Out with the cubicle, in with the café!

Vidushi Talwar

Deepak Doshi stands outside his Houston cafeThe recent years have seen a shift in people’s professional aspirations. Gone are the days when working for a MNC and living the corporate life were the ultimate dream. These days it's all about chasing your dreams and turning it into a successful business or career. US based Deepak Doshi is one among those who chose differently. On just a normal day, Doshi quit his job with Pepsico International to open his dream restaurant.

Doshi graduated from the University of Houston and worked as a Regional Development Manager for Pepsico for a few years. He travelled the globe for work until he gave it all up to do what he truly wanted. A decision that got him mixed reactions from his friends and family.

“My dad thought I was lying to him and that I was getting fired. Most of my friends supported my passion to make this happen, but thought that maybe I should continue to work and take on this project simultaneously, considering it was such a big risk,” says Deepak.

“There was some skepticism on whether I would take the plunge, so when I finally made the decision to change career paths I surrounded myself with people who were very supportive and excited about the outcome of this project,” he adds.

He now owns Doshi House, a café located in a transitional part of Houston’s inner city, established in a 76-year-old building. Doshi House is a vegetarian café which is also a hub for the community to engage in art, music, or even conversations over coffee.

Though up and running well now, it was a challenge for the management professional to get into the restaurant business. “It wasn’t until I found myself in an unfamiliar place that I realized how unfamiliar it really was. But just like anything new it was accompanied by a steep learning curve,” he says.

Pursuing your dream and seeing it through requires a strong drive and passion. And the dream to open a restaurant also came with the empowerment of being self-employed for Doshi. “For many years I have envisioned having a café/coffeehouse, so deep down inside I knew this is how I wanted to get started.”

The realization of the dream and courage to quit his job came when he pictured what he wanted his future to look like. “My corporate life experience wasn’t bad. In fact it was a great way of building the critical experiences I needed to start something of my own. I knew if I was going to be working long hours that I would rather be doing something I had more of a passion for. That’s when I knew I was ready for a new challenge and this was the direction I wanted to go,” he adds.

An Indian by origin and a foodie by nature, Deepak has a real passion for food. Rashya Dholka with Dayyn, Pav Bhaji and Thepla are some of his Indian favourites. And his favourite off the Doshi House menu is the Café con Panna, “It’s a shot of espresso naturally layered with a thick crème topped with a dollop of whipped cream.”

While there are several Indian restaurants and cafes around Deepak isn’t perturbed by them. Doshi House he feels is a different café with a new experience for his customers. “People have many options when choosing a place to dine at. So when they choose the Doshi House it’s gratifying to know that we have provided the customer with something they could connect to, whether it’s the food, the environment, or a little bit of everything,” he says.

His future plans for Doshi House of course, involve its expansion which, “would allow people to enjoy a new and even more dynamic menu on a roof top deck while enjoying the Houston downtown skyline,” he divulges.

Here’s his advice to someone sitting in a cubicle somewhere dreaming of running their own restaurant/business someday. “Congrats! You have accomplished Step 1: Dreaming. Now on to Step 2 - Believe in yourself and don’t be self-defeating. Finally, Step 3:  Execute - put all those thoughts on paper and go for it! Accept failure if it comes your way, it will be your biggest teacher.  After all sitting in your cubicle not living up to your potential or going after your dreams, may be one of the biggest risks you will ever take,” says Deepak Doshi, 29, dream restaurant owner.