INTERVIEW WITH THE INDUSTRY ICONS——Niharika Bhargava

 

Meet Niharika Bhargava founder of The little Farm Co. She was recently invited by Tedx to talk on organic foods. She introduces us with her Little Farm family. We, at The Little Farm Co., own and manage farms in Madhya Pradesh where we produce Fruits, Vegetables and spices using organic fertilizers and local seeds. We have produce Pickles and Superfood’s as a natural sequence for value addition at our farms. Here we handcraft pickles after sun drying the vegetables using traditional recipes. We have recently ventured out into spices, oils and vinegar as well. The Little Farm Co. has received the 3rd women Astitva Award 2018 by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry a recognition to promote women empowerment. The Little farm Co. is amongst the 50 most upcoming brands in F&B by the Little Black book.

 

How would you describe yourself?
I think of myself as a strong willed person. Have always been impatient but this line of work is teaching me otherwise. I like to plan and be goal oriented. A person is as good as his/her team and I try to delegate as much as i can.

 

What’s the Idea behind Little Farm’s creation.
The Little Farm Co. is on a mission against packaged products that are filled with additives and preservatives. The Little Farm offers pickles, superfoods, like flax and chia seeds, and marmalades using the produce -fruits, vegetables and spices – from their own land. The employees at the production unit are mostly women belonging to the socio-economically disadvantaged section of the society.
 
How it started : I felt that I wanted to do something of my own. We had a land lying in the Paharapurwa village of Madhya Pradesh, and I began to wonder what I can possibly do with it. From past some time, my dad, who’s always been connected with agriculture, had been getting pickles made from the little produce and gifting to relatives, so that’s where’s the dots began to connect. Then we started conducting market surveys. 

Our market survey indicated that most products (pickles) available in the market today are produced using mechanized processes and contain additives and preservatives to increase shelf life and provide stability to the product. These products somehow do not have the same appeal or taste as hand-made/home-made pickles do.

Therefore our endeavour is to provide customers with pickles that are farm fresh, preservative and additive free using traditional recipes and that taste exactly as pickles used to before modern food processing industry started.

What are some specialities of LittleFarm and what products are more in demand?

Pickles are our speciality. Apart from that we have recently started doing spices such as Haldi, red chilli powder , sarson and it being a regular household item we are getting a good demand.

 

How different is little farm in terms of flavours. Do you deliver all over India?

We picked up the speciality flavours from all different regions across India. We do 29 varieties of them with recipes collected from all over India. All our pickles are handmade, sundried preservative free and are made from the organic vegetables grown at our own farms itself. Instead of the regular salt we use Himalayan Pink Salt, all the oils that we use are cold pressed, Instead of sugar we use khand , jaggery or jaggery powder as sweetening agents. We don’t use synthetic vinegar but only natural sugarcane vinegar. Yes, we deliver Pan India.

 

What is your magic ingredient that makes customers come back and buy from you again.

I think our magic ingredient is nostalgia. It makes our day when our customer comes back and says “this is exactly how my mom used to make it”.

 

Are you open to step into international food Industry?

Yes thats the next step we are looking at and thats the long term plan. We are actively looking at partners who have some background and expertise in exports.

 

What advice you have for those who are willing to get into food business?

Food business is one of the toughest businesses to be in. Everyone has a varied palate and taste, specially in a vast country like India. Stick to your core don’t follow trends and fads but at the same time evolve and grow as per customer needs.

 

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