At the heart of Jugmug Thela is a feeling of love & ease, a sense of warmth and coziness. We create contemporary experiences with their roots in the Indian culture, looking outward to you, and to the world.
Founder at Jugmug Thela
I did not want to create a café. I wanted to create an experience that met my own expectations. A place where I could spend most of my time. A place that offered the casual comfort of a Parisian sidewalk café and the soul of a local chai shop. A place that let me sink into a book, or into an unhurried banter with my friends as if we were in our college canteen. Ultimately, Jugmug Thela came into being because I wanted to create a place that didn’t just offer quality food & beverage – but a place filled with disarming ease & comfort that let me drop the weight of my daily life and experience the joy & lightness of now.”
The origin story can go as far back as 1998 – my first year at design school. But the real seed was planted while living in London. I would change metro lines at Piccadilly Circus, and pine for a cup of proper chai. I would stare at an empty shop and think to myself “this would make a great chai shop”. Years after, a late night street side chai re-ignited the old desire to create a space that embraced the true spirit of our culture. Finally, it took a “either do it or stop talking about your chai dukaan idea” challenge from a friend in 2013 to turn ideas into reality. In a matter of days, I carpentered together a pushcart from discarded wood in my front yard. Put my collection of teas and coffee from around the world on it and wheeled it into a crafts mela. The rest is history.
Chai shops don’t really have name boards, and neither did we. But when the first story on us was to hit the press, the journalist asked “but what is your thela’s name?”. I was stumped.
My favourite chai shop was set under an ageing acacia tree on a dimly lit street at the edge of an urban forest. If you went there on monsoon nights, you’d be met with a kettle set atop a little bonfire in the ground and an acacia tree lit up with hundreds of fireflies. It was this feeling – the charcoal embers sparkling out of the small bonfire, the undulating glow of fireflies and the twinkling of stars in the night sky – that defined the emotion behind the name.
Next morning I told the journalist “My thela is called Jugmug Thela”.
‘Humse hai Jugmug’ – simple yet compelling words that truly embody our culture at Jugmug. We are because of our people and our people are us. We believe Jugmug is a success today purely because of the people who spend their mornings & evenings creating the experience we are so proud of, for everyone who visits our cafes.
At our core is respect and equality for all. As an equal opportunity employer, we preferentially hire staff from challenging backgrounds and up-skill them on the job. We do not bias over gender, religion, cast, colour or sexual orientation.
We feel it is our responsibility to offer an authentic experience to our customers while at the same time not exploiting our environment and our society. We source all the authentic spices and herbs from different parts of the world to offer you the same culinary experience that you cherish. We also source all the Indian ingredients directly from farmer groups and small businesses across the country, reducing the dependency on middlemen and to guarantee fair price.
We are committed to environmental sustainability, and mindful of it throughout our operations. Our cafe is largely built from waste & discarded material – including wood, brick, glass and metal. Our packaging & disposables are biodegradable – and where it isn’t – we promise we are working on changing that.
After years of curating unique stories of comfort, love and joy here in Delhi, we want to partner with passionate people from across the globe to take the Jugmug experience far & wide. We are looking for franchise partners who share our enthusiasm and penchant for crafting exquisite experiences over quality food & beverage. If you have the drive and commitment to run your own Jugmug franchises, then get in touch with us today!
Over the years Jugmug has had the honor to host some of the most talented, recognised individuals from different genres and honestly we couldn’t be more star struck! We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to offer a one of a kind experience to industry leaders from around the world!