Homemaker Seema Makwana from Mumbai has turned a successful entrepreneur with her home business Buns & Deluchas, which sells healthy and homemade varieties of fast food with an Indian spin, earning lakhs per month.
For Seema Makwana from Mumbai, the COVID lockdown was a life-changing period, wherein she finally found her calling.
The homemaker and mother of two experimented with her cooking and baking skills during the lockdown to eventually carve a successful home-based business.
Starting with distributing her homemade snacks in her own housing society in Kandivali to finally launching Buns & Deluchas, a cloud kitchen that serves healthy and homemade fast food, Seema has come a long way in the past two years.
“I don’t use any kind of preservatives and make everything from scratch. Therefore, the food is healthy and safe to eat for all ages. Though these are fast food items, they are made in Indian flavours to suit our taste palette,” Seema tells The Better India.
Launched in December 2021, Buns & Deluchas offers a thoughtfully curated menu of delicious and unique fast food items across Mumbai. They also have takers in countries like Australia, the US, and Canada.
“We started the business with an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh, and now we have been able to get orders worth Rs 1.5 lakh per month on an average,” says the 41-year-old.
With a desi twist
Seema says she never imagined that she could turn around her passion for cooking into a business venture.
“Being a homemaker, it wasn’t easy to start a business and nurture it alongside taking care of household responsibilities. I’d always wanted to start something on my own but it took me a pandemic to figure it out,” Seema smiles.
Growing up in a middle-class family, she says she had to discontinue her studies after Class 10 due to financial constraints. “After that, I didn’t have much to do, but I eventually became interested in cooking. As I didn’t have enough education, I knew I had little hope to find a good job. But when the idea of starting a food business came up, I was confident as I love cooking. My entire family encouraged me to start the venture,” she elaborates.
“We started off as ‘Seema’s Mystery Buns’ with a small curated menu of stuffed buns, which were received very well,” she says. “This gave me the confidence to expand the business outside my residential society and add more varieties of food in the menu.”
Seema says that all her recipes have been set after observing the fact that there aren’t restaurants or brands that offer healthy yet tasty fast food in Indian flavours.
“My husband, who is an architect, has to travel a lot. He would tell me about how difficult it is to find tasty and healthy Indian food while travelling,” she explains.
A year later, she expanded her business and launched Buns & Deluchas from her home, delivering food to people across Mumbai. “I added several new recipes that I innovated after several experiments. I include them in the menu only after getting a thumbs up from my husband and children,” she says.
The brand specialises in handcrafted artisan buns with a wide variety of stuffings like patties, exotic vegetables, paneer and more, served with homemade dips. They are made eggless and are 100 per cent vegetarian, she says.
Other than the savoury stuffed buns, Seema also specialises in Deluchas and staffles, which are also the result of her experimentations. She offers sides like potato and banana wedges and desserts like cookies and sweet buns.
“Deluchas is the short form for ‘delicious wheat kulcha wrap’, made with fillings of veggies and a choice of patties to make it tastier and healthier at the same time. The staffles are stuffed savoury waffles with Indian and Chinese curries,” explains Seema, who currently runs her kitchen in a small space within her apartment in Kandivali with the help of three staff members.
All their products are priced between Rs 35 and Rs 160. “Cheesy chilli buns, pizzaburg delucha, corn-cheese delucha, aloo tikki buns, etc are some of the most fast-selling products,” she adds.
Mittal Jhansali, a CA and resident of Kandivali, has been a regular customer of Buns & Deluchas. She says she loves the buns as they are both tasty and healthy.
“I started buying from them during the pandemic lockdown almost two years ago and now I am a regular customer. Their products are very unique, especially the staffles, which are interestingly the savoury version of waffles. Their cheese chilly buns and mushroom staffles are my favourites,” she says.
Seema’s husband Jenis Makwana has been helping her with branding and marketing. “In the initial days, the brand was promoted mostly through word of mouth. Now we have started promoting it through different social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. We have also launched a website through which people can order directly,” she says.
They are also available on Swiggy and Zomato across Mumbai.
“We get around 20-25 orders per day through Swiggy and Zomato as well as our website. The number of orders usually increases during weekends. We also deliver outside Mumbai and even to other countries,” she adds.
“We do vacuum sealing and freeze the products — upholding all safety and hygienic regulations — at proper temperatures in special food containers. This increases the shelf life up to a month,” says Seema, who plans to open an outlet for her brand in Mumbai.
Edited by Divya Sethu