Founder Homeburps, Keerti Sheoran Plans A Regional Food Trip & We Are Burp-Ready!
- IWB Post
- April 18, 2017
I remember my mom getting a jar full of Khatta-Meetha Nimbu Achaar made by my Naani, every summer, and for the entire next week, I would have it for every meal. Then there was amla murabba and Kair ka Achaar that my Dadi made, and trust me, all these were my favorite things of all. I bet most of you, too, would have similar memories of the food prepared by their loving grandmothers.
In the quest of reviving the culture of eating the locally-prepared, fresh, tasty and quality food and to remind us that the flavor of the homemade food is unbeatable, Keerti Sheoran started Homeburps.
A one-stop online shop that has the wide range of preserves, sauces, papads, snacks, groceries, etc., made and supplied directly by the local farmers, small-scale entrepreneurs, women groups, and self-help groups.
Keerti’s idea of Homeburps was fueled by her determination to promote pure and quality organic food items which will ensure proper health and nutrition to the people. Also, she took Homeburps as a medium to empower the farmers, women and small-scale entrepreneurs by giving their products a platform which would allow them to yield better monetary returns.
IWB contacted Keerti to know more about her social enterprise, her vision with Homeburps, and more.
Me: How did you come up with the name ‘Homeburps?’
Keerti: *laughs* We wanted our name to represent that every item on our list is handmade and not machine-made. And, the aftertaste in the form of burps that we get after eating our mother’s, grandmothers’ prepared food is something we all are familiar with and in a way cherish.
Keerti: We are currently sourcing our products from various places like Himachal Pradesh, Assam, and Uttarakhand and we are delivering it to most places in India. We’ll soon expand and source products from Pan-India so as to operate on the national level.
Me: How do you locate the suppliers?
Keerti: We have a strong database through which we reach out to the small women groups and entrepreneurs. We are also working through the Government who provide us the list of small-scale and potential suppliers. Another great way to connect with such people and groups is through food-related exhibitions which are happening all the time.
Keerti: As far as the quality standards are concerned, we taste everything and conduct periodic sampling tests. For packaging, some products are pre-packaged by the suppliers and for others, we are doing the packaging based on the International standards. We avoid using plastic while packaging except in one or two products like papad where there’s no alternative.
Me: What was the biggest entrepreneurial challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
Keerti: The biggest challenge is financial management. There are so many elements in our work due to which we have been facing a cash crunch. However, gradually, we are getting the hang of it and I think advance planning and deciding on the revenue model are the key towards managing the finances.
Me: How can kitchen empower women?
Keerti: In my opinion, women are not only good cooks but are also excellent managers. They have the art to maintain the quality and that taste that reaches to the soul. When a woman finds the key of empowerment in her kitchen, it not only makes her financially independent but it also provides job opportunities to other women thereby empowering them, too.
Keerti: Right from the conception to the setting up, there’s a lot of thinking that’s gone into it. I have met so many people, have been introduced to so many products, and have gained insight into so many different ideologies that it had led to multidimensional development for me and have enriched my knowledge multifold. Apart from this, Homeburps have benefitted my family’s and my health also, as my diet now includes so many products which I hadn’t known off before.
Keerti: I don’t think we need to compete with them. For us, the quality maintenance is imperative and our products come with the assurance and trust of quality, freshness, and purity. Also, the packaging is very important. As I said earlier, our packing is in terms with the International standards which make our products even more attractive. We have established a loyal customer base and it will only increase with time and scalability of our venture.
Me: In your opinion, which foods are underrated and must be included in the everyday diet?
Keerti: One has to be broccoli. It is so nutritious and I don’t think people are eating much of it. Another is Sattu which I think is the original drink of India. It is so fulfilling and it’s amazing in summers.
Keerti: We have these Maize and Ragi cookies that are very popular with the kids. They just love it! Then there are strawberry jams which unlike other jams in the market right now, have actual chunks of strawberries. Another important thing is to replace the white sugar from your child’s diet with other alternatives. We have jaggery, wild honey, and date palm jaggery which will ensure their health in the long term without disturbing their sweet tooth. Amla and Bael candies are also very healthy for the kids.
Me: The summer cooler drinks that will help people ditch the aerated drinks.
Keerti: Sattu has to be on top of the list. Then, there is a wide range of sherbets that you can go for. Another interesting alternative is the cold brew tea. There are so many herbal teas like chamomile, lemongrass, mint, etc., that you can choose from and ditch those aerated drinks which are totally unhealthy and harmful for your body.
It’s time that we say bye to all those soft-drinks!
Later, I also fired some personal and fun questions to Keerti to gain an insight into the facets of her life.
Keerti: *giggles* Jaggery because it’s sweet, crisp, and pure!
Me: One preserve or food from the kitchen of your grandmother that you would like to include in your product list.
Keerti: Lemon Pickle
Me: If you were to plan a food travel for us based on the local specialties of the place, which destinations would you suggest?
- Nagaland & Mizoram for Bhut Jolokia
- Jharkhand for Liquid Date Jaggery:
- Rajasthan for Daal Baati Churma:
- Bihar for Thekua
- Up for Bedwi Poori
- Uttarakhand for Buraansh Squash
Me: Burp out one of your biggest cooking mistakes.
Keerti: When I was just an amateur cook, I tried my hands at preparing Chowmein. Without having any idea about the strong flavor of soy sauce, I just took the bottle and poured it in the wok like I would pour oil. The chowmein turned out black and ugly. Still, my father ate them and demanded another serving as well, of course, out of love. This is one kitchen blunder which is sweetly unforgettable due to the emotions it is enveloped in.
I have had made so many cooking blunders that I have even lost count of them. LOL!
Office Time: Salted peanuts/Sweet potatoes/ Steamed broccoli / Granola bars
Traveling: Roasted foxnuts /Salted Peanuts/ Nuts like Cashew, Almonds, Pistachios and Raisins
P.S. You can buy their products on Homeburps website here.