This woman totally has the ball in her court, and we know EXACTLY why.
Good husband, a very supporting mother-in-law and being a strong, focused working woman is the key to a successful business venture, which is everything Nadia Zaidi started out with 13 years back.
We took an interview of this amazing woman who’s heart-warmingly friendly & an amazing host (feeding us with Cranberry smoothies and fries and what not!) and went inside her head to see what she’s upto!
DP: Nadia, tell us a little about how Masooms-The Bakery and Coffee Shop started out.
Nadia Zaidi: Masoom had a small bakery in Karachi, from where it all started. I asked my husband (Usman Zaidi) and mother-in-law, Freida Zaidi to open up a bakery in Lahore, and the first branch was in Al-Hafeez Tower. We opened the franchise 13 years back and since then there is NO looking back! Masooms-Pancake Lounge and the Bakery & Coffee Shop are both owned by us, it was our family business that we have now extended to different areas and schools in Lahore.
The first branch that opened here in Al-Hafeez towers, and after that we opened a small setup in Defence, DD Sector, which has been running pretty well.
The addition to our small bakery at Al-Hafeez towers was the pancake lounge, which we opened 11 years back.
I would basically call ourselves the ‘pioneers of breakfast lounges’ in Pakistan, as it was a COMPLETELY new concept when we started out with offering breakfasts. Now, every other place serves breakfast platters but ours was really popular when we started out. It still is to the people who love us!
DP: Are the bakery and the cafe separate entities? Why don’t a lot of people know about this?
Nadia Zaidi: Yes, they are. Not alot of people know about this but I would say that we have not kept up with our social mediums and perhaps that is the cause. I’m not very active on social media, which is why I might have missed out on all the things such as hashtags and posts (laughs).
At this point, I’ve decided to hire a media team so we can create more awareness that the bakery and cafe are separate entities, and the pancake lounge is not just a breakfast place, we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner: all three.
DP: Do you guys have a full-fledged menu featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Nadia Zaidi: Yes, we have everything you get served in a nice restaurant out here in Gulberg. I would like more people to come and try us out. I’m also giving discount vouchers to those who come to our Gulberg branch and try out our food!
On the opening of our Gulberg branch (where Daily Pakistan Global took the interview while Nadia Zaidi had delicious Spinach Soup and we got served with mouth-watering Cranberry Juice!), I made an exclusive cake for the launch, and to show people I also deal in customized designer cakes. I make amazing cakes!
DP: How many branches do you have here in Lahore?
Nadia Zaidi: For now, we have the DD branch in Defence, which is the Masoom’s Bakery & Pancake Lounge. We have one on MMAlam, the one where we are sitting.
The third one is the bakery and small cafe in Al-Hafeez towers, the one I previously mentioned also. We also have our stalls in various schools and universities across Lahore.
DP: We heard that you make amazingly delicious (and good-looking) designer, customised cakes. Is that true?
Nadia Zaidi: Definitely and 100%! I make delicious, mouth-watering designer cakes. You give me a design and I’ll make it for you, along with exclusive catering for the food at events. 🙂
DP: Tell us a little about your upcoming ventures, anything to watch out for?
Nadia Zaidi: We started out with this (Pancake Lounge & Bakery) venture in October 2003, the year when I had my daughter. My husband, Usman, is very soon going to launch a project called ‘The Healthy Kitchen’, I won’t be giving a lot of details on that but it’s a surprise for all health-conscious people here in Lahore, and adjoining cities.
DP: We would love to know more! [we are being very persuasive at this point]
Nadia Zaidi: (Laughs) Okay, it is a venture with Umar Jahanzaib, and we will be using organic products and giving delicious, 100% organic food to people. The healthy kitchen is all about eating healthy, as the name suggests. The food will be cooked in our branch but it will be packaged food and will be available at all retails outlets soon.
DP: Who are the celebrities that we will get to see visiting the Gulberg Masoom’s Pancake Lounge most often?
Nadia Zaidi: For us, everyone is an equal. However, Shaan Shahid’s older brother ‘Ejaz Bhai’ comes here on and off. Ali Noor comes here alot, Mandana is a very dear friend. Ayesha Sana came at the launch and she comes here often too!
At this point, we thank Nadia Zaidi for all the wonderful (note: free) food that she’s offered us! We wish her all the best and would LOVE for such strong, independent women to prosper in our country because this is exactly the kind of support and push women in our country need. Thumbs up to the amazing mother-in-law and the larger than life husband who’s a shareholder alongside his wife in this AMAZING business: we wish the Zaidi’s the very best of luck for all future ventures and upcoming projects!