Sonal Sher, a Woking based mum-turned-entrepreneur has launched a range of chutneys and relish: eINDIE, at an event in the Tante Marie Restaurant in Woking. Lord Dolar Popat, a Conservative member of House of Lords and a successful businessman was the Chief Guest. The Mayor of Woking Cllr Derek McCrum, the Mayoress and Cllr Graham Cundy (St John's) joined as special guests.
Sonal was a stay at home mum for 8 years, before she started a home run business which delivered home made gourmet lunches to local businesses. The chutneys were a product of that business idea.
Sonal was born and brought up in India and graduated from Institute of Hotel Management Ahmedabad, Gujarat. After working in the Hotel business for a short while, she switched to fashion after she moved to the UK and continued until she stopped to give birth to her son in 2007. The switch back reflected her interests and what she could do that would fit her role as a mum.
Speaking about her background, Sonal told Asian Voice, “After living in the UK for 17 years now, I consider this home. The idea for this product materialized when I made a few chutneys as part of a taster session. I had been experimenting with fusion food and incorporating Indian flavours in Western dishes or vice versa and the chutneys reflected that.
“As a lone parent, I intend working in my other role simultaneously until the business takes off. Currently I work 4 days a week for the local council.
“The word Chutney is of Indian origin but chutney as we know it here in the UK does not exist in India",
“Eindie chutneys and relish reflect the variety of food I like where different flavours and tastes come together. They are designed to make every day meals exciting, provide a boost of flavour to every day cooking and in can be used in most cuisines. They reflect the best of British and Indian flavours brought together harmoniously.”
Her first customers were fellow mums at school who were her first tasters as well and encouraged her by giving positive feedback about the product.
While Sonal has established herself as an entrepreneur, she feels the challenge to reach out to wider audience remains vital, and wishes the government would provide some business support.
“As a new business getting funds even before I have made a penny is difficult and it would be helpful if loans were made available to mums who are restarting their career after a break. It would help get more and more mums back into work. I am passionate about what I do and am quite content to grow my business slowly.”