Inside A Mumbai 'Fast Casual' Farm-To-Table Restaurant That Works With Local Farmers

With a focus on sourcing and sustainability, Project Hum’s menu is ever-changing and seasonal.
With a focus on sourcing and sustainability, Project Hum’s menu is ever-changing and seasonal. Project Hum

Most of us have had those conversations with our friends — the ones where we talk about starting a venture that all of you are passionate about. The founders of Project Hum are three friends who were studying their Hotel Management Course together, who were unified in their love for fresh, seasonal produce and wanted to start a venture together that would be focused on it. Raghav Simha, Jatin Talreja and Parun Bajaj dreamt up these ideas in their shared dorm room in 2019, but in 2022 they came to fruition in the form of Project Hum.

With a focus on sourcing and sustainability, Project Hum’s menu is ever-changing and seasonal. From the get-go, the founders wanted to reimagine the farm-to-table movement. They hoped to work closely with farmers, learn from them and contribute to community-supported farming, while offering fast-casual food to a discerning community of culinary enthusiasts. In working closely with the farmers, the teamrealized the practical changes that are needed to bring their vision to life and thus their focus is on the tenets of taste, connection and transparency. 

The idea of farm-to-table fast casual isn’t new. They are essentially dining establishments that prioritise serving fresh, locally sourced ingredients in a quick and casual setting. They aim to provide healthier and more sustainable options compared to traditional fast food chains. They source ingredients directly from local farms and suppliers, ensure the produce is harvested at its best ripeness and serve them as fresh as possible. By working closely with local farmers, these restaurants support the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with the long-distance transportation of food.

In a fast-casual setting like Project Hum, customers can enjoy the convenience and speed of fast food without compromising on the quality of the food. Unlike fast food chains that rely on processed and pre-packaged ingredients, farm-to-table fast-casual restaurants focus on serving meals made from scratch using whole, unprocessed ingredients.

The menu here typically includes a variety of dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients. You can find salads, sandwiches, bowls, and other creative offerings that showcase the freshness and flavours of the ingredients. Many farm-to-table fast casual restaurants also accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions, offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Deriving their brand name ‘Hum’ from the literal translation of ‘we’, they look at food and ingredients in a simple way - ‘if we are what we eat, we must also be how we source.’ Deeply rooted in transparency and accountability, they focus equally on how their food is sourced, how it is cooked, and even how it is eaten. They collaborate with community-supported farming ventures, ensure seasonal and local sourcing and create menus that highlight the best of these fares. As a knock to the transparency they repeatedly talk about, there are ways to scan the QR codes in the restaurant, or in the content on their social media to learn more about the very people who’ve grown the food that one eats at Project Hum. 

Since the brand is all about seasonal produce, there is always an array of new ingredients and menu items when seasons change. From Sweet Potatoes at the end of winter to Mangoes during summer and a harvest of corn right before the monsoon begins, the menu is as varied as the Maharashtrian weather. From sandwiches to salads, their dishes are healthy, fresh and flavourful. 

With a chef with two decades of experience to their name leading the kitchen and a well-trained staff who understands their vision, Project Hum goes above and beyond to ensure that each member of their team knows what the cause behind the venture is. Their key tenets of experimentation, consistency and active learning are what keeps the brand growing and ever-evolving. They also work to ensure that whether a customer dines in, or takes out their dishes, they are packaged well (in retaining freshness and in preventing wastage), to ensure the dining experience is always as good as possible. 

If you’re someone who likes fresh, local ingredients that come from farm-to-table in a quick and casual setting, Project Hum is the place to be. By working with local farmers, promoting sustainability, and providing healthier alternatives to traditional fast food, they are giving the wider public better options when dining out. 

You can follow Project Hum here.

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