Dessert brand Scoopski founder Vedika Tibrewal: On food, ambition and building for India

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Among the many things that make India so unique is its food. Be it the appetising cuisines of the metros or the mouthwatering street food of small towns. A deep love for food is what commands our lives like nothing else!

Such is the story of Kolkata-based founder Vedika Tibrewal, who took her passion for food literally and founded Scoopski. This unique dessert brand sells Western desserts with an Indian touch. 

An innocent desire

“I’m a die-hard foodie and enjoy food from the core of my heart! Whenever I would try something new, I would recommend it to my friends and family,” says Vedika. Such was the length of her love for food that she would wake up and want to know her menu for the day. 

Vedika knew that to enjoy what she does for a living truly, it had to be an amalgamation of her principles and passion. And, of course, something related to food! 

Vedika Tibrewal | Amrutam Nari

 

A fairly nascent idea at the time, it solidified when as a young college student, Vedika travelled to the US in 2017 to attend Harvard Summer School. She visited a small cafe on a short trip to New York City with friends. It was packed with people queued up for hours, eager to taste the cafe’s special offering -  edible cookie dough. This was the first time she came across the concept, popular as the ‘Food Trend of the Year’ in the US. 

“A company called ‘Dough New York’ had conceptualised the idea and had positioned it as a parlour model, where you would enter the parlous and choose a flavour of your choice. Then they would serve you edible cookie dough in an ice cream cone,” she recalls. 

Also read: Eating with Your Senses

In sheer awe of the crowd and the product's hype, Vedika became curious to try it and waited over two hours to discover something that eventually changed her life. 

“Looking back, I am so glad I waited to try it. I had never eaten anything like that before! It was kind of bizarre. Sweet but also savoury at the same time. And nothing like an ice cream or a brownie. It was more like a Westernized halwa!” she explains. 

Blending food and work

On returning back to India, Vedika started experiencing pangs of cravings. The cookie dough had cast a spell, and she yearned to taste the decadent flavour and texture. She looked online and discovered that edible cookie dough was still a foreign concept in India. 

This began a series of experiments in Vedika’s home kitchen and getting her hands dirty. She started researching recipes, shelf life and distribution; her dream of blending food with work began taking shape naturally. 

Soon, her mother, Sonal, joined her. “Being a homemaker, she was good at people management,” shares Vedika. So, while her mom managed the team, she built the backend and marketing. 

Also read: "Entrepreneurship was never on my radar": Quirksmith co-founder Pragya Batra

While still in college, Vedika and her mother would put up stalls in flea markets and carnivals to test product viability. Encouraged by a positive response and market acceptance, she decided to turn this into a full-fledged business. 

“I identified a few pain points and came up with solutions. My mom and I  started ideating and brainstorming on how we could get this revolutionary product to people in India,” she adds. 

The birth of Scoopski

Vedika formally registered the company in 2018 and started selling edible cookie dough in small jars as their initial offering. The product was made fresh with no added preservatives and had a shelf-life of 20 days. 

A prolonged product shelf-life is crucial in the food industry to make the business scalable and widen distribution channels. For the first three years, Vedika struggled to crack the recipe that could extend the product's life beyond 20 days. “I was trying to achieve something unprecedented in the history of the world!” 

Doubts and fear crept in. Troubled but unwilling to give up, Vedika tested and failed more times than she could count. “My parents taught me never to let failure or success get the best of you.” With her unrelenting passion for showing up daily, after what seemed like a gazillion attempts, Vedika successfully cracked the formula! 

“I remember the day we got the lab test results. The ingredients and formula had been approved. We achieved this without adding any preservatives. It felt like all my hard work had finally paid off!”

The formulation has now gone for patent registration. 

In April, 2022, Scoopski rebranded its products and launched several new ones with a longer shelf-life and more flavours. “Our vision is not just to be a cookie dough business but a brand that brings you all the Western desserts with an Indian touch.” 

Also read: Is Sugar Really the Bad Guy?

