In these times of lead in instant noodles and growing awareness about the health risks associated with packaged foods, it is perhaps time that people started indulging the less risky guilty pleasures of home-produced snacks. Thankfully not every such enterprise has been run out by the colourful packaging of trans fat laden temptations. Dal Bir Rasaily’s “Shalom Enterprise” is one such enterprise which turns out home-made snacks for sale at shops around town.Mr. Rasaily’s kitchen has been producing these treats ranging from mix bhujiya to plain bhujiya to khurma and nimki from his residence at Dara Gaon, nearby Green Dale School, Tadong, for the past four years.
Currently, Shalom Enterprise supplies to shops around Gangtok, Ranka, Ranipool, Mangan, Pakyong, Rongli and Dikchu. Then there are the regulars who pick up packets as gifts when they travel out and these snacks have been well received at homes in Kalimpong, Nepal and Vellore as well. Talk to Mr. Rasaily about his enterprise and he beams at how it continues to spread so much joy even as it keeps so many people engaged.
Currently, Shalom Enterprise employs four women - Deena Rai, Sarita Thapa, Tulsi Tamang, and Anita Rai - in the “factory” while Chhedup Lepcha, and Gideon Lepcha are engaged in marketing. The kitchen staff has been trained by Mr. Rasaily himself and he attests that they have all perfected the art of frying the most scrumptious bhujiyas and khurma.
The popularity of the line-up of snacks is evident in the fact that never get to run stale at shops since they move off the shelves fast and it not uncommon to see the factory take bulk orders for special events.
Speaking of how the idea came to him, Mr. Rasaily informs that ever since cousin taught him how to make bhujiya, he took a keen interest in it and used to serve it often at home and to his neighbours. He originally hails from Temi Tarku and while he used to enjoy serving these treats, he had never thought that these fried snacks would change his life so substantially.
Encouraged by the positive reception to his cooking, some years ago, Mr. Rasaily who was still an MR employee in a government department and saw his responsibilities growing beyond the meager MR wages, decided to make a business out of his snack-cooking skills.
The initial days were hectic and tiring, but also satisfying. His MR engagements would keep him busy through the day and then he would work at his factory late into night, early mornings technically since he would often be in the factory till 1 a.m. And then to work in the mornings!
The hard work paid off and today he not only runs a successful enterprise but also employs people. His business was registered in the year 2010. Along the way, he also stood in as a Bhujiya-making instructor for a training organized by the Scheduled Castes Entrepreneurs Service Co-operative Society Ltd [SCESSO] in 2008.
The business, and life are now moving to a new level for him. His MR status has now become a regular appointment at the department and the business will hence be transferred to his wife Deepa Rai.
“I am much delighted as well as proud for having taken this journey. For me, it’s been a boon from heaven. The feedback which I have been receiving from customers is positive and has boosted me to take this journey further ahead,” shares Mr. Rasaily who can be contacted at 9749875494 or 8972002909.