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Chandiok, Mumbai's Doggie Dabbawala

"If I wouldn't eat the same flavour every day, how can I do that to my dog? That's when I got into cooking for Harley," says Chandiok
Aprajita Sharma Print Edition: January 24, 2021
Chandiok, Mumbai's Doggie Dabbawala
Ishmeet Singh Chandiok, the founder of Harleys' Corner - Photograph by Sandesh Ravikumar

A chef by profession, Ishmeet Singh Chandiok, the founder of Harleys' Corner, a ready-to-eat wet dog food brand, is also a passionate dog lover. When he welcomed his dog Harley home, he pampered him with his best skill - cooking. "If I wouldn't eat the same flavour every day, how can I do that to my dog? That's when I got into cooking for Harley." Chandiok started reading up online, connected with canine nutritionists and did a course on dog nutrition.

Three months on a home-cooked diet and Harley lost weight. And that worried Chandiok. "But when I checked with the vet, he told me Harley has never been in a better shape. His one advice that stuck to me was a dog on a home-style diet could live three years longer. For a pet owner, it is priceless."

More experiments followed. Chandiok would share portions with other pet owners as well. "When they started coming back to me asking for a larger portion in exchange for money, I considered turning it into a business. People would call me Bombay's Doggie Dabbawala. I actually hired Mumbai's dabbawala services to deliver dog food."

From brown rice, chicken, daliya to soup and sauces, Chandiok cooks a variety of food. There are also fresh treats such as cakes and ice-creams. The cakes are sugar, salt and fat-free and the ice-creams are yogurt-based. "Whatever I cook, Harley tastes it first. He is my chief tasting officer," he quips.

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