27-year-old Sonam Choden Bhutia, owner of Taste Buds Sikkim is Wowing Customers With Her Snazzy Recipes
Since she could remember, Sonam always had dessert first, for in her own words, it was the best part of a meal. But little did she know that her sweet tooth would lead her down an unpredictable path. She had just learned to make chocolates at a training session by NEDFi. The whole process had her yearning to learn more, and absorbed all her attention. In time, she ventured to start an outlet of her own, from a corner of her Gangtok home.
How Taste Buds Took Shape
Sonam was not a bright student but always actively participated in creative work and cultural activities. ‘I was more into the practical things in life around me,’ she shares. This ability to mingle easily stood her in good stead when she set up Taste Buds with little investment. 15 unemployed women joined her in her maiden venture and are now doing quite well for themselves. About her experience so far, she shares, ‘I have learned over a period of one year that women too can learn the skills of Progressive Entrepreneurship which might serve to provide employment opportunities to a few people in your locality. I was lucky enough to get trained under the banner of NEDFi. A total of 40 people took this training program and we were trained by Chandrani Sarmah (Assam) and M Avou Yeptho (Nagaland)’.
Sonam is currently working on a project to promote her homemade chocolates in Destination North East Fair at New Delhi. She has introduced 26 flavours (milk plain, dark plain, white plain, orange , strawberry, blueberry, mango, almond, coconut candy, caramel , hazel nut, butter scotch, ginger candy, Gnashe, coconut balls milk, coconut balls white etc). Her products have been sold at Dilli Haat, New Delhi, 4th International Trade Fair in Nepal, NEDFi Craft Carnival, among other places.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship
‘Working under someone means you have someone to guide you, but working for yourself means venturing out alone, often clueless. The only way forward is experimentation, infinite patience and lots of hard work. Be fair to your customers and know your products in and out,’ is her word of advice. Sonam hopes that many more creative people will plunge into their own ventures and support the local economy.
On future plans, she says simply, ‘At the moment, I am concentrating mostly on festivals and trade fairs. I will be opening my outlet soon at Metro Point, Tadong so that I can sell or supply from my own shop’.
Order homemade chocolates through (+91 9547251699) and through email – [email protected])
Words: Tamanna Tamang