Discover the story behind cookies that are gluten-, nut- and sugar-free and vegan – and the brainchild of a pre-teen
Anupa Salvi Kamath does her best to explain the origins and philosophy of BobRockz cookies, while her seven-year-old daughter Devi interrupts non-stop with additional facts, anecdotes and stray reminiscences. This is Devi’s prerogative of course.
“I’m the CEO,” she declares, while her little sister Meera is apparently COO. The girls’ respective nicknames, “Bobby” and “Rocky”, make up the company name, and Bobby in particular “lives and breathes the brand,” says Anupa.
When Anupa herself was a kid in India, she was raised in an Ayurvedic household. That lifestyle proved to be helpful, when Devi (Bobby) was diagnosed with multiple food intolerances as a baby.
“Gluten, dairy, eggs, white sugar… We were clueless, trying to understand what alternatives were available in the market. And kids with intolerances can have very sensitive palates, so they can be pegged as picky eaters, which is not the case.”
Eventually, Anupa created her own recipes with nutritious flour blends and plant-based ingredients such as pumpkins seeds, sun-dried dates, red rice, mung beans, lentils and pulses. BobRockz Cookies are vegan and free of gluten, nuts and refined sugar.
“Of course, you can make something healthy but your family might not necessarily eat or enjoy it.” With Devi’s help she hit on several workable varieties. “She was helping me bake at 18 months. By the time she was four she could bake them herself. And then she wanted to start selling them.” According to Devi herself, this entrepreneurship was inspired by the movie Zootopia, in which a “cute little bunny” decides to become a police officer.
“She says that ‘anyone can be anything’,” quotes Devi. And now, having already appeared in Spinneys Back to School guide for a school-based recycling project, Devi and her brand have been selected for the Spinneys Local Business Incubator. “It’s like a fairy tale,” says Anupa, but Devi isn’t actually that keen on fairy tales, “fairy tales need not be about princes and princesses. My BobRockz is a fairy tale in itself”.