“Hey I was thinking how about collaborating on a pork pop up?” asked my friend Rhea of Euphorhea, Chief Pig at Porkaholics. A casual question that surprisingly turned into reality pretty quickly. And man, we had NO CLUE it would become so much bigger than the sum of its parts!
After roping in Madhumita of Insomniac Cook and Gitika of Gitika’s PakGhor, the four of us piggies met one sunny afternoon over coffee. The event name was decided, a date was fixed and the venue locked over the next week. I had earlier participated in Smokie Sunday at Café Terra and loved working with those guys. Read all about it <here>
It was an unconventional situation. Consider the following.
It was an exclusive pork pop up, no other meats were allowed. So not only were we restricting ourselves to non vegetarians, we were actually talking to a much smaller subset of pork lovers. It was a huge risk.
The four of us had no money to invest in things like branded kiosks or fancy merchandise or advertising to reach new customers.
We would have to handle all communication and branding ourselves.
We would have to handle our own PR and talk to the press for coverage.
Event management is not a glam profession like it seems. You have to get down and dirty if the situation beckons. But we loved it. From the start we divided responsibilities and kept each other updated on the daily progress through Whatsapp.
Hence Hokus Porkus was finally born.
These are some mailers that went out:
Here is the final menu:
From inception to execution many people came forward to help us. Some egged their friends on to come for the event. Some shared it on social media. Some volunteered to sweat it out at the venue with us.
The media coverage was a huge boost. Ultimately we thought we had reached a decent number of people and got quite a few confirmations as indicated by the Facebook events page <LINK>
Following are the links to the articles published about Hokus Porkus:
D-Day, the 13th of November, Sunday arrived and we prettied up the venue, Café Terra…
Cute Piggy buntings..
Look! A Piggy tree!
Initially our friends and family turned out in support.
But what followed after 1 PM was something none of us were prepared for. People turned up in scores! Every single chair was occupied. There was a large queue at the coupon counter. The DJ played music. Beer flew from taps. Food vanished in minutes. I had a hard time keeping up with the demand, as did the others.
This is what Hungry Cat Kitchen offered.
Team HCK at the event:
And this was the fabulous buzz in the packed house..
We sold out at 4 PM, something we never ever imagined in our wildest dreams. It’s not like we were underprepared, we just didn’t estimate the huge amount of support coming our way for this event which incidentally had no precedence in the city.
The sellout special smiles..
People had great things to say about the food. Most of them said the menu was well spread out across small eats, mini meals and desserts. They really appreciated the homely “cooked with love” quality. Also, these dishes were not the common pork dishes available in restaurants in Bombay.
From our HCK stable the winner was the HCK Pork Pot Pie. It was over by 2 PM as a lot of folks packed it for their dinner! People were popping meatballs with their sangrias within seconds. And the jacket potatoes found a lot of appreciation with its many elements coming together: BBQ pork, smoked cheese, sour cream, scallions.
HCK’s Pork Pot Pies are a signature now:
I had fun playing host. Most of all I think I got to meet a wonderful community of pork lovers who seemed genuinely happy that we hosted an exclusive pork event. They actively encouraged us to host more pop ups and we intend to take the brand to greater heights. Next time we will be better prepared for sure.
HCK is chuffed to be a founding member of Hokus Porkus. And if you were there to attend it, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you missed it, I highly recommend you come for the next one.
And finally, this is our boss, the Hungry Cat who became a pig for the day!