Cheesy Tales: All about Bangalore’s Begum Victoria Cheese 

May 11, 2024

Setting up a cheese facility in the heart of Bangalore is no easy-cheesy feat, but here’s how Shruti Golchha and chef Manu Chandra are successfully running a not so Mini business.

Not all accidents are bad. Some led to the discovery of cheese and one to the birth of Begum Victoria Cheese, one of India’s home-grown artisanal cheese brands in the heart of Bangalore. 

What started off during a conversation between two friends in 2019, eventually led to a full-fledged cheese facility. 

This is the story of Shruti Golchha and chef Manu Chandra’s business and how they found a space to grow with Minis on Swiggy.

Bringing artisanal cheese to Bangalore

“We didn’t have a plan to start Begum Victoria Cheese,” says Shruti, when the idea was born during an informal discussion with her friend Manu Chandra.

Shruti Golchha, Co-founder of Begum Victoria Cheese.
Shruti Golchha, Co-founder of Begum Victoria Cheese.
Chef Manu Chandra, Co-founder of Begum Victoria Cheese.
Chef Manu Chandra, Co-founder of Begum Victoria Cheese.

“We were talking about how India is such a huge milk-producing country and yet, we find people bringing back cheese from their international holidays. That thought was what fueled the idea of producing cheese in India using A2 cows,” she says.

The first question one asks Shruti is how and why did they name the brand Begum Victoria Cheese? She laughs as she explains, “There are several reasons for that. One, we set up our facility in Victoria Layout in Bangalore. Second, this entire idea was a mix of cheesemaking from the west with local produce, so the name felt organic and right.”

Building a business is not easy and one in the F&B industry presents itself with unique challenges. Speaking about what  “For us, setting up the supply chain was an interesting experience. Manu suggested that we use A2 milk because it is richer in nutrients. But finding a dedicated resource who could supply this milk continuously was a bit of a challenge. But we were able to manage that,” says Shruti, who also got cheese experts from Canada to help them learn the process. 

“Setting up the place where we produce the cheese and managing the temperature was another challenge we faced, but we learnt on the go and Bangalore is a good place to make cheese due to the pleasant weather,” says Shruti, who adds that their co-founding team grew with the addition of their friend Pooja Reddy.

Truffle Bel Paese.

Minis makes an entry. 

As business grew, Victoria Begum Cheese chanced upon Minis on Swiggy

“We were fortunate to have found Minis. With the digital landscape changing, this platform is a great place for small brands like us. I love the sound of orders coming in, sometimes customers place an order at 10.30 PM and some at 1 AM, it makes me very happy knowing that business is coming in through the app,” Shruti explains. 

While Minis on Swiggy is a self-serve platform, Shruti says that her experience of reaching out to the team has also been seamless. “If there is an issue that I can’t solve I just reach out to the team and my experience with them has been great. They are very responsive and get things sorted ASAP for me. But one of the best things about our association has been the delivery factor and how easy it is for us to take our products to our customers.

“We’re so used to Minis now that when customers ask us about our products, we simply direct them towards our Minis page,” she says. 

Ageing wisely

For someone who has made a foray for the first time in the F&B industry, what advice does Shruti have for budding entrepreneurs? “There’s no script about what will work out, so put your heart and soul into whatever idea you have.

Smoked Gouda.

“I would also advise small business owners to collaborate with Minis on Swiggy. The ease of working and getting your products delivered is a huge plus and that helps take away a huge chunk of work and allows you to focus on other important things as well.”

So what does the future look like for Begum Victoria Cheese? She says, “We considered having a physical store, but the way business took off digitally on Minis, encouraged us to grow in this space itself. We are present at several stores, but I believe digital is the way to go forward. But, what we would like to do is grow our business across the country and that’s something we’re working on.”

As Shruti and Manu put their plans to work, one thing is for sure – their future is cheesy and simply looks grate.

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