SnackerStreet by Chefs Divya and Gopinath Medar specialises in making frozen snacks. Located in Hyderabad, the company currently serves restaurants, hotels and caterers across 9 Indian states
Not everyone can commit to a career at a young age. And, those who do, may not end up heading down the same path later in life. But, Chef Divya Medar is not everyone. Her fascination with food began at a young age and that led her to commit to a future in culinary arts in class five. Fueled by her passion for food and with the mind of an entrepreneur, Divya along with her Chef husband Gopinath runs SnackerStreet – one of its kind frozen snacks manufacturer based out of Hyderabad.
How it all began
After graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) in Aurangabad with her Diploma in Culinary Arts and Kitchen Administration, she went on to serve as a Chef at the iconic Taj hotels across India. During her stint at Taj, Divya met her husband Gopinath, fell in love and both got married in May 2007. Working at different locations they would hardly find time for each other. But their deep orientation towards family made them bid adieu to their jobs and move to Hyderabad in October of the same year.
November 2007 marked the beginning of a new journey as Divya and Gopinath co-founded SnackerStreet. They started as a catering service provider that would make world cuisine live during events but soon realised that the model was unscalable. The following year, an opportunity knocked on their door when the couple was invited as consultants by Britannia Industries and Britannia Dairy to aid their product development efforts. “We were also instrumental in developing a lot of recipes for PepsiCo. India’s Quaker Oats division. Our recipes were published both on the website and their pouches. That was a very exciting phase for both of us and made us realise that we really like making products,” says Divya recalling her journey.
Launching with Momos
This realisation made them bring the famous Delhi momos they had during their Chef days to Hyderabad in the year 2009. “Back in 2009, there weren’t many snacking options in the city. So, we decided to bring the concept here. We learnt the right technique, imported equipment and began producing machine-made momos in the frozen form after 6 months of research,” says Divya. After getting people acquainted with their product for a few months and having a great response, the duo set up stalls all over the city. Their vision behind starting this venture was to use their culinary expertise and technology to make momos. Using these they aimed to sell frozen snacks to entities that experience trouble preparing the huge snacking orders during important events.
Running a chain of 200 outlets wasn’t an easy job especially with all the operational hassles they had to solve while running a distributed workforce. Divya and Gopinath are first-generation entrepreneurs and their core competency was crafting products than scaling a business at that time.
A Brand Facelift
Without losing much time they soon pivoted to a frozen snack manufacturing company from a plain vanilla momo food manufacturer. This happened after they serendipitously agreed to deliver 12,000 spring rolls for a large wedding and it became a roaring success. SnackerStreet got a facelift as a B2B manufacturer in 2014 after closing down all the outlets and tuning themselves to match their core strengths. “Today we are present in nine states and cater primarily to hotels, restaurants, and catering segments,” shares Medar speaking to Handi Talks. SnackerStreet has developed around 250 products to date.
The company today specialises in making various snacks such as momos, nuggets, tikkis, poppers, rolls, samosas, burger patties, kebabs and dimsums among others. You can find these and many more on the company’s website SnackerStreet. Their team Divya says is continuously making their products better and adding more. She shares that they add no preservatives to their products and it is the product manufacturing technique they use to make the snacks that give them a shelf life of 24 months. She further adds that Snackerstreet products are conveniently frozen and delivered on time that makes customers come back for more.
Talking about how SnackerStreet stands out Divya Medar says, “We use fresh vegetables and meat to make our snacks instead of using the dehydrated and frozen versions. We also grind our spices in-house, which we then add to the peeled, boiled and chopped veggies and meat for snack preparations. Once the snack takes its shape in the machine, we coat it in the batter and bread crumbs and freeze it.” This way she says their snacks are fried only once when opened by the consumer. Thus, their products have a totally different taste profile making one feel like they are freshly made in-house. Medar adds that the company also specialises in customising snacks for its customers. Chocolate momos for instance are one such product.
What lies ahead
Divya and Gopinath have been running their small micro-enterprise at Balanagar in Hyderabad for the past few years. Their journey wasn’t one without challenges, but it has been instrumental in turning them from 5-star chefs to successful chefpreneurs. They are continuously evolving their snack offerings and look forward to venturing into e-retail and exports along with newer geographies in the days to come.