Express News Service
It began 20 years ago, when Maharani Bagh resident Suman Sood started selling her much-loved jars of pickles. “I would just give it to my family and friends whenever they wanted or appreciated my pickles, till a friend advised me to turn this into a business,” recalls Sood 63, Owner of Pickles & More.
“I owe my pickle-making skills to my grandmother, who not only taught me but also made sure that I practiced the art, year after year,” she adds. With time, Sood perfected her recipes while tirelessly improving the art of pickling and preservation of food items. After she got married and travelled to various parts of India, she picked up local pickle recipes and added her own special touch to each. “If you ask me to list down the quantity per ingredient, I won’t be able to tell you. My recipes are not documented. These were passed on to me by my dadiji, and the measurements are all in my mind and are based purely on intuition,” she says, adding that is why she does not hire help, nor is she interested in collaborative deals. “That’s how I work.”
In 2015, Suman’s daughters — Sunakshi and Shweta — decided to join hands with their mother and take the business to the next level. “Social media was blooming at that time. So, we made a Facebook page. We realised the business should have a brand name and zeroed in on Pickles & More as we wanted to include jams, chutneys and other products as well,” says Sunakshi.
The Soods get the maximum chunk of orders from this FB page, which the daughters handle, apart from packaging and couriering the products. Beginning with pickles, Soods have now graduated to chutneys, jams, jellies and beverage concentrates. As for pickles, they have over 50 kinds of it, including the Apple Pickle. “Some years ago, a German national visited us and purchased a huge variety of pickles, as he wanted to open an Indian restaurant back home. He is now our regular customer. That’s how tasty our pickles are,” chuckles Sunakshi.
“Mom makes all the products with personal care and attention using only natural preservatives and handpicks ingredients so as to preserve the quality and purity of flavour,” says Shweta. “We get orders from all over India, even abroad. We also customise our products depending upon individual requirement,” says Suman, adding that they have just started selling chole masala.