Mother’s Day: Meet Delhi’s entrepreneurs balancing work and family

- May 12, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

Patriot talks to women restaurateurs in the Capital who are successfully managing their business and children

Aavika Chhawchharia, Honey & Dough founder

Mother’s Day is celebrated every year in many countries, including India, on the second Sunday of May every year. This time it is being celebrated today, that is, May 12.

The day, first observed in the United States in the 19th century, holds significance as an annual celebration dedicated to mother’s selfless love, and nurturing care, and unwavering dedication. Every child should dedicate this day to their mother and motherhood.

Patriot features a few mothers who are successful entrepreneurs, running their restaurants or cafés in Delhi and tries to understand how they have been balancing their work with family.

Christine Samandari, L’Opera bakery

Christine Samandari, the founder of L’Opera, a French bakery says that she opened her shop when her two children, Caroline and Laurent, were already adults.

Laurent and Christine Samandari from L’opera

“Earlier in my role as the Director of the Office of Public Information of the Bahá’í International Community in Paris for two decades, I had to strike the right balance between my professional activities, needs of the children, my family life as well as social activities,” she said.

“Finding the right balance implied a clear definition of my priorities and a high degree of planning and organisation which was facilitated by the supporting attitude of my husband and my mother who both stood by me,” said Christine.

Christine has a Ph.D in social psychology from Paris VII University.

In 2008, Christine and her family moved to New Delhi where she started her career as an entrepreneur and social activist.

Aavika Chhawchharia, Honey & Dough

Aavika Chhawchharia used to like a bakery chain in Chandigarh a lot, which made her wonder why there is no pan-Delhi bakery brand in Delhi.

“This compelled me to launch Honey & Dough,” says Aavika.

Aavika, the founder of Honey and Dough, said that balancing is really important and very challenging.

“I have a five-year-old daughter and an 8-month-old son. I plan my day according to their schedules because both are too small. I wake up early, pay visit to work during school hours or resting hours. I also supervise my work through constant supervision and at times do my meetings on Zoom. I make sure that I should be there when my kids need me,” she said.

Aavika started the café in 2016 with the first outlet in Defence Colony.

“We began at a time when not too many cafes were present in the market in 2017. However, we grew gradually out of our own experiences and mistakes. Simultaneously, we learned about the tastes of Delhiites and the changing trends. It is encouraging to see customers return to our cafes for our food and coffee,” she said.

Usha Batra, Café Delhi Heights

With an interest in the food business from a very young age, Usha Batra owned the first ever Banquet in Delhi – Batra Banquets.

Aavika Chhawchharia, Honey & Dough

Believing in serving simple food yet tasty and full of love, she had a strong desire to take the Indian cuisine to places near and far.

In 2011, Usha, the culinary director and the lady behind Café Delhi Heights said that the aim of opening the café was to present a brand with a sense of involvement and compassion towards her vision.

She said that her two sons are the guiding force behind the success of Café Delhi Heights.

She said that she stands remarkably true to herself and the brand, setting up the menu and recipes, making sure the food at Café Delhi Heights is never served without love, flavour and taste.

Batra, the founder of the cafe said that right balance of professional and personal life is really important to be successful.

“I am glad that in my profession, I got the support of both my sons, family and we have nurtured the brand,” she said.