When you meet them, ask them how they are?

“I started making Idlis at Raghavendra Stores maybe two decades ago. Growing up in Udupi, I never had any dreams and my schooling was not even complete. We brothers went directly into the hotel business. I moved to Bombay and started working at a company canteen and my elder brother started working with Raghavendra stores. I was in Doddaballapura before this and then my brother called me and told me that I can come to work here.”

“We were very happy when all the three brothers were working together in Malleswara branch. We had a brilliant set of boys who worked for us. We thought why not branch out and spread the same taste to Rajajinagara. That’s when the boys started leaving their jobs with us. That was the first time I had really felt bad about a decision I had taken personally because my elder brother was just a worker and he didn’t know cooking. When I moved out from there, he had to learn how to cook the way we always had built a brand on, at our Malleswara branch. I used to get up at 3.30 AM and go help him in cooking because it is a skill and it takes time. He picked up the skill and now he cooks the same way I do.”

“We had the thought of making it a big hotel but it also requires a certain capital that we don’t have. We have two branches now and the people who come and eat here tell us that this is closest to the food we get at our homes and not a commercial restaurant. We have also wanted to maintain the same taste because at the end of the day that’s what brings our customers back.”

“In my life, I’ve learned that there is one thing in everyone that makes them special, that you cannot put a price on, I know mine is making amazing idli vade and shavge bath, someone else’s might be something else but we need to nurture it, protect it and work on it constantly. My wife and I got married 11 years ago and she without a question joined me in working and taking care of this hotel.”