We take our culture, our traditions and the food that we eat wherever we go and we let it define us. This is especially true fro the people from North East India.
Be it studying, working or settling down in metropolitan cities, when we have the void of missing home, we indulge ourselves in a scrumptious meal prepared with home food items. But the only setback is, home foodstuffs are not easily available in any of the metropolitan cities, and to carry the delicious foods all the way from home to cities is a big problem.
That’s exactly what happened to Catherine Dohling (29), a former Google employee. She was returning to Hyderabad from her hometown Shillong. Like any NEsterner, her luggage was filled with food items – ghost chillies, smoked pork, beef pickles, chutneys – foods that she can eat and remember home.
However at the Airport, while checking in, she ended up paying Rs 3,000 for extra luggage’. “I was boarding a flight from Guwahati, and most other fliers with me faced the same predicament – they were North-Easterners returning to the cities they worked in with suitcases full of local North-Eastern foodstuff. Everyone paid thousands of rupees — not one person gave up their pickles and chutneys,” she had told Mid Day over the telephone from Shillong, where she now lives.
But unlike others who would complain and get frustrated at the inconvenience, Catherine decided to do something about it, to solve the problem not only for her but for the entire NE people residing outside their respective states. That’s when she along with her two passionate friends come together and launched an online shopping portal, The North East Store, chiefly to provision the needs of the people of the region who stay away from home.
ABOUT: The North East Store
Founded in December 2014 by three friends Trideep Rabha, Catherine Dohling and Dhawal Singh, The North East Store was born of a simple fact: People love where they are from. And miss it when they are away.
The team describe themselves as a group of people from the North East of India who, through the course of our lives, have lived outside of the North East and missed Home and all its comforts. Considering how many others are in the same predicament, they decided to bring home to the people living outside North East India.
As they wrote in their interview that it was then that they thought “Hey, if you can’t go Home, how about getting Home to you? Our store is the answer!“
The North East Store carries a selection of food items and indigenous handloom and handicrafts unique to the states of the North Eastern region. Their store has many hard to come by products for customers to discover, learn about and enjoy.
What You Can Buy at the NEStore
NEStore has a variety of delicious foods from all over the NE States. At present, it sells ghost chillies and its sauce, Axone (dried, fermented soyabean), bamboo shoot, beef and pork pickles, smoked beef, Ginger and Gooseberry Candy, Sophie Pickle
Bamboo products and tribal jewelleries are some of the many products that are available online.
III) Handloom Products:
Silk Stoles, Hand Woven Muga Stoles, Tribal Woven shoulder bags, Water Hyacinth bags.
A Store With a Social Cause:
The NE Store sources their products straight from the makers and producers as well as from NGOs, Government groups & Self Help Groups who directly support local farmers & artisans. This way, they do not only bring home to you, but they also bring these local vendors and artisans to the world.
As social entrepreneurs their venture is twofold:
- Providing easy access to Northeastern products to interested customers throughout the country and
2. Providing unique opportunities for local farmers, artisans & producers to reach new markets.
Here are the team behind NEstore which has made it possible for easy access to NE foods and products
Dhawal Singh: An MBA in Marketing & Financing, Dhawal manages Merchandising and Sourcing, and spearheads Accounting and Finance. He has a great eye for scouting new products and handles Quality Control. He has 7 years experience in the retail sector working with big brands like Big Bazaar, Adidas, Puma & Pantaloons in the North East sector.
Catherine Dohling: A Post Graduate in Advertising and Communication working at Google heads the Marketing and Content and supervises Customer Support.
She has worked together with Trideep and has been involved in other startups as well. She is passionate about working on her own projects and The North East Store is the biggest, most exciting project she has tackled.
Trideep Rabha: A Computer Science graduate & a former Google employee, Trideep manages the Store’s technical operations, photographs the beautiful product pictures that you see as well as oversees logistics. He has 7 years+ experience is Search Engine Marketing (SEO) and online marketing. He has worked with multiple startups.
Bridging the Racial Gap!
The store’s chief purpose is to provide a marketing platform for the North-East producers and for the customers to gain easy access to North-East products. Apart from this, the store has achieved in showcasing the unique and indigenous products from the North-East region. Not only do the North-East Store bridged the gap between people of the region and its culture but it also serves as a platform for mainland Indians to get hold of North-East products easily by just a click.
The North-East Store is currently based in Shillong, Meghalaya.
So, do visit thenortheaststore.com the next time you miss home!