We had the good fortune of connecting with Snehee Chaplot and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Snehee, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. – Mark Zuckerberg” I am a Food Safety Scientist by training and one of the key processes we follow in my line of work is assessing risks for all our processes and procedures and putting in mitigation plans. It has become my second nature to apply this to everything I do professionally and to some extent personally. The key to success in assessing and mitigating risks is very simple – maximize the areas where we have some control over the outcome and minimize the areas where we have no control over the outcome. I had become severely sick in January 2015. I went from becoming 100% independent to 100% dependent overnight and thereby could no longer work as a full time employee anywhere. However, I had always been a workaholic and was finding it very difficult to accept my situation then. This was the turning point of my career and personal life. With the help of my husband, my mother and my dear loyal friends, I found the courage to accept my medical condition and vowed to myself that I will never let my pain be my weakness but will always work hard to make it my strength. I applied the same concept – how can I control the triggers that elevate my pain and mitigate them. It was not easy adopting this mentality. There were many tough days filled with tears and feeling helpless. But I had my husband, my doctors and my friends to cheer me up to keep going. I eventually realized that if I keep assessing myself and pay attention to my health with more positivity, I can conquer my weakness and turn it into my strength. This incident is the first time I realized that I am truly a risk manager in my personal life too. Since I could no longer work full time, in June 2015, I decided to start my own food safety and quality consulting and auditing business while scaling up my food manufacturing technology that I had invented. I did this at my own pace as I was still not 100% fit. There were many rough days where I would realize, while I am at my clients’, that I am not feeling good and am unable to complete my assignments for the day. My clients were always very supportive and worked with me patiently while I learnt how to take care of myself in such situations. I, slowly and steadily, learnt how to navigate my health condition and mitigate it while completing my deliverables and assignments within the deadlines successfully ensuring 100% client satisfaction. Over years, these same clients have not only become some of my biggest cheerleaders but have referred me without hesitation to fellow manufacturers. These incidents made me realize the second time in my life that had I not taken the risks to push myself in spite of my medical condition, I would have never known my true potential. Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, not only brings out the best side of us but also forces us to face and overcome our fears. I believe taking risks is very necessary to truly know what you are made of, what is your potential and what you can achieve.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the founder and CEO of the The Food Shop. By training, I am a Food Safety Scientist and have worked with the big food giants like Tyson Foods, KraftHeinz and Nestle and currently help different manufacturing businesses and start ups get off their feet in the world of Food CPG. After a decade plus in the industry, I started The Food Shop as a platform to develop green sustainable technologies to manufacture honest, pure, clean food while keeping our planet happy! 6 years ago, I got very sick. I went from becoming 100% independent to 100% dependent overnight. One of the key setbacks of the medical treatments I underwent was developing gluten allergies and several food sensitivities. It had become very difficult for me to find affordable food, which did not make me sick, in normal grocery stores. The only stores where I could find food good for my palate, were the specialty food stores, but, the food was not affordable at all! This situation made me realize that, there must be many like me, who are suffering with their dietary issues but do not have affordable options available. Wouldn’t it be great if they could find good, honest, authentic foods at affordable prices that do not put a dent in their wallets! This premise is what gave birth to The Food Shop. One such technology that we have developed is the MaahVaah technology specifically for manufacturing mawa – South Asian dairy milk solids used to make South Asian desserts and Ice creams. Traditionally manufacturing Mawa is a tedious and labor-intensive process with low yields of ONLY 15 to 18%. Also, the cleanliness and quality of khoa is heavily dependent on the cleanliness and quality of the milk used. At the Food Shop, we solve these issues with the MaahVaah technology. Using this technology with automated manufacturing we get yields as high as 90%. To ensure premium quality products, we work with reputable and reliable suppliers directly to source unadulterated raw materials. Additionally, we have successfully scaled this technology where 20,000 pounds of mawa can be manufactured in 1 eight hour shift. Using the traditional manufacturing process, the same amount of mawa is made in roughly 7 days. Using these MaahVaah branded milk solids, we also created and launched Gallivant Mawa Ice Creams in August 2019. Gallivant Mawa Ice Creams are Indian style Ice Creams made with milk, South Asian milk solids and authentic globally-sourced ingredients. We cook our ice creams slowly to develop more caramelized and creamier notes than a traditional gelato. These ice creams are gluten free, egg free, peanut free and do not contain any artificial flavors and colors. We are the only creators in the entire North American sub-continent of this style of frozen desserts! We currently sell these ice creams online in Texas and nationally as well as in independent supermarkets here in Houston, like Rice Epicurean Market, Phoenicia Specialty Foods and a few others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The 10 must visit spots are – NASA, Crystal Beach, EQ Heights for weekend breakfast, Royal and Bundu Khan for their fabulous ‘melt in mouth’ meat entrees, Himalaya for their biryanis, Guadalajara for their Tex-Mex, Caracol for some of the best fusion Mexican food, Solario for their amazing pizzas, BCN for the bar (their drinks are just fabulous!) and finally to the Gallivant Mawa Ice Cream factory to show how all the yummilicous mawa ice creams are made!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe my wellbeing to a tonne of folks including my husband, my ma-papa, my siblings, all my close friends and cousins (they know who they are!), my team, my mentors and my cheerleaders! It would be very unfair on my part to name just 1 person!
Instagram: @thefoodshopofficial @gallivanticecreams @sneheechaplot
Twitter: @sneheechaplot @tfsHQ @gallivanticecrm
Facebook: @thefoodshopofficial @gallivanticecreams @sneheechaplot