CHOCO’DALE IS DELICIOUS!

Marvellous! Amazing! Scrumptious! These are just a few of the adjectives that I have heard and I have myself used to describe Choco’dale’s creations.

One of Ahmedabad’s leading home baking brands, Choco’dale was started in February 2014 and has grown with leaps and strides since then. Every product of Choco’dale be it a cake, muffin, brownie, cakepop, theme based cookie or cupcake, bears Choco’dale’s stamp of individuality and creativity not to mention its impeccable taste! Today it’s time to meet the creative genius behind Choco’dale, Shruti Bhagat.

This soft-spoken and modest lady was a Fine Arts student who enjoyed sculpting. She has worked not only as a dress designer but as a web designer and a web developer, adapting her profession to meet the needs of her daughter.

Shruti, however, always enjoyed baking for her family and friends. Though she attended workshops to give her desserts a finished look, she never dreamed of taking it up as a profession!

But dissatisfaction with the products available in bakeries and encouragement from friends and family members led to Shruti starting with Choco’dale.

Shruti was very clear behind what motivated her to start her brand. She wanted to use the best and the most fresh ingredients for her products, the same ones she used for baking for her family and friends. She was determined to avoid using any extra preservatives and any premixes.

As a long standing customer of Choco’dale, I can also attest to the amazing variety of Choco’dale creations. I am continually amazed at Shruti’s imagination and her detailing in her desserts. In fact, I frequently joke to my husband that Choco’dale’s products are too good to eat! But at the same time, it is very difficult to control oneself from gorging on Choco’dale’s divine creations.

Choco’dale definitely specializes in theme-based cakes and desserts as Shruti is very conscious of aesthetic presentation. She also presents structural marvels like hanging, antigravity and rotating cakes.

Shruti gives credit to her family and friends for marketing her work and of course thanks her clients for their goodwill and the word of mouth publicity and praise that they have given her.

She has one request to all her clients past, present and future: that they should appreciate the time and effort put in by a home baker.

Shruti constantly tries to improve herself and keep herself updated. She attends workshops and even today spends considerable time online watching tutorials and doing R & D.

With this firm commitment to creativity, quality and taste one can be assured that Choco’dale is growing as a brand every day. I urge everyone who is reading this to not merely take my word for it but to sample a Choco’dale product right away.

For orders and inquiries Shruti Bhagat can be contacted on: 8128024448. Her varied and wonderful creations can be followed as Choco’dale on Facebook and as Chocodale_ on Instagram.

PRODUCT REVIEW: XAF’S BATH & BODY (SOAPS)

This is another review of Xafira Mendonsa’s hand crafted soaps. Today I am going to review two more of her soaps, both of which are extremely exotic.

The first soap that I have tried is Papaya. This soap is suitable for all skin types. Papaya is excellent for balancing the oiliness of the skin and is used to give a rejuvenated look to the skin. Moreover, this soap contains essential oils that keeps the skin tight! I found it to be a perfect summer soap!

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The second soap is extremely unique: charcoal and green tea! This soap bar absorbs odours, making it an ideal soap for someone who works outdoors or in a dusty and polluted environment. Activated charcoal is very helpful in washing away odour and green tea helps to rejuvenate skin cells and fight any inflammation. This soap helps to keep the skin clean, soft and moist. This soap is especially suitable to those having dry skin.

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The best part about these soaps is that they are free of artificial foaming agents (detergents), parabens, alcohol, petroleum and artificial preservatives.

I would definitely recommend these soaps to everyone. Though they are pricy, (each soap costs Rs. 250/), they are definitely long lasting and of excellent quality.

Xafira lives in Mumbai and can be contacted on 9821735666 or on 9967586929. She can be followed on her Instagram account Creativity with Taste. She is also available on Facebook as Xaf’s Bath and Body.

CHIQUE IS COOL!

“Chic” is a French word that means elegance and class.

Beauty, style, grace, elegance and class are just a few of the attributes that come to mind when one is viewing the creations of Chique Jewels.

Who is the creative genius behind this trendy and upcoming brand of jewellery?  It is none other than the gorgeous Rina Punater!

This lovely lady grew up in Mumbai and moved to Antwerp post marriage. Rina was always interested in jewellery and in fact dabbled in selling gold and diamond jewellery for a while. But the arrival of her daughters, and the joys and duties of motherhood prevented her from pursuing her passion temporarily.

However, once her daughters had passed the stage of being toddlers and no longer needed her fulltime care and attention, Rina once again found herself turning to one of her early loves, i.e. jewellery!

Interestingly, it was Rina’s brother who urged her to turn her dream into reality. This led to the birth of her brand Chique Jewels. Since its inception in May 2017, Chique Jewels, as a brand, has grown in leaps and strides.

What was Rina’s goal behind starting her own line of jewellery? In her own words, “I wanted to create classy, chic, elegant, affordable fashion jewellery that is at the same time easy to wear.”

Since Rina was so clear and focused on her goals, she never had a reason to look back. She is focused on making every product of Chique Jewels, be it earrings, necklaces, bracelets or broches, unique and stamped with her distinctive brand of elegance.

Rina beautifully balances her home and work responsibilities by working from home! This hardworking lady puts in several hours a day into her designs and the creation of her products. She also tries to put in some work over the weekend.

We all know that “charity begins from home,” but in Rina’s case, “help begins from home”. She gets her greatest support from her family. Her husband Romil Kothari, not only extends his full support but also gives his input on all of Rina’s designs. His guidance is extremely valuable to Rina as he himself is in the diamond business.

Rina’s daughters Ayesha and Tanisha are her biggest fans and motivators. While both of them help her with the packaging, sorting and inventory of her products, Ayesha assists Rina a lot by taking pictures of her various creations. In fact, Ayesha frequently reminds her mother to take the “pic of the day!” i.e. to post a picture of a Chique Jewels design on Instagram and Facebook. Ayesha also gives her approval and input on Rina’s jewellery designs.

Rina manages to skilfully use social media tools like Facebook and Instagram to market and sell her creations. She also sells her designs at private exhibitions. She had an exhibition in Mumbai in January that was extremely successful. She is planning another exhibition in Mumbai this April and is mulling over exhibiting her designs in Ahmedabad and in other Indian cities as well.

Though at the moment, Rina is content working from home, she envisions herself expanding her brand in the future. She has set herself some goals for the coming years, which include opening her own store.

Rina is extremely anxious that every product of hers be associated with class and style and she strives hard to ensure the same. She diligently maintains the quality of her brand, from the design to the finished product. At the same time, she tries her best to ensure that her pieces remain affordable. Rina feels that she has learned a lot from her own experiences. However, she genuinely welcomes the feedback given by her clients.

Who can be seen sporting a Chique Jewels design? Rina says that she does not envision any age group when she is visualising a design. Her jewellery is aimed at any woman who is modern, classy and trendy, whether she is 7 years young or 70 years old!

So for all you wonderful women out there, do treat yourself to a Chique Jewels product. Trust me, you are worth it!

Rina Punater can be reached via email on rina_punater@gmail.com. She is on Facebook and Instagram as rina_punater.