From Crab Maki to Chicken Ghee Roast Sushi, there are more than 20 original varieties on the menu
Covid-19 has created a havoc on the Indian F&B industry, resulting in small and medium-size eateries rolling down their shutters.
While the other restaurateurs were for looking for survival, Colin Vernon D’Souza, a Mangalore-based entrepreneur sensed a business opportunity and took the plunge.
Capitalizing on the opportunity
Colin capitalized on the fact that the people were hesitant to step out but still wanted to eat good food, which was safe and hygienic.
This realization gave birth to Mangalore’s first and exclusive Japanese-fusion takeaway, Teri Maki Sushi in the last week of May.
As TMS completed 3 months, it has witnessed a growth of 20% every month. “The business has been great for us and it is heartening to see orders increasing every month,” says Colin Vernon D’Souza, Founder and Chef of Teri Maki Sushi.
What’s in the name?
Just like most of the people, Colin loves the double meaning associated with any word.
While ‘Teri Maki’ is part of an Indian slang, it has a different connotation in Japan, which makes it perfect for this fusion brand. ‘Teri’ means ‘Shining’ in Japanese and ‘Maki’ is a type of Sushi.
While it was random for Colin to think of this quirky name, he is glad that it had a Japanese meaning as well.
Honing the existing skills
Colin learned to make Sushi from Tokyo Academy of Sushi in Singapore during one of his many international trips.
“I have traveled to many countries and my love for sushi has only grown stronger,” says Colin.
While he was forced to work from home just like everyone else, he thought of putting his skill to test.
Factors that make Teri Maki Sushi popular with first-time eaters
Talking about what makes his startup standout, Colin points out at two elements – Price and the menu.
He says, “We have more than 20 varieties of Sushi and Sashimi, all of which is original and will not be found anywhere else.”
He further adds, “No one sells sushi which is easy on your pocket and tastes good at the same time. I guess my prices are the lowest in India.”
The response from customers has been phenomenal for this Mangalore-based takeaway startup. “It has been overwhelming,” sums up Colin.
He further says, “We are sold out two to four days in advance and this only shows how much people are loving our offerings. Almost 1/3 of our customers have tried sushi for the first time.”
Fusion vs Authentic
Colin’s vision is to make everyone in Mangalore try the Japanese delicacy at least once. “I want to change people’s perspective and create a sushi culture in the city,” says Colin.
Teri Maki Sushi’s menu boasts heavily of fusion, where tastes have been tuned for the Indian palette and the first-time eaters.
Fusion items like Prawn Tempura Maki, Crab Maki, Chicken Ghee Roast Maki, Japanese Cheesecake and Matcha Green Tea Ice-cream are the highest selling from the menu. These are also Colin’s specialty.
However, Colin has ensured to retain some authentic Sashimi for the experienced folks. They have Salmon and Yellowfin Tuna, which are imported from Norway and Japan respectively.
“We will slowly look to slowly change the taste buds of our customers and introduce them to more authentic sushis very soon,” says Colin.
Talking about the expansion plans for Teri Maki Sushi, Colin says “My first priority is my hometown, Mangalore and I have always believed in taking one step at a time. Hence I haven’t thought of expanding the food business yet.”
However, Colin remains optimistic. If everything pans out in a better way, he might plan to expand in Manipal.
“We already have delivery services in Manipal. Hence, it will make sense for us to make a move here for our next center.”
He actively talks about mental health awareness and suicide prevention on his podcast, The 3rd Chance. Part of his sales from Teri Maki Sushi goes towards this initiative.