Fortune Cookie

They say, necessity is the mother of invention. Well, for some mothers , that stands bang-on true! Then again, what else can one expect to get when you put a home-baker and a hobby-tripping mother- having a creative bent of mind and a Business Management degree under her belt- in a lockdown for over a year , with two electronically insatiable kids ? An ‘Entertainment - Patisserie Startup’ is what you get , you see. Yes, you heard right! This innovation, or ‘fun-novation’ as we would like to call it, is the brainchild of an ex. Entertainment Professional with a Startup-stint and a career graph that was the desi version of the American Hustle , where the chase was to become the best closer in 'downtown' , in this 'salwaar-suited' adaptation of Suits, which went on and on for many seasons and moons; until one day, she froze the career graph - instead of her eggs - to do a bit of off-roading from the corporate jungle's hustle bustle. Alas! Little did she know that it was to be a trail that would leave her somewhere at sea , and feeling totally at sea! But who knew , the feeling would soon be mutual - shared with the rest of humanity and her little contribution to the propagation of it , when the whole world would wake up one day and find themselves locked up - with their career graphs frozen - all due to a viral pandemic! Unbelievable as it sounds still , days soon turned into months, Ramayana and Mahabharata into tales of Luv-Kush and Chanakya, Wave One turned into Wave Two, but nothing much could we do regarding the status-quo of our social lives, which remained unchanged all through, year after year. Oh! How we wished to shake things up, to take the giant leap for mankind; not to the Moon or Outer Space, but into a semblance of 'outer' space, where one could get some space to go about one's social life , as normal social animals ; albeit with social-distancing protocols in place. For sitting at one place, with inertia as a constant companion, little could be do but brood about our days in the Sun, and all the fun we had with our fellowmen - rolling in the lap of togetherness, in Malls, Gyms, Metros, State Transport Buses and Local Trains- at a time when such innocuous frivolities were not a matter of life, death, fines or taxes. But here we were, sitting at our desks and trying to survive boredom- more than the spate of Corona variants- in cohabiting in an era of blanket house arrests and B-Grade OTT Cinema releases. And if this was not painful enough , there were always ways to add insult to injury , like when came the news of a third wave- one, customised especially for children ! All hopes of schools ever opening up , after the necessities like restaurants , malls and gyms - went up in smoke , like the burning of stubble! Or that is what it felt like in our constricted 'breathing-spaces', in times of online schooling and WFH! And so, it seemed like the need of the hour to find innovative ways to cut screen time and replace it with some ‘scream time’, for the family . Unless , of course, we wished to be blind as dingbats, by the end of the marathon comebacks made by their 'country' cousins and viral variants , of the Big Bat family ! And so, with little choice and lots of idle hours at our disposal, we returned to our pots and pans ; but no one told us to bang it this time- a clear sign of it being an 'all work and no play' kind of a scenario. Possibly, to ensure we become dull , or raise dull boys and girls, to go with the general 'energy and enthusiasm flow', of a life not quite 'on the go'. It was on one such day that the apple fell ; not the one from Steve Job's biopic , and thankfully so, for in pandemic times, the smartphone and wifi are the only life-lines one can really hold onto for one's life and sanity thereof . But I am referring here to the apple from Newton's biopic; for in a way, the way Newton got his apple , we got our ‘smart cookie’! Call it our attempt to keep our sanity and not resign to fate, and renounce the idea of game nights, play dates and family holidays entirely; but it was this need for a fun escape , a holiday getaway , that led us to make these enchanting creations , made of treats we could eat! We called it the 'construction cookie' architectural treat. It was our very own little rocket ship. to escape our homes during the extended lockdown, and we called it the Tesla of Treats- for Fresh-Baked Fun in 4D! For akin to adding a fresh baked dimension , of 'time-tested taste' to play time - with citrus spice Gingerbread Cookies - this was our very own playground ; albeit , in 4D! It was our chance for a creative escape, from the rigours of the mundane , into a dimension unknown . And escape we did , into exotic lands and getaways , made with cookie , candy , confetti sprinkles, marshmallow, jello gumdrops, jimmies, jelly beans , lollipops , icing , gum balls, cereals, puffs , pretzel sticks and pastilles ! Phew! And the list goes on.... As the story goes, making flour, sugar and a 3D printer our pet peeve, we tinkered with 3D designing to make Cookie Cutters in every shape available, for our family playtime in 4D. Funnily, getting bored with the usual stock of Board Games worked in our favour. We chanced upon the idea of recreating this on a grander scale, for the rest of the country! To our surprise, we found that unlike the slew of multinational players in this field, there were close to none in the country , in this arena of food craft and toy-inspired food; a serious lacuna, in times of lockdowns , import shortages , border closures, heavy shipping duties and a growing sense of nationalism that spurned a burning need for import substitution, in every field and facet of digital trade. With the tides of time and the pandemic working in our favour, we rode the crests and troughs of challenges , putting up a brave front. Using the demand contraction and capacity underutilisation caused by this pandemic in our favour, we forged strategic alliances -for product, technology and distribution support - to carve a niche for our Entertainment Patisserie, 'ArtCAKEtect': the country's first , Edible Architecture and Landscaping Brand. With a little luck and a series of divine interventions, it was almost serendipitous that we eventually found our prized 'pin in a hay stack'- the smooth-operator who now handles the backend of our baking business, and handcrafts your made-to-order playground, like the pro they are at this artisanal gourmet baking. One, that home delivers you the playground- to let you get your hands dirty, in icing and candy - for a little trip down memory lane. But finding this fitment , to match our unique requirements - of handcrafting these fresh-baked, made to order, preservative free , artisanal construction cookies- on a 'demand-linked supply' basis, was only just the beginning! But we soldered on , to make a unique space for ArtCAKEtect - a platform that is a confluence of traditional bake-craft and 3D Technology , where craft meets culinary to bring you cutting-edge confectionary collectables , for a flight into fantasy! Call it a giant leap to escape the four walls of our dwellings, or a mere whim upon which we came so far, on this road untravelled, that took us into an unchartered territory - to see the world through the minds eye's and the windows of the world wide web , to let our wanderlust souls escape the mundane and wander into foreign lands and exotic locales, to soak in the architecture and recreate exotic locations right in our living rooms - to Eat, Play , Live happily ever after... And a happily ever after , is all that we wish for the epicures we hope to engage , in 'out of the box' ways, to unbox their inner child! As for our patient hard work, it bore fruit ; for somewhere between serial-lockdowns and 'lives-less-lived ', it gave us the purpose to create a pandemic-proof physical product, for indoor entertainment , that could mutate to take forms and designs unexpected, to surprise the most hardened cynics and compulsive critics, with a plethora of mouthwatering options for safe play! And in that sense, our 'Apple of the I' - as in, our 'fortune cookie' - was indeed fortunate for us, as it brought us together with a highly motivated set of 'driven' people, to work with, to give wings to this dream - to make our flight into fiction make a touchdown, super soon, in your city!

Fortune Cookie