“My dad is a Foodie. A foodie from another generation has passed his love for food to me.”
– says Harkamal Singh Grover
If you follow your heart and it leads to your freezer, we’ve got a better idea! Peggy, the local ice-cream parlor in Chandigarh, offering a wide range of gelatos and popsicles, is the go-to place to beat the dessert craving.
With a degree in Marketing from Punjab University (1), Harkamal Singh Grover always wanted to do something in the F&B industry. He wanted to do something different and scalable from the ongoing trends. With already a restaurant and hotel doing well for a couple of years, he felt that you’d find a new restaurant and café in every nook and corner. On a visit to Gulfood in Dubai, a yearly three-day event, where people from across the world come to socialize regarding the ongoing trends, Harkamal decided to follow through with his idea of an ice-cream brand.
Dessert doesn’t go the stomach; it goes to the heart! Starting with the rage of popsicles, a fruit-based candy, which is vegan and sugar-free, Harkamal struggled for around 8 to 10 months as people in Chandigarh were not aware of the product and the concept of a popsicle, and thereby he decided to bring a lot of other products under the umbrella of desserts.
We all scream for Ice-Cream!
Like all Indians, Harkamal was always fascinated with ice-creams and so he decided to get into the business of Gelatos. Since he wanted to do something scalable, this was a perfect fit.
“We’ve been exposed to very basic ice-creams”,
says Harkamal. On reading more on it, he was curious as to why something as ice-cream, which is hardened, measured in Litres. What was thrilling to learn was that a 4-liter ice-cream weighs about 2 kg, unlike milk where 1 liter is equal to 1 kg.
“They blow air into the ice-creams. The machinery that they have allows them to blow about 50% air. Hence, the ice-creams that we have are so cheap.”
Hence, he decided not to do the basic ice-cream and not cheat the people.
“I practice what I preach”,
says Harkamal, and he wanted to give a product which he would personally want as a customer. Their whole range of ice-cream is air free and available in sugar-free options. There is a large vegan variety of products as well.
The best time for ice-cream is always! Harkamal consulted the Industry experts from Dubai and mentioned that
“they don’t call themselves chefs or businessmen or entrepreneurs. They call themselves as artists”.
On meeting a gelato artist from Italy, who guided him with detailed sessions and persuaded him to open this venture, Harkamal decided to name his brand after her name, Peggy! “She took me through products and processes to make gelato. She still helps me in finding suppliers from Italy.” The proud founder mentioned that every material, from the bases, flavors, and fruits are frozen and imported directly from Italy.
No success comes easy and although Harkamal feels that he is far from the success that he wishes to achieve, a big moment for Peggy Ice-cream was when a year ago, he received a call at 12 noon (the outlet opens at 12:30 p.m.) to open the store, as the Bollywood actor Jahnvi Kapoor had reached to have some Peggy Ice-cream. She waited for this place to open, despite there being an international ice-cream brand right opposite Peggy Ice-cream, which was open at that time. The next day, she visited again with Kartik Aryan.
Harkamal wants to market the product through word of mouth and credits the ice-cream brand right opposite the outlet. He is convinced that the challenges you face make you stronger and another ice-cream brand around required him to do something better than normal. He aims to provide a better product at a reasonable price and now believes that he has beaten the product.
The Spread of Happiness
A cone of ice-cream in the hand of a kid is the pure definition of happiness and the proud founder wishes to spread this happiness to other places and move into a franchise model. He aims to expand Peggy Ice-cream by opening other outlets in the Tri-city as well as other cities in the country.
“As a local brand, we try to change according to the need of the market, which international brands don’t, as they are rigid and so they fail.”
– Harkamal Singh Grover
Peggy Ice-cream is a flexible brand that caters to the choices of the customers and hence they have 30% of products on their menu introduced on-demand, including Paan and Coconut flavored ice-creams. Every flavor takes around 3 months of Research and Development. Therefore, one can find a new flavor at the outlet every 3 months. For the future, Harkamal wants to ensure that this brand provides a wholesome experience to its customers by offering all kinds of desserts under one roof, including ice-creams, waffles, shakes, gelatos, popsicles, and yogurts.
Due to the pandemic, certain projects went on hold, but coming a new year brings new things to the menu. This January, Peggy Ice-cream intends to introduce a ‘tea and coffee’ section which goes well with their range of ice-creams and other desserts. Authentic bubble teas, specially imported from Taiwan would also be available, exclusively at Peggy Ice-cream in Chandigarh Tri-city.
Harkamal also was thrilled to mention that a healthy line of self-served yogurts would be introduced soon. Doing a healthier dessert is their aim, a dessert that does not compromise on the taste. All the sugar-free products are 100% tested and Peggy Ice-cream is privileged to have a large clientele of diabetic people.
Although they are delivering in certain areas, delivery constitutes only 10% of its sale. Harkamal wishes are every customer comes in, taste, and then choose the flavor to order. All the products are risk-free, with zero human touches.