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Ahmed Farid: The baklava making process at Hurrem’s has always maintained exceptional hygiene and safety standards

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Serving close to twenty types of freshly baked Baklava, Hurrem’s is the first-ever store in the country offering this authentic Turkish dessert, baked by chefs who have mastered the art in Gaziantep, Turkey and prepared using ingredients flown in from the country. Ahmed Farid, co-founder and promoter, Prime Foods LLP, shares about the brand and how it overcame the challenges amid the unprecedented times

How did Hurrem’s adapt to the new challenges posed by the pandemic and the pandemic-induced lockdown? 

To keep in line with the government’s rules and regulations, we initially had to close down the café and kitchen. We took this downtime to increase our focus on the hygiene of our premises and the safety of our staff and customers, to ensure we were fully prepared for when we could open our kitchens once again.
Due to the pandemic, several businesses across industries, including ours, have had to re-think their business strategy. We have had to adapt to the current situation and prepare ourselves to be able to provide for what the consumer is most comfortable with. This, along with travel plans of a lot of people coming to a sudden halt, we wanted to ensure that our customers still get to enjoy the taste of Turkey in Mumbai. Our core offering lies in the fact that we take our guests on a culinary journey through the streets of Turkey right from the comfort of their own home and we’re the first Indian brand to provide authentic Turkish baklava in the country.
In the past few months, we have received several queries, with many customers inquiring about the possibility of Hurrem’s delivering its signature variety of baklava and Turkish delights. We are now accepting orders for home delivery exclusively through our delivery partner – Zomato. We are also offering a variety of premium gifting boxes online, facilitating seamless gifting with our delivery partner.

While the ‘contactless dining & delivery’ is the buzzword, how at Hurrem’s are you assuring zero-contact production of baklava?

The safety, health and wellness of our customers and employees will always be of paramount concern and a top priority for us. Here at Hurrem’s, we are following the government and FSSAI directives and have even micro-sanitised our premises to ensure that all hygiene and safety standards are met. Our premises have been virtually audited by Equinox Labs – leading FSSAI Approved & NABL Accredited Food, Water & Air Testing Lab with 14+ years of experience – and we have been awarded a hygiene rating of 92.86 per cent, enabling us to secure one of the top positions in the city in terms of safety and hygiene.
The baklava making process at Hurrem’s has always maintained exceptional hygiene and safety standards. Our baklava is baked at 180 degrees Celsius – a temperature that no life form can withstand. The baking process is followed by an entirely contactless packaging and delivery process ensuring that the only person in direct contact with the baklava once it is out of the ovens, is the customer. Our store is not open for pick-ups and we’re only facilitating deliveries, to limit the number of people visiting our store.
In addition to this, we are ensuring social distancing protocols throughout our premises. As advised by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the temperature at our café will be set between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius. All our members of staff have been specially trained to maintain the highest level of hygiene at all times. We have also ensured that all staff are equipped with masks, gloves, and PPE kits in order to further ensure their safety and hygiene.

What aspects do you at Hurrem’s consider to bring the authentic Turkish baklava experience?

With Hurrem’s, we brought to India its first-of-its-kind Turkish confectionery and café that specialises in authentic, 100 [er cent vegetarian, handcrafted Turkish Baklava and offers a host of Turkish specialities. Our name carries in itself a legacy of luxury, extravagance and ultimate royalty.
Serving close to twenty types of freshly baked Baklava, Hurrem’s is the first-ever store in the country offering this authentic Turkish dessert, baked by chefs who have mastered the art in Gaziantep, Turkey and prepared using ingredients flown in from the country. Guests can choose to order online from some classic flavours such as Pistachio Baklava, Walnut Baklava and Cashew Baklava as well as exquisite varieties including Havuc Dilimi, Midiye, Chocolate and Hazelnut Baklava.
Staying true to our pillars of authenticity and quality, the menu, carefully curated by our Turkish chefs, offers an extensive range of authentic local dishes such as Baklava and Turkish Delights. The offerings are 100% vegetarian and the chefs have carefully designed the recipes to ensure that the taste remains uncompromised.

What are the challenges and opportunities that you faced initially and during the current unprecedented times?

The offerings at Hurrem’s, including the Baklavas, are 100 per cent vegetarian and the chefs have carefully designed the recipes to ensure that the taste remains uncompromised. This would be the biggest challenge we surpassed through a proprietary process, without compromise on the authenticity or quality of our baklava.

We launched in November 2019 and had to temporarily close our store within the first six months of our launch due to the national lockdown. Our flagship store at Fort is designed to take one back to the streets of Turkey, complete with a dedicated dessert bar and a nut bar. Keeping in mind the current situation, we might not be able to open gates to our patrons immediately, but have worked towards delivering an authentic Turkish experience at their doorstep, an offering that was not previously available.

Future roadmap for Hurrem’s?

We have always wanted to bring the offerings of our store to a wider audience and believe we have taken a step in the right direction by associating with Zomato. We have ideas to move further on this path however, this is still in the planning phase. We will be throwing more light on this developing situation soon.

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