Stories from Mithila

Production Season of JhaJi Store - 30,000 Kilos in 75 days

by Kalpana Jha on Sep 02, 2022

It has been a while since I last wrote to you.

In between, we finally concluded the mango pickling season last month, just a week before Independence Day. 

And what a production season we just had!

The most tiring, overwhelming, and satisfying 3 months of work we’ve ever done as a  team at JhaJi Store.

Over half a dozen different pickles, and a total of more than 30,000 Kilos in 75 days!  

JhaJi Store Team

I’ll take the liberty with this mail to share the ups and downs of this production season with you.

Everything started around May 15th. In the Mango farms, or as they are locally known as “Gachi”.

We had already met the farmers in advance and fixed the varieties of mangoes we’ll use during production. We were doing it at a scale we never had before. 

So we decided to partner with a food processing company with more experience. 

A couple of experts from their team stayed in Darbhanga and helped us manage the increased production through the season. 

We used 4 varieties of Mangoes - Malda, Kalkatiya, Bijju, and Sukul. These are all tangy, juicy, pulpy varieties that have been used for pickling traditionally in Mithila. 

Mangos for Pickles and JhajI Store Team

The first batch of mangoes arrived at our kitchen-factory on 19th May, and we kickstarted the production with our Mithila Special Mango Pickle.

The biggest challenge we faced during this season was related to space constraints.

You see, a year ago, we had chosen the place to set-up our kitchen-factory.

Never did we think the demand would grow so fast that this place would be insufficient to keep up.

Thankfully, we set up a few safehouses outside for sun-drying and that massively turned the tide in our favour.

And helped us achieve our production targets.

In total, we’ve produced 8 different varieties of pickles this cycle,

  1. Mithila Special Mango Pickle - Available to Order
  2. Sookha Bharua Mango Pickle - Available to Order
  3. Kuccha Mango Pickle - Available to Order
  4. Khatt-Meethi Mango Pickle - Available to Order
  5. Amra Pickle - Available to Order
  6. Karonda Ginger Green Chili Mix Pickle
  7. Mango-Jackfruit Mix Pickle 
  8. Karela Pickle - Available to Order
Founder of JhaJi Store - Kalpana Jha Ji

Thankfully, during the production, I had an amazing team that went beyond expectations.

You see, we had over 50 people during the course of the season, working every day in our kitchen factory.

Many of my colleagues are expert pickle makers and have made pickles for years.

But, like myself, never at a scale this big.

A week before concluding the mango season, Uma prepared a 56-Bhog meal to honor and thank Sanjay, for his leadership during the production run.

Sanjay is our kitchen head, the person to opens the doors of our kitchen factory and leave at last after locking the doors.  

Mithila Special Tradition 56 Bhog

In the final leg of this season, we also launched the much-awaited sample packs. These have 8 different pickles, in 8 different jars, 35 gms each.

Many times, we’ve seen customers hesitant to place orders without trying.

And this sample jar hopefully will become the 1st order for most customers. 


I’ll conclude this email with a few pictures from our celebration day to close the pickling season.

It was a day to feast, and relax after a long 90 days of work 🙂

प्रेम सहित,

Kalpana Jha

Chief Pickle Maker, JhaJi Store, 

In Laherisarai, Darbhanga

"पग-पग पोखर माछ मखान

सरस बोल मुस्की मुख पान

इ थीक मिथिलाक पहचान"

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