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Gokul Foods has taste of success

Gokul Foods, a family-owned food business specialising in Nylon Patta Gathiya* has taken advantage of support from Collaborate. The Leicester business specialises in pure vegetarian catering for a range of events from small family parties to elaborate weddings.

It had a modest beginning, established in 2005 by Bhavna Rajpra and husband Jayendra in the kitchen of their rented home. It was Bhavna’s passion and intuition for creating delicious food, together with the support of her husband and their three children, which led to a business that now runs from a fully-functioning factory employing from four to 30 people over the busy wedding season, 13 years later.

Business Manager and daughter, Rajal said: “Once we established strong roots and customers it was important for us that we expanded, and that we did this with sustainability.

“The challenge was that we needed to be more versatile and to access the right opportunities; it was important to have recognised food standard agency procedures. This would make us more attractive as a supplier and enable us to approach other established food businesses. We were a small fish in a big pond and needed guidance.”

Collaborate business support was recommended to Rajal by their Environmental Health Officer. With support from Collaborate partner, the Food and Drink Forum, they achieved their HACCP system. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a system that helps food business operators look at how they handle food and introduces procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.

Rajal continued: “With this support, we have had quick results and having the required processes in place we were able to expand further and introduce our frozen food range.”

“Collaborate is a great way of allowing small businesses to thrive and be supported that would otherwise probably just struggle along and miss opportunities. We had such positive results I have already recommended the support available to other businesses who can also benefit and grow.”

* Crispy snacks, often deep-fried, originally made by people in India’s most western state of Gujarat.

Collaborate has ended but you can still get free business advice from the Business Gateway.