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Meet The Dessert Diva Who Made it to Entrepreneur India's Women to Watch For Class of 2019 Kainaz scaled her business from a small pastry shop in Mumbai to a retail chain of 35+ outlets

By Mohit Sabharwal

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Kainaz Messman's culinary journey began at home when as a little girl, she helped her mother bake and cook. She says, "Often, when my dad travelled on business, my mother, sister and I had dessert for dinner. We went through recipe books, mum baked for us and we made a meal of it."

At the age of 16, Kainaz went to France as a part of a youth cultural exchange program. That year, she says, changed her life and determined who would she become. "I lived with a family that owned fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and vineyards. I learned to respect ingredients, cook with passion and keep things simple."

On returning home, Kainaz had decided to become a chef. She secured admission at Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Mumbai, and further, went to study at the Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD) in New Delhi. Post completing the course, she became a pastry chef at the Oberoi in Udaipur but still missed France's quaint little patisseries.

With a little hope and prayer, she decided to open a small pastry shop in Mumbai, completely unaware of the growth that followed. What started with a single shop in 2004 has now become a retail chain of 35+ outlets across five cities in India. The venture raised money via private equity and is currently clocking profits.

Kainaz says, "Theobroma is primarily a dessert destination. It has evolved over the years and has added sandwiches and savouries as per guest requests. The menu at Theobroma reflects influences from my world travels; offering a diverse range of American, Italian and British products centered on my strong Indian and Parsi roots."

(This article appears in the March-April 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

Mohit Sabharwal

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India Magazine


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