Up until a few months ago, if somebody would have told us that we’d be relying on home-based businesses to get our dessert fixes, a burger DIY kit and maybe even ice cream, we would have raised both our eyebrows in disbelief.
Home-based businesses, before the pandemic hit, were mostly considered second best to the real deal — which were your commercial eateries, unless you were buying from Auntie Munaver or maybe Shama’s Bakery.
In very little time, though, so much has drastically changed.
Commercial eateries, who would charge a premium (and rightly so) for the ambiance they’d provide and for the “dining out” experience suddenly lost this very edge, with everyone being asked to practice social distancing and stay home.
Suddenly, it didn’t matter if a business had a brick and mortar building with neon lights and that solitary bulb hanging over a bar stool vibe. All that mattered was if they could provide a quality product, preferably dessert, wrapped in an eco-friendly packaging.
And home-based businesses delivered — literally and figuratively.
Here are six businesses that we have tried and tested several times over the past few months and we think you should be trying too:
That Guy Arif - A Burger DIY Kit
'That Guy Arif' is run by Arif Abrar, who initially started to cook as a hobby. Currently, their product range includes wholegrain mustard, frozen beef patties, chicken patties, pickles, and spicy honey mustard. Basically, everything that you would need to make your own burger at home — except for maybe the buns and cheese.
The beef patties come with a set of easy instructions (are really juicy and delicious), along with their mustard sauces and pickles.
“Wholegrain mustard is my favourite condiment because you can do so much with it,” says Abrar. “I started to make it because it was difficult to find a good mustard locally.” They are currently planning to add a fried chicken patty to the mix.
Pazzee’s - Homemade Ice Cream
I have always seen ice cream as an add-on to a brownie or maybe an apple pie but never something that was substantial enough to draw me on its own — until I came across Pazzee’s of course.
One of the things that immediately strikes you about their ice cream is the rich creaminess of it. There is nothing watery about it, and neither is it sickly sweet. Their range of flavours, which include coconut, peanut butter, Belgian chocolate, Lotus Biscoff and Nucoreo (which is a mix of Nutella, Oreo and coffee) are all very distinct and will make you wipe off the ice cream tub all by yourself.
This is definitely one of my most favourite dessert finds this year.
The Munch - Eclairs
This year started with everyone making their own versions of banana bread. Then came the milk cakes and now it is the eclairs. However, what makes 'The Munch' stand out is their assortment of flavours. With Cookies & Cream, coffee, chocolate, Lotus Biscoff, coconut and Nutella, all of their eclairs have a fluffy, whipped cream filling which makes them really fun to eat.
After trying eclairs from several places, 'The Munch' is the place where you’d find something for everyone. The prices are pretty reasonable as well, with a box of 6 eclairs costing between Rs 700 to Rs 900 — depending on the flavours you choose.
Cinnademrolls - Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are trickier to get right each time. The dough needs to be the right consistency or you get stuck with a chewy bread-like roll drenched in sauce.
Cinnademrolls clearly know their stuff and like with other businesses on this list, they also do a range of flavours. Aside from the plain cream cheese ones, try the toasted walnuts and the salted caramel ones too!
Fresh Oven Bites - Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Fresh Oven Bites didn’t launch during the pandemic lockdown. They, in fact, have been around for a while, though a bit under the radar. Their chocolate chunk brownies (of which a box of 6 costs only Rs 500) are definitely one of the best ones I have had (not including the ones at Test Kitchen).
These are gooey but also fudgy, have a crackly top and have melted chocolate pieces in the middle. This is definitely brownie magic that you need to get your hands on.
Oh Mami - Asian Fusion Recreations & Sauces
Oh Mami, which is run by Maleeha Rao, now has an extensive menu which includes rice bowls, fiery noodle bowls and condiments like Kimchi etc. Our favourite products from their menu have been their sauces which include their honey mustard sauce and their smooth jalapeño sauce.
Try them out and thank us later!
What are some of your favourite home-based businesses that you think we should check out next? Let us know in the comments below.