Bengaluru's Millet Mama strives to revive traditional millet-based food in a sustainable manner
Millet Mama is also a poster boy for sustainable practices in the food business, a reflection of the founder's passion for minimalist, zero-waste living.
At a time when a burger joint or a pasta place may seem like a profitable business to set up, one man in Bengaluru saw value in reviving India's traditional way of eating. Twenty-six-year-old Abhishek B started Millet Mama, a dine-in restaurant and catering service in South End Circle, Bengaluru, to serve delicious, piping hot meals made with millets, the food of India's hinterlands.
But what sets Millet Mama apart is the founder's vision. Abhishek is dedicated to spreading awareness on the health benefits of consuming millets, which are hearty and good for you. Besides that, Millet Mama is also a poster boy for sustainable practices in the food business, a reflection of the founder's passion for minimalist, zero-waste living. A quick look around Millet Mama, and you will see repurposed furniture, bought second hand or donated, dotting the simple premises. Abhishek tells New Indian Express,
In KR Market, vendors bathe in public bathing spaces, where chairs or tables are used as firewood. I just picked those up second hand for Rs 75. Discarded wood crates were got for free from fruit markets and turned into book shelves. Jute gunny bags are used as pillow covers. I got bamboo baskets made by rural artisans from Tumkur and turned them over to use as lamp shades.
If all this doesn't impress you, Abhishek's choice of staff perhaps would. Women from poor families whip up millet delicacies every day. He adds,
These women are the innovators of all the millet-based meals. My mother joined us recently, and is my business partner now.
Be it pongal, vada, ladoos, rasam or sambhar, the millet-based preparations have found takers. And while Abhishek takes them to events that he caters, he uses the opportunity to spread the word on the importance of millet consumption. He adds,
The hotel is for people who are aware of the health benefits of millets. When I cater for large parties, unaware customers realise they can eat everything made from millet.
Abhishek says he has managed to break even but pumps all proceeds back into the business. According to Asianet Newsables, Millet Mama distributes food to Basavanagudi and other neighbouring areas in Bengaluru.