Culinary Entrepreneur Tanuja Paruchuri Thanks Customers For Support And Success

Posted on November 17, 2010, by , under Featured Interview.

Online entrepreneur Tanuja Paruchuri discussed the success of her two online culinary businesses, The Chocolate Sutra and Food for Thin.  Paruchuri believes having close relationships with customers, even online, is key to maintaining and growing your business, as well as establishing solid relationships with fellow up and coming entrepreneurs.

How would you describe your online and offline brand?

Both my online and off-line brands are based on quality.  Online, I want to position The Chocolate Sutra and Food for Thin as luxury brands because off-line, these brands only use organic, quality ingredients.  Both brands have been built as a result of my experimentation with recipes when I was transitioning to a healthier lifestyle (involving less sugar and less processed food).

How has connecting with the right people helped your career?

Connecting with the right people has been essential in helping me both in my “day job” and with my entrepreneurial pursuits.  It was especially pivotal when I connected with several other entrepreneurs in the area who had the courage to start their own businesses from scratch.  I needed a push to get started and since I didn’t grow up in a business-oriented family and since I had never explored the idea of entrepreneurship, moral support was extremely important to me.

What advice would you give to someone looking to improve their on-line brand?

I think the key to having a strong on-line and off-line presence is to have a good product and to have a personal interest in your product.  To improve your on-line brand, it is so important to look for guidance from other successful businesspeople and to listen to your customers.  Your customers will have great advice regarding the product and its on-line and off-line presence and the market will eventually tell you whether your brand is attractive and fairly priced.

Why are you actively involved in NetSAP?

I am actively involved in NetSAP DC for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I am politically active and realized that the South Asian community should recognize that their political involvement is imperative to our country’s future.  I want to help build the political network within the NetSAP community and beyond.  The second reason I was excited to become involved with NetSAP DC is because I believe there is a lot of great talent within the organization.  I think it is a wonderful opportunity to do some networking and potentially work with NetSAP members to enhance my brand’s presence.

Tell us about your businesses ChocolateSutra and Food for Thin.

The Chocolate Sutra was born during the winter of 2008 when I was toying around in my kitchen with truffles I was making as holiday gifts for co-workers.  I started off with recipes and then graduated into creating my own flavors and eventually came up with my current offering of vegan and non-vegan truffles using coconut milk (when appropriate) and fresh, organic fruits and other infusions.  The Chocolate Sutra specializes in gourmet chocolate truffles and we do have services available for large scale events such as weddings.

My other budding business, Food for Thin, provides healthy, customized foods for purchase, cooking classes, and also provides the option to have me be their personal health and weight-loss coach.  I spent two years working on myself and with others to develop a great way to be healthy, lose weight, and still feel satisfied.  I was able to successfully lose about forty pounds.  I don’t believe in supplements (other than a multivitamin) or starving yourself or doing excessive amounts of exercise.  I believe in eating good, whole foods that are tasty and provide a high level of nutritional value and working to build up to an appropriate amount of exercise.  Each person is unique and has different dietary needs, which is why I am happy to provide this personalized consulting to those who would like to be healthy and still enjoy what they eat.

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