The overwhelming aroma that fills your nostrils the moment you walk into a bakery is one of the best mood lifters. Of course you’d agree. As kids, we’ve all found ourselves pressing our nose to the glass, trying ever so hard to choose the pastry we’d fancy having, but the endless bakes with tantalising names and vivid colours make it an impossible task.
While some have a sweet tooth, others have a craving for the moist flakiness of croissants and the tender filling of puffs. Watching fresh hot buns lined up neatly on those huge trays is so oddly satisfying.
Providing Goans with this wholesome mouth-watering experience is Tanvi Kudalkar, entrepreneur, restaurateur and maker of all things baked. Pastry chef at SugarRush, Tanvi is among the new generation of successful entrepreneurs giving Goa a vibrant, inspiring edge.
Chatting over coffee, she tells us about her incredible journey, Goa, travelling and much more in the First Episode of Goa’s Local Stories.
1. Tell us about your venture, Sugar Rush
‘Frankly, I’ve always wanted to study Hotel Management, but my family was initially against the idea. Jokingly, they’d say, ‘Kitchen mai kaam karne ke liye 3 saal kyu padhna? (Why study 3 years to end up working in a kitchen?)
But ever since I was a kid, I always loved baking. It was a constant hobby, something I loved to do on the side. I remember, I baked some butter cookies when I was small, and they turned out to be delicious. Since then, baking was my passion.
Over time, I realized that I should pursue it, and that’s how it all began. Yes, there was a driving force but it somehow seemed spiritual, like connecting the dots. I’m glad it all fell in place.’
2. As a local, what suggestions would you give to travellers visiting Goa?
‘Being a local, I seldom see travellers in Goa. A majority of the influx in the state, amounting to about 80% are tourists. Travellers mostly visit North and South Goa, close to the state border. To be honest, I would like to discover new places from travellers, because there are a couple of spots that even I haven’t been to.
Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see people choosing to explore places and discover the beauty of nature without prior planning instead of pre-planned trips. During my travels, I too take the path less travelled, because that’s where lies the real essence of journeying.’
3. Are you happy with the present condition of Goa? If you have to change one thing about Goa, what would that be?
‘I would never change anything about Goa. I love Goa the way it is. Infact, the only thing I’d like to change is the perception people have about Goa.
I once came across someone who asked me ‘Do people roam wearing bikinis in Goa?’ to which I replied, “No, Goa is a normal place, where people have normal 9 to 5 jobs, and strive for their daily bread and butter.” The perception of Goa is something I do not like, and according to me, that needs to be changed.’
4. What is the one thing in Goa that you don’t want travellers to miss out on?
‘The greenery! People come to Goa with the beaches on their mind, but they miss out on the greenery. Goa is so much more greener than so many places, even Bangalore for that matter. Across both North and South Goa, the Ghats and other picturesque locations are simply so beautiful. I’d say to people, ‘Yes, do go to the beaches, but look at the trees also.’ The greenery here is a wonderful sight worth exploring.
We’ll be back soon with another captivating story, about Goa’s local game changers. Till then, we’d recommend you go try the chocolate oozing cupcakes at Sugar Rush, Vasco. You’ll be craving for more in no time!