Meet the female entrepreneur who used ‘chakki’ to launch an organic food brand

Entrepreneur Shivi Jawalia saw a lull in its restaurant business – based in Bengaluru – as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown was announced last year.

“The hospitality sector was the first to be affected and will be the last to recover. It is not just fear and apprehension about people’s health and well-being. Bangalore is a city of migrants, but many have returned home as working from home has become a huge part of the new normal,” she says His history.

When she moved to town in 2010 after getting married, Shivi and her husband saw little to no options when it came to North Indian cuisine. The two opened a Rajasthani-themed restaurant NH8first in a 2,000 square foot area in Indiranagar, followed by cloud kitchen and two other restaurants of the same name in Orbit Mall, Whitefield and Sahakara Nagar.

The business grew more and more until COVID-19 hit. With just the cloud kitchen running and only online deliveries to take care of, Shivi suddenly had a lot of free time.

For the academician who is often a guest lecturer at various institutes, this has become just another opportunity to start another business. She founded Chakkiwalle in May 2020 to offer organic flours, hand-ground spices, millets, dried fruits, legumes, etc.

The beginning

Shivi herself has been using a chakki (mill) and grinding flours for consumption at home instead of buying from the store for some time. She also hand-pounded spices and masalas at home. So whenever her friends came, they always told Shivi that her food at home tasted very different.

It’s also one of the reasons why she started Chakkiwalle. During the pandemic, she also made good use of their farmland in the outskirts of Bengaluru – which had lain unused for so long. From atta, she started preparing half-kg packets in very simple bags with just a phone number if customers wanted to order more.

Initially selling in their apartment complex, she shared a Google form and asked them to add their orders to it before developing an e-commerce website.

When messages started pouring in asking how the products were made, Shivi created WhatsApp and Telegram groups to share video clips telling people about the process.

“We don’t stock them and advise them not to do the same and encourage them to order every seven days. So we only mold after the orders have been placed to guarantee fresh produce,” she adds. Word of mouth from friends and family also played an important role in creating brand awareness.

Navigate the market

As people have become more health conscious, the demand and consumption of organic food has increased significantly over the past few years in India, where the organic food market is expected to grow from $177.14 million over the past few years. exercise 20 to $553.87 million in FY26. Organic Tattva, Down to Earth Organic Foods and 24Mantra are among the key players in the same market space.

However, while most brands offer packaged organic foods, Chakkiwalle prides itself on making flours, spices and other products in small batches only after orders are placed.

Shivi is optimistic about maintaining the quality of the product over other features such as the packaging. “Our packaging is also very basic. It was initially because we didn’t have a lot to spend, but we also don’t feel the need to entice people into buying something with fancy colors and packaging. Why not invest in adding real value to the product instead,” she says, adding that a meager initial investment was also limited to packaging.

In fact, she says, customers said they value connecting with the entrepreneur and learning about the processes behind organic products more than just ordering online.

Shivi was recently selected to be part of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Program which offers advice and mentorship, networking opportunities and access to capital, among other benefits.

Currently, Chakkiwalle operates solely in Bengaluru on a B2C model and has gained a good understanding of which products work and which don’t – out of its 240 products.

Moving forward, Shivi hopes to expand NH8 to other cities through franchising and purchasing all of its ingredients in Chakkiwalle.

This way, she says, NH8 and Chakkiwalle will also venture into the B2B model in the future.

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