All About Chocolate

All About Chocolate

Aarti Kapai of Pure Sin Chocolates in Mumbai takes us through her journey with the delectable treat from when she started her business 30 years ago!

Tsunami CostaBirUpdated: Monday, April 15, 2024, 10:39 AM IST
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The streets of Kala Ghoda are always bustling with people taking quick breaks from work, meeting friends and hopping in and out of cafes. In a quaint little corner lies Pure Sin - a haven for chocolate - sipping, eating and breathing in the aroma! We met with its founder Aarti Kapai and got chatting…

How did you get started, and why chocolate?

I started 30 years ago, in 1993. I used to bake cakes before that, and then I moved to Australia when my husband was doing his MBA. And there, during the biting winters, I would eat ice cream and tell my husband, “Oh this is just pure sin!” So the name kind of stuck, and when we came back to Mumbai, I knew I wanted to start something. So I thought, why not chocolate? Even though I wasn’t trained in making them, and back in the day, there weren’t many people who made chocolate, my mum and I started our business from the house with a Rs 5,000 investment. 

What are some of your earliest memories from building up your business?

The very first Diwali that we started, we got a huge order from a company for 250 kilos. Now, I didn’t really know how to make chocolates, which is fine when you’re working in small batches. But when you’re working with large quantities, it's not the same. In that process, something went wrong and the cocoa butter probably separated, leaving the brown chocolates with a white layer on the top. They weren’t spoilt but discoloured. I never got any complaints, but I also never heard from that company again!

How do you keep up with constant innovations in chocolate?

There are definitely lots of innovations happening in chocolate. People are going abroad and coming back to make really fancy designs on bonbons with glitter, and here I am with our simple chocolates. But what differentiates me are my different flavours and quirky names. While we’re known for our almond rocks, which are pretty straightforward, we also have a tangerine tango, cookies and cream, caramelised almonds, raspberry and blueberry cheesecake, lemon mousse etc. Another place we stand out is our customer service. We really go above and beyond for the customer. Whether it is complaints, replacements, packaging or deliveries, we work with the customer.

 

What is your understanding of India’s sweet market - given the country’s love for sweets?

There was a time when India’s traditional sweet market was getting damaged by chocolate and international brands. But today, our mithaiwallas have really upped their game, offering really state-of-the-art, designer mithai. There’s also this growing awareness about health and people wanting to eat dark chocolate. Markets definitely go through phases and fads where suddenly people are crazed up on a sugar substitute or health consciousness, but we don’t follow those trends here. As long as you eat in moderation, you have nothing to worry about. 

What has your growth trajectory been and what do expansion plans look like?

When we started, mum and I would wait around for orders. Literally one 100-gram order, and we’d be doing our yippie dance. Slowly, by word of mouth, the number of orders grew, and here we are 30 years later. Over the years, we’ve expanded our product range with all kinds of chocolates and their quirky names. Today, we offer chocolate bars, sipping chocolate, coffees, desserts, cheesecakes, etc. I want this place to be a chocolate paradise where people can come in, indulge in our offerings and even bring their laptops and work.

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