Today's story is about a woman who pioneered in bringing the first registered authentic Indian Take Away in Helsingborg - South Indian Kitchen (SIK). A home run business that has not only seen the light of the day but has grown with flying colours due to her persistence and commitment since 2016. The journey was not easy - ofcourse! She has followed her path to success taking one step at a time. So much so, that she even delivered a big catering order for a festival 20 days before her second daughter was born. With such dedication, one can think of a person who has always had a passion for cooking. On the contrary, she states that she had to throw away the first Sambar that she attempted to cook. Learning to cook was in a way a compulsion, her husband loves food and as we know - the way to a man's heart is ...? Well, I strongly doubt that this saying applies only to men, the way to anyone's heart is through good, delicious and satisfying food. Interestingly, she also adds that at one time she was clueless about cooking rice, specifically that one needs to boil water first!
From those beginnings to that of serving 100 people from her home kitchen, we welcome you to a sojourn of inspiration - that of entrepreneurship and self-motivation. Let this also remind us that dreaming big can start with small steps. Vanakkam Shereen, also fondly called #Shiryani (= Shereen + Biryani). Hint alert!
Your name and where in India are you from?
Shereen Michael. I am from Nagercoil, a small town in Tamil Nadu.
When and why did you move to Helsingborg?
I came to Helsingborg for the first time on a bright summer day in 2012 to accompany my beloved husband.
How long have you lived here?
I am here since 2013 though I was promised that we were going back in a couple of months time.
What motivated you to start The South Indian Kitchen?
My friends always and of course of my husband, Michael, who has been my pillar of strength.
How did you start?
Indian restaurants in Helsingborg back then, did not serve authentic Indian food. And thus, I started dabbling and experimenting with south Indian food at home. It led me to even creating my own food blog (www.recipelisted.com). However, the idea became alive on a casual discussion with a friend of mine, who was a partner in earlier days of SIK. And soon we started serving in a week's time.
Any challenges that you faced? How did you overcome them?
When we started we had troubles handling big orders from a home kitchen. There were initial hiccups in learning the business of food. I handled everything from finding the right sources, to cooking and delivering the food to the customer. All this while I was managing home and family. With time, support from the right people and practice, we found an optimal way of operating the business.
There were also challenges to manage big orders for SIK after my second daughter was born. It was a difficult phase but we managed with hard work.
What were your learnings?
Being a single chef has been always a challenge, no matter what, you are expected to serve the best regardless of your health or what motherhood calls for. I have learnt serving best will always keep you up.
The best part about SIK?
The good reviews we received from many of our customers, that keeps me going. We serve what we eat. SIK always believes in the quality of service. Every single order is handled with same care as our first order and we always work to satisfy our customer’s taste buds.
Your wishlist or the next milestone that you hope to achieve?
Take SIK further to the next level. I am not sure of how, but I will find my way.
Women’s Day message to other fellow women.
Follow your heart regardless of what others say. Do not forget to take some time out for yourself - enjoy and energize.
Don’t expect to be celebrated rather celebrate yourself and enjoy!
The South Indian Kitchen's page: https://www.facebook.com/southindiankitchenhelsingborg/