"Oh My God! This is so good!" This was the typical response Sri Vidya, the Founder of Mondy Cheer, received, whenever she served friends and family Badam Halwa (almond sweet-treat) after an evening meal at home. The same sequence of events played out... of delightful discovery, followed by minutes of pleasant silence, as they swirled the soft halwa on the spoon and savoured its chewiness and intermittent crunchiness. Such was the appeal that second-helpings were a given, "Oh, I mustn't, but this is SO GOOD!"
Sri Vidya would inevitably pack a jar of halwa as a take-home gift, and the comments would come the next day: "Oh, we couldn't stay away! We've finished it already. You really must start a sweet shop."
While the Badam Halwa - with its distinctive taste, chewy texture and subtle whiff of saffron - was a huge draw, the others, like the Moong Ladoo, blended with almonds, and so soft it would melt in the mouth, had everyone in raptures. Friends brought their friends over, eager and inquisitive to find out what the fuss was all about. The calls grew louder and louder.
And that's how Mondy Cheer started. 'Mondy', because Sri Vidya loved to blend alMONDs in everything - even in the crunchy Murukku (Chakli) she served as a snack. And 'Cheer', because it is such a happy-positive word.
Mondy Cheer is a homely sweet shop tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood of bustling Dubai. Calling tradition as a witness – she learnt how to make the Badam Halwa from her mother-in-law, who learnt it from her mother – Sri Vidya serenely prepares her sweets and savouries just like at home. Her team and she go about their work with loving care and attention to detail and with the intention of serving up a healthy, nutritious treat, be it for people who walk in or for those who have pre-ordered for a party at home or at the workplace.
Mondy Cheer follows a principled approach to preparing sweets and savouries, with no preservatives, artificial colours or artificial flavours added to the treats. After all, these have no place in a home. Why should they in a sweet shop?