BENGALURU: For 34-year-old Huda Masood, biking has been a passion. But while the adventure seeking bouts keep her spirits high, what makes her more involved while at home is her yearning to become a self-made responsible entrepreneur. And thanks to her biking trips, she found her business idea.
An essential for any biker going on long trips are energy bars and finding an ideal one drove this Huda to make her own.
Handmade, her eat-on-the-go chocolates have been branded as The Huda Bars — a chocolatey granola bar filled with all the vital nutrients you require for a day.
Huda moved to Bengaluru 15 years back and ever since then, made the city her home and her love to make nutrition rich breakfast bars took over shortly in 2008 but she has been full time into it for the past few years.
Huda uses oats, almonds, dates, sunflower seeds, jaggery, butter, honey and a whole lot of other ingredients to make the bars. She tries to make her produce organic and natural to support farmers, cooperatives and small scale manufacturers who help her make the bar.
According to her, she undertakes extensive research and travels a lot to know about the products that she is using. “For the oats, I know the company that is making them. I’m presently looking for organic oats in the country,” she says.
She sources the honey for the bars from bee keepers of Malnad in North Karnataka. “They produce 300 litres of honey a year. I once told them that I will buy all the honey but they were in denial. They felt that giving me the entire produce would mean a loss for them. The rural economy depends on the honey produced there. Doctors use the honey for various ayurvedic purposes. So I purchase a little from them to leave some for the others.”
Huda believes in supporting the farmers and building a relationship with them. “I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to grow something,” she says.
When asked about how she views the organic market, Huda says, “Organic should become default, not a premium thing.”
Her breakfast bar acquires it’s fame through word of mouth. She is also part of the Motorcycle Traveller League in the city and has biker friends who go on long road trips. They carry these breakfast bars in large numbers. It has achieved quite a lot of fan following with people sharing and appreciating her produce on her Facebook page. The breakfast bars have a shelf life of two months.
Huda says she is adamant and selective about the labour she employs in making the bars now. She is supported by three members, all of whom she personally knows. She also wants to market her bars through someone she knows and has been making ties with her friends in Hyderabad.
As for the packaging, Huda has recently opted using aluminium foil to cover her bars. Speaking about it, she says, “The polyester coated aluminium foil found in almost all chocolate wrapping is not recyclable at all. It doesn’t decompose and it goes into the landfill. I started wrapping them in thicker aluminium and it can be recycled. Almost 70% of the aluminum foil found in India is recyclable.
We also have a very thriving recycling community and it is energy efficient. My packaging may not be not fabulous but it is eco-friendly. “
As of now, Huda doesn’t have any partners and she admits it is difficult maintaining and teaching her employees, the technique of making the breakfast bar. “I want a specific texture in the jaggery. It’s been a slow process teaching and delegating the tasks,” she says.
Huda’s breakfast bars are branded as The Huda Bars and are available on a couple of websites like qtrove.com which sells organic and natural products. It can also be found in several organic stores and motorcycle shops in Bengaluru.
The breakfast bars come in different flavours like extraa honey, peanut butter, chocolate and two vegan options like vegan classic and vegan peanut. The vegan bars have no butter or honey in the them. They are substituted with date syrup for sweetening and coconut oil and sunflower oil to make them.