Sairaj Dhond, formerly a criminal lawyer, is the founder of Goa based company Wakao Foods. He started the vegan food selling company during the COVID-19 lockdown. The venture, Wakao Foods, sells jackfruit products as an alternative form of meat like Teriyaki Jack, Butter Jack, BBQ Jack and Jack Burger Patty.
Indians have always loved the king of underappreciated fruits, the jackfruit, is every way. We make a myriad of food items including flour, juices, chocolates, coffees, squash, ice creams, etc using it for decades now. But the vegan world has just discovered the benefits and tasty uses of the jackfruit and is seeing it as a vegan alternative to meat.
Being high in potassium and fiber content, Jackfruits help lower elevated blood pressure. They are extremely rich in antioxidants and have a good capacity to absorb iron. Sairaj, knowing the benefits of the giant fruit, decided to launch Wakao Foods during the lockdown.
When asked what inspired him to do the 32-year-old had various reasons to introduce jackfruit-based mock meat products like Teriyaki Jack, Butter Jack, BBQ Jack and Jack Burger Patty. during pandemic people got more health conscious. This time reminded Sairaj of his grandmother’s praises for jackfruit. There was a need for immunity building products in the market and Sairaj’s work as the lawyer was affected by the pandemic so he decided to start Wakao Foods in November.
Wakao Foods is only 4 months old but has already made its mark in the vegan community. More than 30 Vegan stores in Goa have their products and they also supply it to high-end restaurants and hotel chains including the Grand Hyatt and JW Marriot. It was not easy to start a business from scratch especially during the pandemic times. But Sairaj is optimistic of the business development as he thinks these jackfruit-based mock meat will revolutionize healthy foods and gluten-free foods market in particular.