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We Almost Shut Down

Yep! True Story...we really did shut down for a while there.

Welcome to Dohful's Sunday Letter , this has not been an easy subject for me. And I have again and again chosen to not talk about it. But then something motivated me to talk about one of the biggest challenges of my life with you.

And here I am!

March was an interesting month for all of us. I know many of you guys must be already working from home by then, buying supplies, trying not to go out too much and so on.

For us, we were trying to survive.

We had been hitting bottoms for the last couple months and we needed March to work like Magic for us to survive.

And it kinda did. But not really. I mean, read on!

You guys know that Nutella Lava Cookie was launched on March 22nd, the day of Junta Curfew. We planned to dispatch the cookies the next day but late in the evening that day Delhi had announced 3 days lockdown.

So we thought alright, let's give everyone a call and let them know that their orders will be dispatched as soon as the Delhi lockdown situation was over.

But at 8 pm on 24th March 2020, my life literally changed.

If you ask me one moment from when Dohful was turned around, it was that moment. When I heard about the 21 days lockdown, for a minute I thought I couldn't breathe. There were no thoughts in my mind except for one - How would we survive this?

And I'm a firm believer in 'This Too Shall Pass' but at that moment I just couldn't see how. 

We had two businesses employing over 15 people whose salaries were upon us to pay. Normally we wouldn't be so worried because even if one was going through a bad phase, the other would make up but in this situation, there was absolutely no resort.

So we sat down, calculated everything we could, and came to only one conclusion. In order to survive, we had to shut down Dohful.

There was no way we would be able to pay the salaries and rent for both the businesses and since we had not been doing so great a job spreading the word about Dohful, maybe it was the one to shut down.

And that was that. We were decided.

For the next three days, none of us got out of bed. We ate Maggi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and did not talk to anyone, each other included. We both felt almost paralyzed after making that decision.

We didn't want to call our staff to say that they longer had jobs. It was the most difficult three days of my life.

But then three things happened almost around the same time.

Chaman called the building owner where Dohful kitchen is, to tell him that we wouldn't be able to continue. But he beat us to it. He told us he was waiving off the rent of the entire month of April and even May if needed. He also told us he would be open to renegotiating the rent again when after opened.

That was a big relief. Much more than even he would have imagined.

Second, I got a call from one of our regular customers asking if we were operational. I told him that we weren't and would give him a call once we started again. And then he said the words I'll never forget - 'Okay, but I don't want you guys to shut down'.

To be honest, I don't remember the rest of our conversation but these words of his worked like Magic for me.

And third, not even one single person who had placed an order on 22nd March asked us to cancel their order & refund their money, not even a single. This might not seem very big right now, but it was the boost we actually needed.

So we both sat down to plan again, but this time instead of thinking how we would survive, we started thinking about how we would ACE this pandemic. We made many big small changes in the way we worked, doubled down on Youtube and our blog, and just tried to help people in their journey of eggless baking.

We couldn't reach our office and couldn't ship any orders but we could definitely share our baking journey with the world through Youtube, Instagram & our blog. Which is exactly what we did. We made a few changes on our website, things we've been wanting to do for a long time but couldn't due to lack of bandwidth.

Most importantly we readied ourselves for whenever the lockdown would be over and we would go back to sending cookies every day to our cookie lover family.

And I can happily say that we have pulled ourselves a lot since then. But I'm going to remember that day for the rest of my life when my cookie lover family stood by me in the time of crisis. 

Thanks, guys! I can't ever thank you enough!!


P.S.: We're celebrating our back to life moment with you guys today. Use coupon code BACKTOLIFE for a special discount when you order 2 boxes or more. 

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7, 3rd Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi

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