For many millennia, it has been believed that the only place a woman belongs to is the kitchen. Cooking and providing for the family are the only jobs that a woman was obligated to fulfil. Nonetheless, the pace of civilizational progress has forced mankind to refine this attitude and women have gradually learnt their rightful place in the society. The numerous movements and the uncountable sacrifices have yielded results and women today, are more liberated and independent than ever before, making bold decisions, living life on their own terms, contributing to the world economy and making the world a safer place. However, all the technological advancements did not only make them adept at other businesses but at the same time, could not come in the way of their culinary skills and magic. Readers’ Cafe, this winter, brings to you, 9 such phenomenal women who, with their entrepreneurial skills and brave decisions and wisdom have not only empowered themselves but are bringing joy to people’s hearts and inspiring thousands. All of them are absolute best at what they do. Do not trust us? Read on and getting yourself to know them.
Renu Bardia,52, popularly known as Renu Aunty, is the founder and owner of ‘Renu Bakery’, a well-known baking brand in Silchar today. She has always been a curious learner- from crafting lamasa, paper mache to quilling but had a different love for cooking and baking from the start.
Though enthusiastic about baking, she started it professionally much later in life. With her unique and realistic cake designs, Renu Bakery has become an inseparable part of every event taking place in the heart of the town. What started as a simple source of joy have now transformed into a booming baking business of the valley. She holds regular baking workshops for the young baking enthusiasts of the valley and as of now, has conducted nearly 15 workshops..
Madhupriya Dutta,27, whose Instagram handle says: “Baking the world a better place. The quote may be clichéd. The cakes are not.” is the owner of The Confection Connection, a bakery popular among the masses.
While she is a lawyer by profession, baking is her passion. Madhupriya calls it her ‘happy place’ and runs her bakery business from her residence at Silchar. She has conducted the highest number of dessert table events in town and makes mouth-watering cake jars, cookies that will leave you drooling over it. Her Instagram handle is where she posts her baking products and it looks no less than a beautiful and vibrant art on a piece of white canvas which reflects her artsy and classy personality. Her zeal and passion for baking and the artistic representation of the same has made her one of the successful bakers in the town. Not just cakes, she bakes happiness.
Shatadeepa Purkayastha,25, is a post-graduate in Marketing and Finance from Assam University whose journey in the world of baking started two years back in October,2018 when she was still a student. An enthusiast in the field of performing arts, Shatadeepa started her baking venture called ‘Shatadeepa’s Bakeology’ from her home itself and is a self-taught baker.
The motive, as Shatadeepa told Readers’ Cafe was to generate employment and to deliver happiness to people’s doorsteps. Initially, she operated through online food apps, but later that inconvenient. She already has a branch at Karimganj, run by her student and wishes to have full-time bakery store in near future.
Taruna Roy, 40, a mother of two, is the perfect mix of a warm homemaker and an extremely talented bake. It all started 13 years back when she was pregnant with her second child. Her cravings for good cakes made her turn into a well-known baker that she is today.
Slowly her friends and family started liking her cakes and wanted her to bake something for their special days as well. The wholehearted support from her closed ones gave her the morale boost and she decided to bake professionally as well. Not having an extended or separate workspace, she does not call herself a full-time baker but a woman trying to balance things out between her family and work. Apart from baking, playing with her kids, listening to music and watching movies with her husband are the things that provide this phenomenal woman some peace and happiness.
Debolina Das Purkayastha, 28, the founder of ‘The Cake Shop’ says baking was never her forte. She did her graduation on Hospitality Management from International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), Kolkata. She was undergoing courses in the States to become a dignified Chef but had to return to India to complete her studies and that’s when her dreams and destiny took a different turn. Though a hard core Indian Chef, she is falling in love with pastries, with her work she is doing today and that’s what makes her the happiest one. She calls her journey an incredible one as her venture is turning 2 this December.
The immense support and love from her clients made her come up with another start-up called HotKitchen,(both are cloud kitchen)wherein one will find all the delectable dishes straightaway from her kitchen.
Lipika Pugalia, 24, co-owns a bakery called ‘Bake-e-Diem’ with her cousin cum friend, Harshita Ghorawat and regards her mother and aunty as their inspiration. “We saw our mothers and aunt bake so fondly and just wanted to be like them”, Harshita told Readers’ Cafe. Both of them wanted to make and bake something that would make them happy and that was when the idea of baking kicked in.
In 2019, they started it as a hobby and along the way, started receiving good reviews which made them took baking as a profession. Academically a graduate, Lipika is now into full-time baking. Regarding her co-owner, Harshita, she opined that she, too, is into full-time baking now and looks after the business in Ahemdabad. Her family, not only supports her morally but helps her with her baking too. Both Lipika and Harshita want to open a cafe in the near future.
Saara Shabnam, 30, heading ‘Zaara Collection’ a woman who has made her way into almost every females’ wardrobe of this valley through their stylish and exclusive Kurti collections. She feels truly blessed to have earned the trust of her customers and expressed her gratitude. Started as a reseller, Saara, now is a stockist and uses her home for stocking purpose. Though she is no into cosmetics, but sees Kylie as an inspiration
Technology, truly, has empowered her as she connects with her customers from far and near and runs her business through online mode via Instagram and Whatsapp. Her instagram page, Zaara Collections has recently crossed 10k followers. She pointed out how social networking has made her receive support and love from unknown ones as well.
Piya Dutta Purkayastha, 36, is the owner of NAVYA, a boutique specialized in designer sarees, kurtis, wedding lehengas, gowns and also designer blouses as well. The journey of NAVYA started in the year 2016 with one outlet and the second outlet came in 2019. Initially, it started with production business in various parts of Kolkata and later opening its outlets in Assam.
They have 17 workers associated with them in the production department, 2 supervisors and 3 sales staffs. Regarding future prospects of NAVYA, Piya told Readers’ Cafe that they are planning on opening an outlet in Kolkata and start large scale production in Assam as well as West Bengal. She feels that fashion industry is one of the most glamorous, booming and productive industry and anyone having potential in it should find their future in it.
Ritika Agarwal Patwa, 31, is a CA Final year students, who along with being profoundly ambitious, is extremely good in what she does. She owns two different ventures, ‘RAP Couture’ and ‘RAP’s Oven’
The word ‘RAP’ in both the ventures are the initials of her name. While RAP Couture is an online page in Facebook and Instagram and is dedicated to designer clothes and hair bands, RAP’s Oven is the name of her bakery. She designs clothes for her clothing venture and exhibits them mainly in Guwahati. Her baking unit is at Silchar which she started later and is situated near Tennis Club. Her baking factory is at Srikona, where she has all the machines and chefs from outside to give the people of the town, a good and authentic taste of baking products.