Dubbed as ‘The mini North-Eastern food hub’, Humayunpur located in Safdarjung , New Delhi is a haven for North-eastern cuisine lovers and fashion enthusiasts. The streets are filled with restaurants, cafes and chic clothing stores. And as you walk through the lanes, “Cultured” cafe trails you back to another narrow passage – which is as beautiful as a picture (read: #Instagramable) and a perfect representation of the place that awaits the visitor.
This pet-friendly (yes! you heard that right) cafe cum co-working space serves freshly brewed coffee and absolutely delightful food – ranging from breakfast favorites to wholesome and healthy meals to fresh desserts, prepared by one of the founders, who also happens to be a passionate baker.
Here’s a chat with the founders of “Cultured” cafe – a team of three friends from Northeast India. They talk about their passionate venture, their collective roots and their influence, and of course, the food!
Hello guys, please introduce yourselves!
Hi, I am Esha and 1/3rd of “Cultured” cafe. I am 24 years old and a communication graduate. I grew up in Nagaland, but now I am based out of Delhi. I worked briefly in an interior design firm, but I soon left that to pursue my passion for baking – and fortunately, this venture worked out perfectly for me.
Hi, I am Bedanta, 30 years old from Assam, and currently residing in New Delhi. I came here in the year 2005 and completed my graduation in Marketing. I started my career in an ad agency and also worked briefly in the wellness tourism. I also practice traditional Ashtanga Yoga.
Hi, I am Bimal, 31 years old and originally from Manipur. I have been staying in Delhi since 2006. I completed my Masters in Sales & Marketing from the city, and have been working in the furniture industry ever since.
So tell us what’s so special about “Cultured”?
Cultured Cafe is all about good vibe and energy. It’s a chilled out space for people who like to spend time in cafes reading a good book, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or have a playdate with their pet on a rainy day with a hot cup of tea.
We also want to educate people about the tea culture, by providing the best handcrafted teas. It is also a co-working space where you can work listening to soft music and enjoy our all day breakfast or freshly made salads.
What was the inspiration behind this cafe concept?
Initially, we wanted to do somewhere in the mountains of Himachal. However, we decided to first venture first in Delhi and then into the mountains. We always wanted to have our own cafe where we could relax and feel at home. We thought there would be like-minded people like us and that gave birth to the idea.
We are early birds and have always loved places where you can get good breakfast, good coffee, and tea – with a relaxed ambiance and good music. Plus, we love cooking! So with the encouragement of friends and family, we finally launched a place resembling our ideal chill/work zone – and here we are!
Bollywood actress Sayani Gupta and her friends hanging out at Cultured Cafe, Delhi
What’s the story behind the name “Cultured” and what does it mean in the context of your cafe/venture?
We took quiet sometime to settle down with the name ‘Cultured’. It’s a place where we wanted to bring a collective culture of food, music, travel, yoga, coffee, Alla etc . It’s also a community for peace, harmony and good energy.
All three of us come from a mix of cultures – be it roots or even upbringing (Naga, Manipuri, Assamese, Nepali, Punjabi – and Delhi) and so it was our way of creating a universe of many, but with a minimalist approach – where like-minded people can work, read, play music and chill – all under one roof 🙂 Basically, a comfort zone for people to just, be!
How has your roots/upbringing influenced your work or working style?
Bedanta: We all come from different cultures: I (Bedanta) am Assamese, Bimal is a Nepali and Esha is a Punjabi (brought up in Nagaland). Despite the differences in our root cultures, we all bonded through our common interests of food, travel, tea, work – and also in our openness to appreciate and respect people across cultures, tribes, gender, and race.
By embracing our differences to learn from each other, we were able to create a chill/work zone that reminds you a lot about your folks and life at home, and at the same time, meet like-minded people from across borders.
Interests and passions aside, what made you guys finally launch? What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Bedanta: We were all working (Bimal still is) in our respective fields but all under familiar domains that coincided with our interests in – marketing, sales, branding, communication etc. That along with our interests in food (eating & cooking!), travel, culture, meeting new people, so we knew it would be a fun experience and would be worth our time and effort. So I quit my job and to dedicate full time to “Cultured”; Esha also quit her job, so that she can pursue her passion for baking full time. She takes care of the food department here. Bimal is still working but has equal hands in running the cafe side by side.
As far as challenges in running this venture, we had a hard time dealing with manpower and suppliers. It was a learning process so it took us some time to figure that out. But we are definitely growing and learning every day.
So what kind of food do you serve?
We serve All day breakfast, healthy food and vegan options. For coffee lovers, we have some of the finest coffee beans from Coorg and Chikmagalur and for tea lovers, we serve the most refined handcrafted teas from small tea gardens from Assam. We will be selling those teas under our brand Culture soon so that they can enjoy the same experience of special tea at home.
Folks around Delhi, make sure you drop by and let us know how you like it. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to drool over their food feeds and the occasional appearance of Pegasus 🙂
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