Healthy living and baked delicacies usually do not go hand in hand. Talk about cakes, chocolates, treats, and any fitness expert would start cringing, and they aren’t wrong. Now, EXBACo is a new age startup redefining baked goodies, with a twist, so that it maintains the flavor without the junk. We sat down with Megha and Saurabh from EXBACo as they took us through their exciting start.
What is the inspiration behind EXBACo?
When we first met over coffee, we connected at various levels – especially our mutual love for baking products and chocolates and our common apathy towards the typical 9-9 corporate routine. Together, we thought of creating premium and exclusive offerings tailored to the Indian palate. Our mutual love for cakes and chocolate treats from different parts of the world and the struggle with weight loss helped our discussions. With the growing awareness around physical and mental health, fitness, and diet control, we thought it to be an apt time to challenge the baking segment. At the same time, we wanted to do it right while breaking down a few myths and barriers associated with chocolates and bakes.
How was your experience starting a business in lockdown?
It was challenging and fun at the same time. With access to both cooks and help off the hook, and uncertainties around COVID-19, it was evident that this lockdown was going to change consumer habits. While everyone was happy showcasing their cooking/cleaning skills on social media, we were experimenting with baking, keeping calories, and health benefits in mind. We set on an asset-light model, offering premium quality, sugar-free, eggless, even vegan baking so that the segment itself evolves along with a new “body, mind, and soul” conscious India.
What unique skills do the founders bring to the startup?
Meghashree Sharma is an ex HR Professional and a life coach. She is also an excellent baker who has participated in MasterChef India. Her knack for finding healthier and equally tasty alternatives for ingredients is unparalleled, making her the backbone of EXBACo.
Saurabh Singh brings in the business strategy, operations, and go-to-market expertise, having played similar roles at enterprises like Pearson, EY, KPMG, and Realytics (real-time employee engagement app).
What is the secret ingredient in EXBACo foods?
We would love to say that we use secret ingredients, but we don’t use anything that people wouldn’t understand or consume otherwise. The fact is, we only use premium ingredients, best quality nuts, and couverture chocolates. We want our consumers to be aware of the pros and cons of chocolates, chocolate baking, how to differentiate, what to consume, facts and myths, and many more. Being healthy and still being able to savor the three C’s – Cakes, Cookies, and Chocolates is the secret nugget we want our consumers to appreciate.
How do you see your business scale in near future?
Currently, we are focusing on online delivery and special hampers for communities and startups. This is helping us fine-tune our products & logistics as we build a standard set of experimental offerings & categories that reflect EXBACo values. As soon as we achieve a selection of favorites, in terms of quality and delivery, we would scale up. We want to extend our focus on the B2B segment through corporate goodies, especially now in VUCA times, since companies want their employees working from home or remote offices to feel special and recognize their discretionary efforts. What would be better than a goodie hamper consisting of EXBACo’s exquisite offerings for their employees and loved ones! It is a huge market that needs some innovative disruption in terms of content, quality, packaging, and relevance vis-a-vis context.
What steps have you taken to optimize your offerings?
We want to be true to our name – EXperiential BAking Company. Instead of using commercial flour, cake gels, and unknown compounds found in packaged chocolates and glossy cakes, we use only the best quality ingredients. For us, quality is paramount and a core USP of our offering. We use couverture chocolate over compounds, olive oil, and unsalted best quality butter over cheaper alternatives. We are also experimenting with more “diet-friendly desserts” like granola bars and energy bites to help manage your 4 PM hunger pangs or a pre-workout quick-bite, ensuring you can enjoy nutrition and taste without compromising on either of two. Even though all our offerings are made to order and delivered within Bengaluru, for outstation patrons we have optimized the catalog to offer only those delicacies which have a shelf life of over a week.
Any additional info that may interest our users.
We are a home-incubated startup attempting to redefine a segment (baking and dessert) that has been crying out loud for a while. There is a reason why sweets are a part of our culture – they signify family bonding, love, celebration, and we do not want that off our menu. We make cakes, chocolate, and cookies with the right measure of premium ingredients that carry both taste and nutritional value and something that our loved ones can indulge in at any time. We want to build more awareness about our health and well-being. With minor adaptations in our eating habits, we can continue to share our love through the three C’s. EXBACo stands for Experimental, Experiential, and Exceptional, and we want everyone to be part of this journey.
Home – EXBACo
Founded – 2020
Category – Baked Foods
Funding – Pre Seed
Meghashree Sharma – linkedin.com/in/meghashree-sharma
Saurabh Singh – linkedin.com/in/learnsingh