Neha Paul, owner of The Chai Story, gets candid about the story of her restaurant
In early 2000s we have seen a cafe culture boom in the early country with entry of global coffee chains like Costa Coffee and our own home grown brand Cafe Coffee Day into the market. Although tea remained the countries most widely consumed beverage over the years with tea vendors seen brewing tea in some corner of a busy street or road. But as the years rolled by we suddenly saw a change in the beverages trend. Coffee remains expanding but there were hundreds of start ups that mushroomed in late 2000s serving a variety and mix of tea for the tea lovers. Talking to Restaurant India, Neha Paul, Owner at The Chai Story which was incepted to cater to the tea lovers talks about their growth plans.
How it all began
I realised that we didn’t have a coffee shop in the area where people may just come in and have their most basic of snacking necessities being taken care of. We wanted to have a place where people could have a peaceful time without digging a hole in their pockets. We wanted to expand in the tea concept and so came up with the idea. And, we saw that people were coming back to our restaurant we started expanding.
We already had a working restaurant in the area where we opened Chai Story and thought of transforming the same into the new concept. We had a very good kitchen team. They worked double shifts to make this possible. My husband and me together have invested around 30 Lakh to open this cafe. We both have different parts to look after. He controls all external work and I look after the operations.
The pocket friendly menu
The cafe covers basics that go with chai like samosas, and other than that it covers pizzas & pastas and other bakery items like pita pockets, waffles and cakes. We made big diversified menus to cater the needs of everyone. The menu starts from 10 bucks and max goes up to 170. We also serve various varieties of maggi like schezwan sauce, white sauce and red sauce. We have around 25 types of teas and we also offer white tea which is one of the most expensive teas of the world. The quantity offered is 200ml per cup. Every cup of tea is freshly brewed.
Catering to the masses
Our main concern remains on college going students and office people who are looking to grab a quick bite. Other than that, tea is something that is consumed by almost all the members of an average Indian family. We offer what others don’t: a calm soothing ambience with everyone’s favourite cup of tea.
We are already present in six hot spots of the city and are looking further into expansion. Other than our present six outlets we plan to open two more by the end of year in North-campus and Gurugram. We are in the process of finalizing other cities for expansion.