneur can be very challenging. It’s like navigating a wild jungle out there. Every day, I’m shaking hands with more people than a politician on election day, and spending hours on road travelling, is not easy.
But you know what they say, talk is cheap. When you’re in the entrepreneur game, it’s not about mouthing fancy words; it’s all about strutting your stuff and showing what you’ve got. Trust me, actions speak louder than a rock concert on a Saturday night.
So, buckle up, because in this hustle, it’s not about talking the talk; it’s about walking the walk. And believe me, you’ll feel it in your bones when you’re in the thick of it!
Let me make one thing clear: I am not a superhero. I don’t possess any extraordinary powers or a secret lab hidden beneath my house. No, my journey towards achievement began just like anyone else’s, with a dream and a whole lot of doubt. But it’s what I did with that dream and doubt that made all the difference.
You see, success is not an overnight phenomenon, but rather a culmination of hard work, determination, and a few questionable life choices.
Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone on the path to success. I made countless mistakes along the way, and each one taught me valuable lessons. I learned to pick myself up, dust off the disappointment, and use it as fuel to propel myself forward.
I did it by embracing fear, failure, passion, persistence, and gratitude. I did it by refusing to settle for mediocrity and pushing beyond my limits. Never lost sight of my dreams, even when the world seemed to conspire against me. And most importantly, I did it by believing in myself, even when the odds were stacked against me.
What message do you want to convey to your existing and prospective clients?
Payal: We’re on a mission to flip the snacking game on its head, one wholesome nibble at a time. We’re taking those old food myths and giving them a sassy makeover.
Now, to all you fabulous folks who’ve had our backs from day one, let’s talk turkey. We can’t thank you enough for being the wind beneath our culinary wings. You’ve joined us on this noble snacking adventure, believed in our quirky idea, and held our hands through thick and thin.
With your unwavering support and your trust lighting our way, we’ve done something right, and it’s all thanks to the faith you’ve placed in us. So, here’s to you, our snack-loving heroes.
If you haven’t taken a bite of our delicious creations yet, you’re in for a treat that’s out of this world. Trust me, there’s a reason our clients have been our steadfast partners in crunch for all this time.
What we whip up isn’t just about changing the snack game; it’s about rewriting the entire rulebook. Our recipes? They’re not just ingredients; they’re living, breathing stories inspired by the incredible people we’ve met along the way.
So, if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, it’s high time you take a tasty plunge into our snacking wonderland. Prepare to be wowed, because we’re not just making snacks; we’re weaving edible adventures that’ll have your taste buds doing the cha-cha!