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Kerala woman establishes successful start-up with her home-based organic food processing business

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jul 30, 2022 4:00 PM

Read Time: 3 minute



Francy Joshimon, a lady business owner from Kerala, was horrified to discover her father had cancer in 2018. They started looking for wholesome, natural foods that would support him in staying healthier while undergoing therapy. But to their astonishment, the local market didn't provide a wide variety of options. A few months later, Francy lost her father, and that event forever altered her life.

To prevent more incidents of this kind, she made the choice to initiate change on her own. She started a small business named Minnus Fresh Food out of her home in Karalam, Thrissur, Kerala, a few months after her father died away in order to produce wholesome and natural food products.

The company sells mixes and value-added products made from jackfruits, millets, and other ingredients under the name of her daughter. Francy claims that they are totally devoid of all chemicals and preservatives. The brand, which began in 2018 with a few jackfruit-based items, now sells over 50 different organic product variants and even exports outside of India.

Beginning Modestly with Fewer Goods

Francy started her company by working with a small, all-female team to make homemade jackfruit puttu powder. "At the time, jackfruit and its health advantages were the subject of extensive discussion. We opted to focus on jackfruit first after conducting extensive research and consulting with specialists from Kerala Agriculture University," says Francy, who has only completed up to class 12.

In addition to puttu powder, she continues, "we also produced a few jackfruit and millet-based products, such as immunity boosters and health mixes, which were primarily distributed to cancer patients in neighbouring areas through various social groups.

When Francy's firm gradually started to expand in 2019, she made the decision to create a processing facility. She followed the recommendations of the university's specialists and, with the help of her mechanical engineer husband Joshimon, built up the appropriate processing and packing equipment in the unit.

"For the machinery, we obtained a loan for Rs. 15.5 lakh. We invested almost Rs 30 lakh from our own personal funds in just setting up the building, she adds.

Organic Ingredients Produced by Nearby Farms

Francy introduced more value-added goods as the company grew by utilising a variety of raw materials, including bananas, tapioca, wheat, millets, and others. We always make sure to employ premium, organic raw materials in the creation of our products. They are completely cleaned and dried after sourcing, and then we process and turn them into other goods.

She asserts that all of the raw materials are gathered from local farmers in and around her Thrissur village and are all produced organically. The availability of a steady market for products like jackfruit, tapioca, bananas, and turmeric is frequently a problem for farmers in this region. She claims that since items like the rice used to make puttu powder are produced on her own farm, purchasing their goods guarantees that they are paid fairly.

Every year, we harvest about 2,500 kilos of rice. We use it for our business rather than directly selling it, she claims

In addition, Minnus Fresh offers health blends for 50 to 350 rupees. They also provide a range of traditional delicacies, such as banana chips and chakka varatti.

Francy claims that the business currently sells, on average, 400 kg of puttu powder, 250 kg of chips, 100 kg of rice powder, and 50 kg of health mix annually.

There are eight main kinds of puttu powder, according to Francy, the most popular of which are jackfruit, jackfruit ragi, banana mix, banana mix ragi, tapioca, bran mix germinated rice, sprouted ragi, and sprouted wheat.

Also Read: Kerala Agri University introduces Participatory Learning Module for Undergraduate Students

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