Actor Simple Kaul is also a successful entrepreneur. Few years back the Ziddi Dil Maane Na star started her restaurant business that has been doing well. Her restaurant 1BHK in Mumbai is quite popular.
“I wanted to do something more than what I was already doing, something I was interested in doing and passionate about. I didn't want to do a show for the sake of it. After working for so many years, I felt that I wanted to have an alternate career, something that I enjoy. I love interiors and am a people's person and hosting people comes naturally to me, so restaurants kind of fit me well. One day me and my friends Aditi Malik, Vatsala Rajivraj sat together. Aditi and I decided that we want to open up a cafe having a beautiful romantic space. We have traveled together to Europe, and both of us had the same vision, same passion, and same feeling that we wanted to get an Italian old village vibe to Andheri and that's how our Homemade Cafe started in a small space. We discussed the same vision with one of our friends Vatsala, and the three of us thought in the same manner, and things aligned for us,” she says.
"We created a place where people walked in not only for good food but also good mood. We created a place for every age group, a place where you could sit down alone and get some 'me' time, where you could chill with friends and family, and feel like home, a place where one would sit by to read or write, a place with a creative vibe and a lot of love, and that’s what people do when they walk into our place. Our tag line for the Homemade Cafe says 'We Cook Love' and you actually feel so loved when you walk into this place," she adds.
She further reveals that it was a common friend Ankit Anand who further helped them and they then created an all-women team to make their dream a reality.
"From the graphic designers to the architect, an all-women team worked together for this project. When we create something from our heart and focus our energies into it, it reflects in your work. We met the right people from the chef to our staff, everyone is not only good at their jobs but they are also good human beings. It’s important to choose people who are good humans too as that’s the energy that goes into your food, your vibe and that’s what we do in all our places," she says.
She further adds, "Once I had spent a lot of time learning and doing up the business, I wanted to get back to acting, something that I loved the most. And luckily I got the right project to get back. I took Ziddi Dil Maane Na for the right role and the production house which is so good. Though the restaurant business is very satisfying with its own challenges too, it’s not been a smooth journey especially during the pandemic. But we sailed through it."
They have recently opened a branch for 1BHK in Bangalore too after successfully running the Homemade Cafe in Oshiwara and Juhu and 1 BHK in Mumbai. "There are a lot of people who come to us because they want to open a franchise, but we are very skeptical about giving our place just to anybody. We want to give it to people who are good and genuine and can vibe with us. Very soon we will be opening another restaurant in Andheri again. This time it will be Chinese cuisine since we haven't ventured in that part before,” she reveals.
Though her restaurants are doing well, strangely Simple has never been a foodie. “I always believe in having healthy, nutritious food, diet food, and have never been a foodie but now I know so much about food, eat so many different dishes that now I have become a food expert. My relationship with food has changed a lot. Also, the pandemic taught me a lot about how to cook food, my chefs also helped me to pick up the skill. I have fallen in love with food now and have become particular about how the food is being served and how the environment is around. For me, food is not only about eating, it is also about the presentation and how it is being served,” she shares.
So does she feel that every actor should have a backup plan? “I’m not sure if everyone should have a backup plan in their career because it can also distract you from your main work. When I was doing acting and working in a restaurant simultaneously, I couldn't focus on acting immediately. To be honest, I also wanted to have another source of income as at that time there was not much of Instagram, etc,” she says.
On whether she is satisfied being a restaurateur, Simple answers in affirmative. “I feel low if I don't go to my restaurant. It has become like a second family. I go there, meet so many people, friends, and my staff. My staff looks forward to meeting me and that makes me feel good and wanted. However the COVID time was really a stressful situation but things are better now,” she signs off.