Niharika Bhargava had always felt an aversion towards packaged foods, because of the additives and preservatives found in them. After completing her Master’s degree and working in a digital marketing firm for a few months, she decided to start her own company, and The Little Farm Co. came into existence in July 2016.
The organic brand has pickles, marmalades, dips, and dressings on offer. They also sell superfoods like flax and chia seeds. All these products are made using the fruits, vegetables and spices grown in a 400-acre organic farm in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh, which is owned by Niharika’s family.
The 24-year-old has been able to build this brand entirely on her own.
“Mass-produced products are unhealthy and do not have the same taste as home-made pickles do. Since we already had a lot of produce from my family’s farm, I decided to establish a brand that could put tasty organic pickles in kitchens across the country,” Niharika told YourStory.
Niharika works out of Delhi with her team of six, while fifteen women and three men work at the farm. To develop recipes and products, they work along with NGOs nearby that work towards empowering women, the publication reports.
Some of their products have an expiry date of six months, while some, like the superfoods, can be consumed all year round. The Little Farm grows mustard and sesame and presses their own oil. In all of their recipes, they use a combination of natural preservatives like sugar/jaggery, salt, spices, natural vinegar and oil.
The company also makes sure that their entire production process is the same as the pre-technology era. The only electronic gadget they use is a mixer-grinder. The fruits and vegetables used for pickling are plucked two hours before they are processed. They don’t use any artificial ripening methods, and the produce is allowed to ripen naturally.
In its first year, The Little Farm made around ₹2 lakh in sales, selling 20 units in a day. By October 2017, the number grew to ₹7 lakh with 70 units sold in a day. They sell their products through speciality and niche stores, and through their online website