Welcome To An All-New Gaia

Jul 14, 2023AnOdeToGaia Journal

When we began out of a garage space in our founder, Naimita Jagasia’s home in 2019, the world we inhabited was different. Words like plant-based, vegan and ‘sustainability’ were hardly commonplace. We set off on this endeavour, propelled by our own desire for no-nonsense and intriguing plant-based desserts. Because we truly believed that it was possible to build cutting-edge patisserie that didn’t alienate people for their personal beliefs or dietary restrictions. At times, that involved talking to our customers constantly, so that the newness doesn't intimidate them. At others, it meant unlearning a lot of what we knew about pastry, because it felt necessary for a brand that was trying to redefine pastry itself. 

These musings, challenges and (un)learnings took form and shape as Ode To Gaia’s cherished staples. Be it our house made white chocolate that gets its silky-smooth skin from the creaminess of cashews — going the mile (literally, till Kerala and Tamil Nadu) to ensure that our mousses, cakes and other treats were crafted only with fair-trade and #MadeinIndia chocolate — or our daring, dashing entremets with plant-based alternatives, minus the easy serotonins afforded by refined sugar, eggs, gelatin and butter. 

Across the last half decade of our journey, we’ve tried to remain playful and innovative with baking that cuts no corners. While also, staying true to our core tenet, which is an unflinching commitment to celebrate the goddess of the Earth, or Gaia, in all that we do. Often, we extended that promise beyond ‘ingredients’ to include people, be it in the form of choosing vendors that respected and treated their farmers with care or, building a women-led team in house to create tangible value and purpose in our core squad’s lives. 

But somewhere in between the scramble of sourcing from the furthest corners of the country, inventing, creating, marketing, and hours of coffee-fuelled brainstorming, we forgot to tell our story. And that’s when it struck us — it was time for Ode to Gaia to blossom anew. 

From that moment in early 2022 until now, the road has been riddled with multiple sessions with our chefs, staff, designers, content creators, and writers. We won’t lie — the process has tested us often. Sometimes, after everything was finalised, a small detail like the sealing sticker on our boxes brought us squarely back to the drawing board. However, it also made us laugh uncontrollably. Between the conundrums and cacophonies, we managed to snatch moments of pure bliss. We found it during test-tastes of our seemingly improbable desserts, in touching and feeling the first copies of the new cake boxes, in Google Drive folders of the unedited images from our photoshoots, in cake base hard copies, the workplace WhatsApp group, and in that one time when we almost printed a typo — it was a mass-scale order for the new packaging (can’t wait to hear what you guys think about it), by the way.

We’re still very much the old us, though. In that the ingredients we’ll use, the parameters that’ll define us and the ethos that we’ve cherished and protected so deeply over the years, will remain just as intact and unchanged as our Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Cake that you all love so much. But it's time for us to grow, evolve and refocus on the magic that got us here in the first place – the magic of pastry. And that will mean punching above the glass ceiling with better products that not only spark our imaginations, but yours, too.

More articles