FROM SOUPS ON CYCLE TO A CHAIN OF RESTAURANTS
Someone has rightly said that the road to a Man’s heart passes through his stomach, but what seems unbelievable is that how good food – elixir for the stomach can redefine a man’s fate, his identity, his stature and propel him in the league of stalwarts of the food industry.
Sitting comfortably in his office Dolraj recollects the days when he had almost nothing. No money, No resources or no political or social engagements to give him a push in the competitive world. But what he had was a heightened sense of determination, conviction, the will to work immeasurably hard and a dream. A dream to create a restaurant where good food would not be served judged on the size of the customers’ pocket, but on the extent of their appetite. A place which can feed good food at reasonable prices to thousands. Determined to make his food dream true, Dolraj left his homeland of Nepal and came to the city of Bhopal in 1980. He worked at various hotels and restaurants of Bhopal learning the intricacies of the culinary trade and honing his skills to materialize his dream of establishing his own business. His experiences had started shaping his thought and dream and were helping him take steps towards his dream.
It was not long before his hard work bore fruit and a simple yet ingenious idea hit Dolraj. He thought that the strongest desire for any individual to consume food is a need. A need to survive, a need for a satisfied palette and a need to stay healthy and when it comes to an evening beverage the needs of the mass was ‘Tea’. It was where the mass flocks. And using an exemplary foresightedness, Dolraj thought that instead of serving Tea, why not change the trend and serve ‘Soup’ instead as an acceptable alternative. A healthier, sumptuous and tastier alternative served at an unbelievably reasonable price.
With his product formulated in his mind Dolraj picked up a bicycle with a serving kettle on the carrier and started serving Soup on the streets of 6 No. market in Bhopal. Every evening he would roam around selling Soup accompanied by the loud calls of ‘Chaai ki jagah soup piyo’. And in no time he was a hit. Dolraj became a hit amongst the residents of the area especially the youngsters who used to flock in masses to have a go at the delicious sandwiches and potato and tomato soups he served which had no match. . What attracted the customers even more was the fact that Soup, which was considered as a rich delicacy and was served only at big hotels and restaurants, could be relished at just 20 bucks at his 2 wheeled food joint. He expanded his platter of dishes and his name spread out far and wide with people flocking from the extreme corners of the city to have a go at the delicacies. His rise was so monumental and meteoric that success followed him in no time. He started rising the steps of social ladder and literally became a celebrity chef in Bhopal.
Dolraj gives a hearty smile when he remembers those days when he had nothing except a Bicycle and the will to feed good food. He gleams when he tells the name that he gave to his little bicycle food joint, “Cycle Soupwala”. Today the Cycle Soupwala is the owner of five outlets in Bhopal and is popularly known as “Sagar Gaire”. Dolraj Gaire plans to expand the brand of “Sagar Gaire” and the warmth attached to it all over the country. Mr. Dolraj Gaire exemplifies that how a dream which was once born out of a need is now feeding thousands and can also become the platter for a nation.
Story by : Piyuli Ghosh & Tuhin Sen | TOC & Compiled By : Nikhil Sharma | TOC
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