Chennaites! You will agree with me when I say that with the intervention of the coronavirus, we have been deprived of visiting restaurants and trying our hands-on tasty cuisines. What if I tell you that there is a catering service at Anna Nagar, Chennai which supplies homely food to the customers with taste par excellence? Here, we have a delightful and emotional interview by Feba M. Abraham of News Aur Chai with the owners of the family business, Sugar N Spice, Mrs Sally Mathew and her daughter, Mrs Anna Elizabeth Mathew, as part of the #VoLocals campaign.
The whole idea of starting the catering service goes back to Anna’s Baptism in 1989. The motherly figure, Mrs Sally recollected, “We were on the lookout for a reliable caterer, who could cater to 1,400 to 1,500 people. When we failed to find one, my husband (Late Mr Joy Mathews) raised the question, ‘why don’t we do it ourselves? He sparked the whole idea of the catering service, with the name also being finalized by him.”
Even though it was a challenging one, this decision remains to be the best challenge the family has undertaken to date. Anna recently extended her helping hand to the business in developing innovative desserts and several new dishes. The Mother-Daughter duo ‘joyfully’ recollects that the journey has been great right from the very beginning.
The family was in full support of this venture. The focus is to undertake big size orders, as they specialize in outdoor catering. The hardworking pair gets up as early as 3:30 A.M. to cater to the orders for the day.
With the business intact for over 30 years, ‘Sugar n Spice’ has never compromised on the quality and quantity of food. You can say that this is the main reason why their customer base is strong even after three decades. When it comes to the organization of work, they had mentioned that non-perishable items (like rice and pulses) would be bought a few days in advance, while the comparatively perishable items (meat and vegetables) will be purchased either on the same day or the previous evening, as the case may be. Food is always prepared on the same day, just a few hours before delivery.
‘Sugar n Spice’ is dearly loved for their Kerala cuisine. This catering service is active on Instagram with the name ‘Table Treats by Sugar n Spice,’ as the beautiful Mrs Anna is managing the same. They have introduced the ‘Daily Menu’, which is shared through WhatsApp and Instagram. In the ‘Daily Menu’, they provide a list of 5 to 7 items (including a mouth-watering dessert).
The customers are free to pre-book any items of their choice, one day prior to the day of actual service. These customers place their orders either by directly messaging in WhatsApp and Instagram or by making a phone call. When asked how these food items are currently being delivered to the customers, they told that food is either picked up by the customers directly or with the help of apps (like Dunzo/Swiggy/Zomato). While catering for a ‘buffet special’ event, there is a delivery team to support in terms of serving the same.
There is a team to assist the Mother-Daughter duo in meeting the demands. “We are always around the work area and are attentive on what happens once we take up an order. We never let thMrsrkers manage work on their own”, said Mrs Sally.
‘Sugar n Spice’’ customer base has increased mainly by word of mouth. Once the coronavirus came into the picture, it is for the first time in 30 years that they took to Instagram to advertise their business.
When asked about the most demanded food item, they smiled and told that it has always been the ‘nadan’ (Kerala) cuisine. The fast-selling items include:-
- Kappa-meen curry
- Appam-stew (Mind you! These are only a few!) Recently, they have added new items like
- Beef kizhi parotta,
- Chicken and eggplant lasagna
- A variety of cakes, tarts and puddings.
I was hungry by the end of the interview! This loving pair further adds on that it is God’s Grace which enabled them and their family to remain and continue in this area in the days and years to come. You can check out their Instagram page, here and rest assured that you will not be disappointed.
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