Family and value system

We’re all a product of our upbringing, and Vedika is no different. She is guided by her value system, which her parents nurtured. “My parents are extremely humble people. They taught me never to lose my humility. It can make or break a person’s character.” 

Vedika Tibrewal | Scoopski | Amrutam

 

Though the entrepreneurial spirit was always ingrained in her thanks to her family business background, her father, owner of a transportation and warehousing business, deeply instilled in her the importance of being a good employer and treating others how you would want to be treated. “My father taught me delayed gratification. This is why today, I am able to find joy in the littlest of things instead of chasing seemingly big happiness that is ever-elusive,” she says.  

Starting a company at the young age of 21 also brought a fresh set of challenges. 

“When I first started, people didn’t take me seriously. I had to push through to get the smallest tasks done. It took a lot of patience, which my mother inculcated in me.” 

Outgoing and extroverted by nature, Vedika loves making new friends. Her loved ones describe her as chirpy and always up for trying different foods! 

Work-life and interests

A typical day in Vedika’s life starts with a brief glance at her calendar while she chalks out spaces to block for ‘work time’ and ‘me time’. For her, her ‘me time’ is as important as her productive time. This is followed by starting her work day, where she works closely with her teams and prioritises urgent tasks that require her attention.

Also read: Integrate Mindfulness into your Work

“Many of our team members come from modest backgrounds, and to create a sense of belongingness, we celebrate everyone’s successes and important occasions,” says Vedika. Through Scoopksi, she enables the women in her team to take the reins of the household into their hands and provide as primary breadwinners! “No matter how much success Scoopski achieves, this particular accomplishment will always stand out for me.”

When not busy with work and meetings, Vedika enjoys reading, though the preferred genre changes occasionally. A book she holds dear to her heart is Many Lives Many Masters by Brian Weiss. She recommends reading the compilation of essays written by students to get into Harvard Business School. “It’s so powerful to read the most important stories of people worldwide!” she exclaims. 

Vedika also has a soft corner for generative activities like poetry, cooking and art. “When I’m on vacation and if there’s an art class around, I always sign up for it!” Like any other millennial, one of Vedika’s great loves is binging her favourite shows on Netflix. She recently finished watching Ginny and Georgia and recommends watching Broken, a docuseries deconstructing problematic industries. 

On running an online business and superpower as a woman

When asked if the pressure of performing better than others gets to her, Vedika says: 

Vedika Tibrewal | Scoopski | Amrutam

 

“Anybody who says that performance pressure doesn’t get to them is lying! Sure, it gets to me. But I try to see it as an opportunity to do better. If I see a competitor brand doing great, I read up on their work and learn how they got there. So, it is a source of inspiration to support my vision for Scoopski!” 

Vedika has recently started a new brand called The Gift Concierge, operating as a creative product design studio catering to personal, festive and corporate gifting.

Also read: Gifting Ideas for your Loves Ones

Running a business can be tricky, (in Vedika's case, two) especially when the market is unpredictable. While success and failure are two sides of the same coin, few understand the reality. People, often when they anticipate failure, take harsh and rushed decisions. 

Fortunately, Vedika has cultivated the ability to remain grounded despite the shortcomings, which she calls her superpower as a woman! “To isolate the impact of something and your individual thoughts is a really important but underrated skill!” she quips. 

While Scoopski and Amrutam cater to two different target groups, the core values and mission bring them together. Vedika draws great inspiration from Amrutam’s story and community-building efforts.

On being part of #AmrutamFamily

“I’m extremely proud to be associated with the brand. It’s constantly educating its customers through different channels like emails, blogs and social media. Often, I refer to the brand as a case study to explain community-building to my team!” she shares. 

Her parting words for the readers are: 

“Today, our country is experiencing a wave of change where people are coming together to build for the new India. Sure, there are legacy brands that you’ve seen and used growing up. But I urge you to give the new-age entrepreneurs your time, space and money. Place your trust in us, and I promise India will see global growth like never before! If possible, give us room for error. We’re all human and make mistakes along the way!”

 

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