Legacy is an amount of money or property left to someone, but in the case of Sonam Surana, it was an infinite means to create wealth. Yes, her legacy was her mother-in-law’s recipe book that helped her set up a burgeoning catering business.
Late Prem Lata Devi was a gifted cook. Be it the daily meal or an accompanying chutney, powder, and pickle, her every dish overflowed with delectable flavors. In July 2017, on her son’s birthday, the homemaker and cook par excellence peacefully passed away. That morning for one last time, she made Ajey’s favorite molagapodi (gun powder). That moment a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, and the best cook in the family left for heavenly abode, taking with her nothing but her cooking skill.
Of course, every day after that, for months together, the family missed her cooking. Sonam, the dutiful daughter-in-law, tried to hold the fort with her cooking, but she neither loved cooking nor excelled at it.
Fast forward to 2018
Almost a year after Prem Lata’s passing, when Sonam decided to clear her room, she stumbled upon what looked like pages out of a personal diary that had detailed hand-written recipes.
“I found some old, yellowed paper in her cupboard which were her recipe repositories. These were recipes that she had meticulously jotted down in her days as a young bride,” says Sonam.
“During the lockdown, since we were all home, I decided to try and recreate some of the recipes. From her most loved gongura chutney to the famous molagopodi, there were all kinds of recipes I found,” she adds.
This time everything Sonam cooked tasted much better. The recipes were her mother-in-law’s legacy. She and Ajey also made some chutney and molagopodi from the old recipes and shared them with friends. They were an instant hit! Sonam decided to go further and sell a few items at exhibition stalls in Chennai to gauge the market demand for her food products.
As the demand grew, Sonam’s father-in-law encouraged and stood by her to establish a catering business.
Not just Sonam but Ajey too joined in to start their food venture.
Sonam knew the best way to pay a tribute to her loving mother-in-law would be by continuing her legacy. And so, Prem Eatacy, was born. Daughter-in-law Sonam Surana (34) and son TS Ajey (36) established a food business in November 2020.
They started the business in their home kitchen in Chennai with an investment of rupees ten lakhs. They set a goal of 100 orders per month for traditional condiments, masalas, chutneys, and pickles. But in the very first month, the order exceeded 2000, and the Prems Eatcasy earned five lakhs.
What started as an experimental entrepreneurial venture has grown into a brand with 22 varieties of pickles, podi (powders), and chutneys. The products range between Rs 175 to Rs 600. They are shipped all-India and to Singapore and the U.S.
Sonam and Ajey owe their success to recipes written by Prem Lata. Recipes created with pure precision, passion, and prem (love). The biggest USP of each product is that though it is store-bought, it tastes closest to homemade.
If you have not tried as yet, it time to do so. All the products are available on online retail platforms and on their website Prem Eatacy.