‘Café Chokolade was started in Pune in 2007 as CAD B by young entrepreneur AmeetPahilani with a single Outlet in Pune. CAD B specialized in Chocolate Shakes and it was the first of its kind in its category and took the market by a storm.
Unique and quality products helped CAD B grow from 1 outlet to 50 outlets across India in the first 2 years of operation.
In 2010 Cad B was formally changed to Café Chokolade to widen the product base and Natural Ice cream plant was set up with Italian Machinery. This gave new impetus to the Company and by 2011 the company had around 100 stores in 36 cities of India.
Mr. Pahilani had a dream of making Café Chokolade into an international brand and in 2013 he joined hands with Walko Food Group to achieve these dreams.
Walko QSR Company Pvt. Ltd a subsidiary of Walko Food Group was created in 2013 and the management of Café Chokolade Brand changed hands.
Walko Food Group consisted of Senior Industry Professionals who brought with them experience of working in senior positions with International brands like Coca Cola, Walmart and others. The Management team of Walko food is headed by Mr. Jeetendra Bhandari along with Mr. Sanjiv Shah who assisted in building a state of the art production facility at Pune consisting of high tech machinery.
Café Chokolade has now entered the institutional market for Ice creams with brand 'Cream Pot' which again promises to stay true to the basic principal on which Café Chokolade was built upon – ‘Unique and High Quality Products’
After my FY-B.Com result, in which I had one backlog and had barely cleared the other subjects, my parents were obviously not over the moon, but they are the cool kinds so it was not a problem. Sometimes girls would call at odd times but then, as I said, my parents were the cool types. Sometimes I would not come back all night, but as you know by now my parents were the cool types. One day, the police came to my house to arrest me for apparently having friends who turned out to be criminals of sorts (you guys know how at that age you want to hang out with the 'bhais' of the college). I hope I could say again how cool my parents were, but unfortunately my cool parents lost their cool and packed my bags along with me and sent me to London for further education.
There was a time in India when apparently kids were naughty, and parents would say "isko hostel bhej do". It was their magic formula, but I am not sure how much it worked. Since India has progressed and so have the parents, now they say "isko abroad bhej do". So the abroad theory was used on me even though I didn't even clear my FY B.Com in India. Doesn't make sense, but I was more than happy. Like every Indian student I was excited to live in London.
So, in February 2002, a 19 year old lad lands in the ’ City of the Queen' with a lot of dreams. I joined college and found a part-time job for self sustenance as I did not want to burden my family back home. They were also struggling to barely finance my education and more. So there was a tremendous financial crunch at home too. Hence, I was determined that this time I would not let them down.
So, in February 2002, a 19 year old lad lands in the ’City of the Queen‘ with a lot of dreams.
Life was not a party anymore and my struggle period soon commenced. Things were very difficult as most of my day was spent at college and there was hardly anytime left to work. But no work or less work meant no food and no house. For the first time perhaps I realised what the millions of people surviving on the roads in our country go through. However my strength lies in something my parents taught me - ”When the going gets tough, you get tougher“. I felt challenged and I wanted to fight and win over it. Win, not just for myself, but my parents back in India who had struggled hard all their life to raise me. I did odd jobs like working at a construction site and even cleaning toilets at a restaurant. This might sound melodramatic but it's true. There was a time I did not eat for 48 hrs at a stretch as I did not have money. Eventually it came to a point that I left my studies and started working full-time. Life slowly got comfortable as I did not have to worry about surviving anymore. But right from a young age I had dreamt about being a successful man. So it was not just pure survival that I aimed for.
I started putting up stalls in a Sunday market, but every time it would be a new product, as the last one did not sell well. It‘s funny to think of what all I tried to sell, from Corn to bhel puri to fruits.
I soon realised that the Indian market in London was completely saturated. So trying to sell Indian goods was a waste of time as there were too many Indians who were already doing that. As one would know, half of Gujarat and Punjab is in the UK. Cutting a long story short, I ended up importing Chinese snacks from China to sell to the Chinese supermarkets. This worked as if I had mined gold. I sold all my goods within a month and doubled my income. There was no looking back after that. And at the end of that year I saved up good money. By the way, I am pleased to tell you guys, I went for a dinner to the same restaurant where I use to clean toilets and gave a tip of 20 pounds!!! (That used to be my pay for cleaning toilets for 5 hrs). In an odd way it was a great moment for me.
By this time I had completed 4 years in London and I felt very lonely. I missed my family and friends. Above all, I missed my India. I had always criticised India while I was in India but when I left my country I realised that our India is the best. I was making money but I was not happy. So I decided to listen to my heart and against all odds I decided to come back as I was confident that if I can do well in a foreign land then I can do well in my own country too.
Having moved to India and after a few flop business ventures I was given the offer to take over Cad B (now Café Chokolade). It had only 4 outlets at that time and was making huge losses. Since it was a loss making company it was offered to me at a reasonable price, but it was enough to take away all my UK savings. I was in a huge dilemma as it was a huge risk to take because even though I had the money to buy the company, I did not have the money to pay for the monthly losses which at that point were 5 lakhs a month and I knew that if it doesn't click I could be heading towards cleaning the toilets again. All my family & friends were dead against it but I knew to make it big I had to take big risks and as usual I did what I believed in and bought Cad B.
In the first month I brought down the loss from 5 lakhs to 1 lakh. It was very difficult in the beginning and there were many bad days and several sleepless nights. At times I would issue cheques worth lakhs when there was zero balance in my bank, but somehow arranged for the money before the cheque would come for clearing. At times it felt more like war than business and during this war I even lost some close friends. But I have been lucky to find friends like Romi, Moiz and Hitesh, without them this would not have been possible. Also, thanks to Mr. Vinay Dias who was the first one to introduce me to Cad B (I would not be thanking him if things had not worked out).
There are 2 principles that have always kept my company afloat Currently we have 95 outlets in 32 different cities of India. We always see American brands like Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Starbucks and so on, but I have dreamt of an Indian brand that will make its name globally. Hopefully with all your support my dream will come true.
There are 2 principles that have always kept my company afloat
Not even a graduate. If I can fulfil my dreams so can you!
What makes Chokolade b special and a unique product?
It has been described as a shake, yet it can’t be sipped through a straw; some liken it to an ice-cream but it cannot be scooped, nor can it be bitten into. It looks like chocolate and it tastes like chocolate, but unlike chocolate it doesn't melt at room temperatures, in fact, it remains chilled!
And then there's the matter of taste; each blend distinctively different, yet carrying the unmistakable flavor that distinguishes Caf’e Chokolade. And of course, ordering it is the easiest way to be recognized as a connoisseur of good taste.
In matters of health too, Caf’e Chokolade scores high, thanks to its use of high grade cocoa butter instead of the regular hydrogenated oil that conventional brands prefer. As every nutritionist knows, hydrogenated oil is bad for you, but cocoa butter enhances, both, taste and health. Caf’e Chokolade.
Neither milk shake nor ice cream; hard to describe and difficult to classify, but impossible to resist. Here's to the taste that’s redefining cool - Caf’e Chokolade.
'No preservatives added’ is a claim that many labels make, but few can justify. We can! Our ice creams contain no preservatives, which is why they come with an expiration of just 10 days from manufacture.
You also get more per scoop than almost any other ice-cream. Unlike the most Ice Cream brands that add almost 100% air during the manufacturing process we add only 10% air the minimum needed to form an Ice cream. It may cost us more, but its why you enjoy it even more.
What we do add in plentiful are fruits- fresh fruits in the widest variety available, to add the natural goodness of nature to every mouthful of pleasure.