Mumbai-resident Nayana Jhaveri (82) has been an entrepreneur for four decades with a strong customer base.

It was her daughter-in-law Bhavi Jhaveri who saw the potential in her handmade mukhwas (traditional mouth fresheners) and puffs, and suggested scaling it into a full-fledged business.

The duo along with Nayana’s sister Yamini Mehta decided to take the leap and start the business based on the recipes shared by their mother Sadgunaben.

However, before Bhavi sowed the seeds of formal entrepreneurship, both had been content with running the business from home.

“Armed with traditional recipes passed on from their mothers, both had started doing what they were best at. They enjoyed the conversations with customers, and the money and name just followed,” Bhavi says.

In the early 90s when there was no scope for placing an advertisement, having an online presence, or creating a social media page to garner subscribers, the women conducted their respective businesses purely by word-of-mouth.

In 2016, the trio formalised the business under the name Nanee’s Flavours. Then in 2020, the trio partnered with Candor Foods and rebranded their business to ‘Handful of Health’.

“Since we wanted to expand and reach more customers, we decided to take this leap of faith. The partnership has helped us streamline many of our processes and also bring in very strict quality control parameters,” says Bhavi.

Currently, they offer eight varieties of mukhwas and surti jeeralu (a kind of salt used in traditional Gujarati cooking), and the products are priced from Rs 99 onwards.

They have shipped more than 200 kg of mukhwas so far and earned lakhs month-on-month in revenue. Their customers include corporate companies and “the likes of Ambanis!”