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From tragedy to triumph: Kerala woman turns pickle making into thriving enterprise

Hincy Salu with her team members at the pickle making unit in Ernakulam. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

Grief and overwhelming adversity following the death of her husband in 2021 didn’t shake this woman. For a moment, Hincy Salu, 36, of Keezhmad in Ernakulam thought that her life had completely come to a stand still, but she knew that she had to act fast because her children and parents were looking up to her for support.

The days that followed her husband Salu Thomas’ death really tested her resilience and determination making her wade through the toughest face in her life with courage and finally emerge successful as an entrepreneur now running an enterprise selling over 41 varieties of pickles under the brand name “Mommas Homemade”.

Though Hincy used to run a beauty parlour near her home before her husband’s death, she had to close it down for months due to covid-induced lockdown. She knew that reviving the beauty parlour was not a wise choice as she had to find heavy funds for new equipment and other inventories.

It was at this time that one of Hincy’s friends, who knew how good Hincy was at cooking, encouraged her to try her hand at making homemade pickles. Taking her friend’s advice to heart, Hincy made pickles in her modest kitchen and gave it to one of her friends to taste it. That completely set a new course in her life as the response was overwhelmingly positive because of the superb taste and quality. As words spread, Hincy started getting calls from her other friends asking for a bottle of pickle.

“I never thought that my pickle would become a hit. Soon my friend suggested that I make more pickles and sell them. It was an eye-opener for me and a new journey to make my pickle-making venture into a full-fledged enterprise. I started getting more orders from friends. The major breakthrough happened when I got an opportunity to set up a small stall at a railway station where I could get more customers for my pickles,” Hincy told “Open Digest.

As the demand for pickles skyrocketed, Hincy started adding more varieties of pickles that include fish and chicken. “I got tremendous support from my friend Manju Rajendran who used to take me to community markets on her scooter to sell the pickles,” Hincy said. What began as a means of survival has now turned into a thriving business prompting Hincy to expand beyond her home kitchen. She has now rented a small house for setting up a new production line to meet the growing orders.

Her venture has now become a livelihood for four women whom she has employed to help her in pickle making. “I am really happy that I can now support my family. One of my sons who had to drop out of plus one class has now returned to his studies. I don’t know from where I got the courage to reach where I am now. I am thankful to a lot of well-wishers who helped me during the time of crisis. My life has taught me a lesson that if we have the will to face adversities, we can definitely overcome it,” she said.

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