Meet Purvi Parikh, the owner of Joy of Treats, a cottage bakery based in Winchester, Massachusetts. An engineer by trade, Purvi traded in computers for cookies and other baked goods in order to spend more time with her children. Keep reading to learn more about how she’s built and grown her cottage food business.
What do you do before starting your business?
“By education, I have a master’s degree in computer engineering and am also an Oracle Certified Professional. I worked as a database administrator for almost six years, both in India and in the U.S.”
“My actual last working day was the day before my elder daughter's birthday. I enjoyed my work, but I decided that I wanted to enjoy motherhood, too,” Purvi said.
What is the Joy of Treats origin story?
“I was born and raised in India,” Purvi said. “I’m a foodie and my mother is an excellent cook. I came to the USA after my marriage, which is when I started valuing and missing my motherland's food and my mother’s homemade food.”
“Cooking never drew my attention until my first pregnancy. During pregnancy, people crave food, but I craved my homemade variety of food. Unexpectedly, I was enjoying cooking. Since then, in a surprise to myself, my kitchen has become my lab and my family and friends have become participants. The outcome is Joy of Treats!”
“I can really say that Joy of Treats is my journey from ‘avoid cooking’ to ‘love cooking,’” Purvi said. “I was interested in starting my second inning of work in the cooking field, and now I can do it from my home kitchen.”
How would you describe your products in one sentence?
“Joy of Treats – like mother used to make!”
“Being a mother myself now, I’ve memorized my motherland's traditional treats and make them precisely like my mother used to make. You can relish your taste buds with homemade treats.”
What's your favorite way to enjoy your products?
“It brings a smile to my face when I read ‘awesome,’ ‘yummy,’ ‘very fresh,’ ‘excellent,’ ‘amazing,’ ‘wonderful experience,’ and other compliments in customer feedback,” Purvi said. “It gives me satisfaction and inspiration. Each and every order I receive is made with love and excitement. I am making traditional items with simple ingredients, and I am happy to carry forward the tradition.”
Who is another cottage cook or food entrepreneur that you follow and support?
“Since I have started to understand the rules and basics, I have followed David Crabill from Forrager,” Purvi said. “Recently, I was able to meet many cottage food entrepreneurs virtually. I like Joanne Melanson and Beverly Clutter's work. Joanne's specialty is bread and she offers many varieties of it. At the same time, Beverly's decoration is outstanding — very neat and detailed work.”
What's the best thing about this job?
“I can work in my pajamas!”
“Apart from the joke, I like the time and flexibility the most,” Purvi said. “I can work when I want and decide the workload. I can balance family time and work time. Along with the work schedule, it is joyful to see people's excitement for fresh homemade sweets.”
What's your best piece of advice to share with food entrepreneurs who are getting started?
“My items are really different from what we generally see in the cottage food field. Please don't give up if you are in such situations. In my case, I had to go through different lab tests for my items, in order for them to be approved to sell. I did it and found a way to move ahead,” Purvi said.
“I always contacted my town officials and experienced cottage food bakers for my queries. They always answered and guided me in the right direction. Please don't hesitate to contact local officials or other experienced food entrepreneurs to get clear answers.”