Meet Sonia: The Mompreneur Behind Sonlicious
Everyone loves good food. But the thought of toiling in kitchen for hours to make a delicious supper isn’t something that we are all fond of. But here, Sonia Gupta of Sonlicious teaches kids and adults alike through her workshops how healthy cooking can be an enjoyable experience. In this interview, Sonia talks about how she found a passion for cooking, her business venture and about her hopes for future.
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
I was born and brought up in a small town of Punjab known as Barnala. After completing my Masters in Math, I started my career as a Science and Math teacher.
After my marriage in 2006, I moved to Gurgaon and joined an MNC as a financial analyst. I was blessed with a baby boy in 2007 and life started taking a different shape. I somehow managed office and home together for quite some time, but it started to become tougher and tougher with time. I then took a break in 2009 and moved to the US along with husband as he was on his assignment.
Sitting idle was never a preference and when we came back to India, I tried multiple things to be engaged but nothing could hook me for long. The baking bug bit me in 2015 and I started loving it.Today I am independent and work only for myself. No more 9-5 job. Comparatively, I now spend only 1/3 of time on work than earlier and earning more than 3 times to what I was getting paid from my job. I now have more time to spend with my child and family.
What is Sonlicious all about?
Sonlicious is my baby which took birth in 2015. It has now started taking baby steps and is continuously growing. Today, I am a mother of two children Garv and Sonlicious and love to see them growing simultaneously. Technically, it is a food blog with the niche in baking, and a platform where I help novice and amateurs to learn baking through my workshops. Today we have a YouTube channel that host a variety of baking video recipes. Recently, we have started a Facebook Group “Baking Hacks” that aims to provide quick solution to the challenges people face during their baking experiments. People are also encouraged to share their baking experiences.
Sonlicious is focused on healthy baking and healthy eating. I experiment in my own way, on all various recipes and find the possibilities to make them healthy as much as possible.
Have you always loved cooking? What inspired you to start Sonlicious?
Not at all. Cooking was never in my To-Do-List before marriage. I started cooking only after marriage and learnt basics of cooking from my mother-in-law. Baking was not even in dreams. When I moved to Pune and was home, I had plenty of available time. I used my time in watching food shows, reading blogs, and books. That’s when my interest in baking started. I became a part of a few FB groups where I started sharing my experimental recipes. People started appreciating and that encouragement inspired me to lay foundation of Sonlicious.
Do you believe that anyone can cook?
It’s all about passion. If you have or develop that passion for cooking, yes you can. For example, I did not know cooking before marriage, but today I conduct workshops. My youngest attendee in my workshop was a 5 year child Dhruv, who is absolutely determined that he will open a bakery after he turns 21. I have men attending my workshop who want to surprise their family with their baking skills. I can go on and on, but in short, yes anyone can cook/bake.
What was the happiest moment in your culinary life?
The day after my first workshop when each of the attendee, 5 in total, called me and thanked me for the workshop. All of them were successful in their baking experiments at their home after the workshop. I can never forget that day. Baking yourself and getting appreciation of your bake is different compared to helping others learn baking and they reciprocating back for the appreciation they got from their friends and family. That encouraged me to continue with my workshops. I feel satisfied when people appreciate my continuous support to them in their baking experiments after they have attended my workshop.
What do you want to say to someone who wishes to pursue a career in culinary field?
There is so much potential in a culinary career. If you have the ability to understand your ingredients, play with them, understand the taste and can maintain the same, keeping health in mind, then there is no stopping.
It’s the belly that rules the mind – Spanish Proverb
Work as a specialised chef, open a fine dining restaurant, an eating joint, help others learn cooking, open a YouTube channel, there are a plethora of opportunities in the culinary field. Gone are the days when eating favourite food was limited to parties and weddings. With people living in nuclear families and children staying away from home for education and work, the demand for eating joints, and restaurants have increased tremendously. Today’s generation is conscious, live by choices and not by compulsion. Hygienic and healthy food without compromising the taste is in high demand.
What are your future plans for Sonlicious? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I want to help around 2000 people learn healthy baking through my workshop in the next 5 years. I also want Sonlicious to promote healthy baking through their workshops across the country, which is currently limited to Pune.
People have appreciated my video recipes. They have appreciated my easy to follow methods and the amount of details I provide them in the recipe. The response has been overwhelming. In the next 5 years, I see Sonlicious to have around 300-400 video recipes and not less than 700 written recipes.