Chef ventures out on her own to set up lunch box business from home

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 04 Nov 2019

(Far left) Sharmini preparing her lunch boxes to be sent to offices for lunch and dinner five days a week.— Photos: RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

THE fragrant smell of herbs and spices wafted from the kitchen into the living room of Sharmini Sritharan’s abode in Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Visitors to her house are always greeted with this wonderful aroma as Sharmini is constantly cooking up something or other whenever she is at home.

Her mornings on weekdays, especially from 7am to 9am, are her busiest period for she has to cook and prepare lunch boxes.

This is how things have been for the 34-year-old certified chef ever since she left her job in a popular restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, where she worked for almost a decade.

Sharmini, who has always been passionate about the culinary arts, decided to call it quits as a salaried employee and venture into the lunch box business that she calls Minnie’s Kitchen.

Since then, she has been cooking lunch and dinner for customers working in offices in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

Sharmini busy cooking for the day’s orders.Sharmini busy cooking for the day’s orders.

“People ask me all the time why I quit, and now doing this, which is basically not as glamorous. I tell them that I am happy, ” she said.

For Sharmini, the lunch box business is the perfect business plan for people like her who finds pleasure in cooking while enjoying quality time at home.

“Previously, even though I loved my job, it was long hours and exhausting and it takes the joy out of things, ’’ she said.

“Even when I studied culinary skills at the Legend International College of Hospitality & Tourism, I always knew that one day, I would want to have my own cafe or restaurant, ’’ she said.

“But I am not ready yet for that, so for now this is the next best thing, ’’ she quipped.

She said in this age and time, with everything moving so fast and services were available at the touch of a button, people wanted to have their lunch or dinner delivered to them in the office or homes.

“Not everyone has the time to cook these days, so they prefer to order food delivery.

Each lunch box is packed with enough meat, vegetables and rice, or any  other form of carbohydrate. Sharmini also has vegetarian options.Each lunch box is packed with enough meat, vegetables and rice, or any other form of carbohydrate. Sharmini also has vegetarian options.

“But they don’t just want a meal, they want home-cooked meals that are delicious and affordable, ’’ she noted.

Sharmini said comfort food like rasam and fried fish were the top requested dishes from friends.

She also offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, and said the options made people come back for her food.

Her western dishes are quite a hit, and the entrepreneur chef finds that when mutton and prawns are on the menu, the number of orders spikes.

“I also noticed that when I make pies and chicken parmigiana, there are extra orders for the day. People just like something different, ” she said, adding that the orders could be as many as 60 packets a day.

Sharmini uses a delivery service to send out her food.

She is quite contented with the way things are for now, but that does not mean she won’t embark on a new adventure further down the road.

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