Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Brooklyn Delhi together. Around the same time, she'd landed a cookbook deal with Penguin and knew it was time to focus on food as her new career. Fortunately, a lot of the friends she'd met in the Brooklyn food community had launched products and were able to help her navi- gate getting bottles, labels, etc. She partnered with St. John's Bread & Life, the largest soup pantry in Brooklyn, to produce the achaars. "We officially went to market quickly in 2014," says Agrawal, with the Tomato Achaar product, and began selling it in specialty stores and at markets like Brooklyn Flea. In 2015, Brooklyn Delhi broke into foodservice when the first store that started to carry the achaars, Greene Grape Provisions, began putting the Tomato Achaar on different items in the deli and highlighting it on their menu—further driving sales at retail. Brooklyn Delhi's current products are: Tomato Achaar, made with locally grown tomatoes, tamarind, a mix of Indian spices, red chili powder, unrefined cane sugar, and sesame oil; Roasted Garlic Achaar, made with garlic roasted in the oven, lemon, oil, a mix of Indian spices, red chili powder, and unrefined cane sugar; and Rhubarb Ginger Achaar, made with rhubarb, ginger, green chilies, non-GMO canola oil, lemon juice, red chili powder, spices (black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, asafetida), brown sugar, and salt. "The rhubarb ginger is inspired by my grandmother's South Indian lemon pickle," says Agrawal. "We sub in rhubarb to give it that tart, sour f lavor from a local vegetable." Flourishing in Foodservice and at Retail "We've found that chefs have taken to the flavor of the achaars and are using it in different and new ways. It's not overly Indian and can pass in a lot of different dishes. We have one cafe that uses it in deviled eggs, another in its breakfast sandwich, and some are taking the Roasted Garlic Achaar and mixing it with sauce and using it on pizzas," Agrawal says. The company offers 1- and 5-gallon packages for foodservice as well as 1.5-ounce individual cups. Foodservice continues to be an important way for the company to reach new consumers, she notes, as achaars are an unfamiliar prod- uct for most shoppers. Brooklyn Delhi has also teamed with Blue Apron and its achaars will be going to half a million homes. While they will be used with Indian dishes, they will also be used on burgers. Last year was a wildly busy one for Agrawal, with her cook- book, "Vibrant India," launching in March, a baby boy arriving in April, and her largest order to date arriving in June from Tree of Life in Canada. The company sells its products at more than 300 outlets in Canada and the U.S. with most of its foodservice clients being in the Northeast. Immediately after the Front Burner win, Agrawal says Brooklyn Delhi started getting more interest from packaged goods companies wanting to include the achaars as an ingredient in their own products. Up Next Brooklyn Delhi is hoping to expand its reach into corporate and university dining as Agrawal believes those outlets have a built-in audience for Indian flavors. Product development is always ongoing, she says, and she is planning on extending the product line to poten- tially include sauces, spice blends, more condiments, and maybe even snacks. Brooklyn Delhi will launch its next batch of products, curry ketchup and curry mustard, with Whole Foods this June. producer profile "We have one cafe that uses it in deviled eggs, another in its breakfast sandwich, and some are taking the Roasted Garlic Achaar and mixing with sauce and using it on pizzas." 42 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com CHITRA AGRAWAL Age: 38 Years in specialty food: 4 Favorite food: My dad's palak paneer Least favorite food: Smoked cheese Last thing I ate and loved: Home-cooked South Indian meal at my aunt's house If I weren't in the food business I'd be: A writer One piece of advice I'd give to a new food business: Do thorough market research before launching and don't just rely on your product being spectacular to make it a success. Susan Segrest is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine.

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