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Second generation entrepreneur Rishit Patel talks about his latest foray into on-the- go retail outlet Vake Up that will serve healthy, quick food and drink items
From tea estates to restaurants, what made you diversify?
I still own tea estates in Assam and am actively involved in marketing and distribution of tea. We have been selling teas to Gujarat for the past three generations, so teas and tisanes are in our blood. It was probably the need to create something new, innovative and quirky, something that would have instantly connected with the youth, and that led to the inception of Varietea. There are a lot of coffee places, but hardly any tea lounge. We figured the gap, and launched Varietea.
How did you come up with such inventive tea flavors?
Being from a tea background, I am an austere tea lover and understand the subtle nuances of the beverage. Due to extensive travelling, I began to taste international teas and their variants. It was then the idea of Varietea came to me, and I wanted to take this to my own roots, Ahmedabad. In our city, international cuisine has been embraced, we tried to instill an international tea experience and it worked!
From serving garlicky, butter-dripping fries at Varietea to going the healthy way with your new brand Vake Up, how did you turn the table for a healthier business concoction?
There was a wide gap in the market, and we are bridging that gap. With our hectic and fast lifestyles, youngsters today want to eat healthy food that is easily accessible and quickly available. The food that can be picked up fast, and must be hassle-free, and healthy too. With Vake Up, we’re offering a variety that is fast, healthy, fresh, delicious and convenient. We decided to dedicate a specific brand to this kind of food and that is how Vake Up was evolved.
Varietea is now a multi-city brand and Vake Up is the new flavor of 2017, what are your plans for the both brands?
We are aggressively moving forward with the marketing and expansion of both the brands simultaneously in 2017. This year, we’ll be launching Vake Up in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Also soon we will be launching Varietea internationally.
What is the kind of culture that you’re trying to bring in with Vake Up?
The latest fashion, which is trending around, is staying fit and healthy. And keeping this in mind, we are coming up with Vake Up. A place totally dedicated for healthy takeaways and on-the-go drinks. With Vake Up, we’re trying to create a healthy Ahmedabad. Basically, we are making eating out a good habit with Vake Up.
A city seeped deep in fried farsan and sugar, how do you think Vake Up will work out?
Ahmedabad is extremely receptive to innovative ideas, and I am relatively positive that Vake Up will take up extremely well with Amdavadis. It has a fantastic market, full of vibrant foods and people, who are always ready to try new things out.
Varitea sources teas and tisanes from across the world. Is Vake Up also sourced internationally?
We are sourcing our teas from all the tea-producing states of India. Internationally, we are sourcing teas from China, and tisanes from Spain and Africa. For Vake Up, we are sourcing goodies from the US and Europe.
What kinds of products you are going to serve at Vake Up?
A selection of artisan breads, gourmet takeaways sandwiches, healthy drinks, coffees sourced from Europe, and energy bars from the US are a few offerings in the menu. We have a fantastic product range that will boast health, taste and exclusivity.