Thursday, January 27, 2011


America is a country where enterprising people can always find opportunities to make money if willing to work hard. If there is a country which has established the advantages of private enterprises in boosting national wealth it is the US where government rarely gets into business activities. In contrast the situation in a country like India is that most people look towards government for helping them out through incentives, concessions, subsidies etc. Here is an example of some innovating entrepreneurs who, after being left to fend for themselves because of the recent economic downturn, were able to set up a "rotating kitchen" for making specialty food preparations for selling locally to keep themselves occupied and make a decent living.

"On a block in Long Island City, Queens, shared by car washes, plumbing parts manufacturers and livery-car garages, the three, as well as other cooks, pay by the shift to use a commercial kitchen equipped with 80-quart mixers, deep-frying caldrons and walk-in ovens, churning out food they sell on the Web and at farmers' markets and coffee shops. The kitchen's 5,500-square-foot work space is both a refuge for dreamers and a life preserver for the unemployed. "There are a lot of career-changers here, a lot of casual gourmets who channeled their energies into cooking as a way to make money," said Meg LaBarbara, a former travel consultant who makes dips and spreads at the kitchen, called the Entrepreneur's Space, on 37th Street near Northern Boulevard. Working at a hedge fund, Ms. Angebranndt, 35, had organized meetings and retreats for high-level executives. After the fund shut down in 2008, she invested her severance pay and savings in whoopie pies, adapting her grandmother's cookie recipe and her own fillings — no marshmallow, but a dozen flavors of butter cream. "I started out making cakes for my friends, then I asked them to spread the word, and next thing I knew, I was cooking at home until 2 in the morning," Ms. Angebranndt said. "I figured, there's less money, but also less stress and more fun." Ms. Patel, 32, worked as a civil engineer for Bermello Ajamil & Partners, which is based in Miami, and was involved in the development of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates until she was laid off last year. The idea to make sweets to sell first occurred to her while she was still in Dubai, where she said chocolates are packaged and consumed as if they are luxury goods. Once she lost her job, she put the idea into action, cooking in her mother's kitchen in Passaic, N.J., before moving to the commercial kitchen in Queens. It is too early to know if whoopie pies or Indian treats will be lucrative, but neither Ms. Angebranndt nor Ms. Patel is worried about that".

The idea of a common kitchen with high class facilities for various operations like cooking, frying, baking etc offers immense possibilities for entrepreneurs with inherent food preparation talent to try out different recipes and combinations to evolve novel foods with exciting features. Such facilities will also be a boon to the urban dwellers in providing diverse tastes and flavors different from routine preparations offered by regular restaurants. Similar kitchens in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other urban areas can provide relief to versatile graduates coming out of the catering colleges who may not find a job as Chef in regular hotels challenging but can exploit their talent in creating new foods to the fullest extent possible..


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