Ankur Gupta and Ronak Kapatel were friends since college. After completing their hotel management and working in the industry for a couple of years, the duo decided to open Brewberrys café. “We initially wanted to start a restaurant, but the operating costs were very high. We decided to open a café since we knew that we could manage the show on our own as we had worked in cafes before,” says Ankur.
Brewberrys is a chain of cafés started in 2008 at Vadodara. It offers freshly prepared snacks, coffee with facilities like wifi, guitar, and board games among others.
Backed by a good response initially, Brewberrys opened branches in Surat and Ahmedabad as well. Moving forward, the cafe chain started offering franchisee in early 2009; but the first six months were very tough for the duo.
“People doubted our ability to set up and manage stores in multiple cities. It was also very difficult to get a good café location in a mall or a high street as everyone preferred a more established brand,” adds Ronak.
Ankur is a first generation entrepreneur with a passion for the hospitality industry and has significant experience of the F&B industry. Ronak is a graduate in hotel and tourism management and worked with Marriott Hotels, Cheshunt (UK), Starbucks at Marriott Denver (US) for over seven years. He later came back to India and co-founded Brewberrys.
At present, there are over 40 Brewberrys cafes and 85 Brewberrys snack bars across the country. Recently, the startup established an exclusive association with TCS and has its presence marked in all the Passport Kendras across India.
“Anurag Biyani was the first person who trusted in Brewberrys and signed for the first Brewberrys franchisee café in Jaipur,” adds Ankur. The connection grew stronger over the next couple of years as Anurag started assisting the duo in business development. Anurag is now one of the directors in the company.
“Real estate rentals have been extremely high, especially in tier I and II cities and running a sustainable store becomes challenging at times,” points out Ronak. Besides this, recruitment, training and local licensing are challenging for Brewberrys.
The venture has been profitable since 2009. Since the last three years it has seen over 100% growth. “From around Rs.75 lakh in the financial year 2011-12, we have posted eight crore turnover in the last fiscal (2013-14),” adds Ankur.
“We are trying to have a presence in almost all prominent tier I and II cities as we see immense opportunities there,” says Ronak. The five-year-old company plans to have 250 outlets by the end of the next calendar year.