Somebody just asked me today, “What does Love mean to you?” I said, “Someone who’d share his food with me and does not demand mine, if true love for me.” Because before anyone and everyone, food comes first. Because its so obvious that food is life. Duh! We all love to try various new variants of food, be it some cafe or a good restaurant or even a roadside chaat vendor. There is no discrimination when it comes to food.
So, we’re back with another exciting foodie article for all the foodies out there. We got a chance to interview one of the youngest and gorgeous entrepreneur in town. Introducing to you Ms. Roopanshi Bhatt, the owner and founder of Mumbai’s most loved and popular cafes, Tea Villa Cafe. This woman of substance gets candid with us about her journey of being a normal employee to a successful business woman. Have a look:
Tell us something about yourself.
Well, to start with, I always have been an independent woman. I am the one who believes in “Follow Your Dreams” rigorously. I love traveling, especially trying new sort of crazy adventures. I am very down to earth and a honest person.
What have you done professionally?
I have done my graduation in Commerce and then I took up Event Management as a course because I love traveling. That was a course where not much of theoretical knowledge is required. All is based on your practical abilities. I have managed events of every genre, starting from corporate events to celebrity management to weddings as well. Then later, I found my interest lies more towards weddings. So I was hardcore into wedding management for a good span of 4 years, where my company was responsible to manage only A-class weddings.
Are you still into Event Management?
No. I still do have a set of clients with me who are just like a family now. They want me to manage their younger child’s wedding, but being into this business completely, I do not wish to give a commitment there and then not stand on my words.
How did you get into being an entrepreneur at such a young age?
Well, I am a tea person. Whenever I was out for events, I always used to miss my home-made tea. As there is lack of places serving hardcore tea, knowing the fact that 80% of Indians survive on teas, me and my partner, Micky decided to open up a cafe focusing more towards a tea culture. In fact, we were sitting in our office and that is the time when Micky came up with an idea of opening up something of our own. The outlet at Vile Parle was our very first outlet that came into operations. We have 6 cafes in operation in Mumbai. I can say that I am extremely proud of myself and happy the way our cafe is progressing. Now Tea Villa is just like my own baby.
What separates Tea Villa Cafe from the others?
We basically are a food joint focusing on tea culture. Here, we are more of a family joint and less of focusing on any particular age group. We have more than 100 variants just of teas. Every food item that has been cooked here is absolutely fresh and I can bet that there is zero wastage of food in each of our outlets. In short, we serve everything from chili to vanilla.
How was the response when Tea villa Cafe was initially set up?
Can you imagine, on our very first day, we had a line of customers waiting for their turn to try this new place. We were overloaded with customers on the very first day itself. This has been the case in all of our 6 outlets. This gives me immense happiness.
How supportive your family was with your decision to enter the food industry?
My family has always been supportive, be it me choosing a career into event management or starting up with my own business. In fact, all the recipes in the tea menu are suggested by my mother. She is my inspiration to do better every day.
Do you like to cook. If yes, have you ever tried your hand in cooking at the Cafe?
I personally am a very bad cook. The least I can cook is Maggi and prepare tea for myself. But when it comes to Tea Villa, initially, I have helped my chefs with small chores when we were overloaded with customers. The menu is designed by me. The Nutella Jar Shake, which is very popular is my own invention. I had prepared it the very first time in the Nutella jar itself. In short, I am an excellent foodie but not a good cook. But if work demands me to cook, I’d even do that.
Who is your motivation?
My partner Micky. I can blindly rely on him. He being married and having kids, has never ran away from his responsibilities. We always motivate each other.
Where do you see yourself and Tea Villa Cafe 3 years down the line?
Well, I see myself and my baby doing wonders 3 years down the line. We are planning to open 30 outlets across Mumbai. Also we are planning to open 5 cafes each in Bangalore, Pune and other cities as well, respectively. Our short term goals are to set up 2 new cafes. One in Juhu and one in Kandivali, Mahavir Nagar, as well. By this year end, we are going international, targeting Dubai as our first location. Within 3 years, UAE and London will also be welcoming Tea Villa Cafe.
Do you feel a woman faces more complications than a man in the business industry?
I believe any individual would face more complications in any industry, per say, if he / she is not having a supportive family. Of course, as women, we do face many complications such as getting married at the right age or having a family, etc. I am 26 and I have faced minimal of these challenges. All thanks to my family.
How being an entrepreneur has changed your life?
When you are into event management, you tend to become anti social because of the busy schedule. You have to be on your toes 24/7. There, I was working under someone. Hence, if something happens, I had my immediate seniors to take care of the situation. Here, I am the owner and founder. I do not report to anybody else but myself. I am responsible for anything and everything that happens. It is a huge responsibility here. Having said that, I absolutely love and enjoy my work.
Tea Villa Cafe is one of the favorite joints for almost everybody. Any crazy fan story you’ve experienced?
It happened once when I was sitting with my girl gang and a friend’s group had come to our Vile Parle outlet. They suddenly started praising Tea Villa about its food and ambiance. So, my friend asked them if they knew the owner of the cafe. They said they had a rough knowledge about it being a guy and a girl. When my friend introduced them to me as a owner, they were shocked. Shocked in the sense, seeing a young girl doing wonders. There is another incident that I’d like to share.
A female who stays nearby Vile Parle used to constantly call me to deliver Maggi at her place. She loved our Tea Villa Special Maggi. But we had stopped Maggi after the lead incident. She literally came down at the Vile Parle outlet and unfortunately, I was out there only. She came upstairs to meet me and started complaining. I cannot say a NO to any customer because that is very rude, according to me. I had to ask my chefs to bring a packet of Maggi and prepare it for her. The look on her face after having that dish was so content. This gives me a feeling of content, seeing my customers happy.
What is your favorite dish at Tea Villa Cafe?
I love Aglio e Olio pasta. It’s a combination of healthy and tasty. When it comes to my favorite cuisine, I love South Indian food.
Any message for the viewers of Tell Me Nothing?
Believe in yourself and your dreams, because if you won’t, who else will? Never ever give up or quit. Tea Villa Cafe has a long journey planned. A minimum of 100 more outlets to be in operation. Till then, keep sipping Chai!
And that’s exactly when we emptied our cups of tea. Trust me guys, I am personally a coffee person. While interacting with Roopanshi, I had tea for the first time in my life. That too, a green tea. I must admit Roopanshi, the tea was absolutely fantastic. I am a tea fan now, but strictly loyal to Tea Villa Cafe only. I am sure; all the foodies out there love Tea Villa as much as I love it.
Thank you, Roopanshi Bhatt for an exclusive interaction with us. It was a pleasure meeting you. More power to you, girl. Keep on inspiring us. Here’s a gist of fun time our Director, Shweta Shah had with this lovely lady:
If you like the article, do like our page and share it, as well. We hope this article has urged you to run and grab some delicious food from Tea Villa Cafe. Do mention in comments your reviews for Tea Villa Cafe and which is your favorite dish in there.
For more updates on food and foodies, stay glued to Tell Me Nothing. We shall surely tell you everything. Promise.
Happy Eating. Happy Reading.