Here are some frequently asked questions and answers …

Ordering

1. Q: I am new to online purchasing. Please guide me how to place an order.
Ans: Sure! Online purchasing is done more or less the same way in most of the shopping sites. Although ours come with a few differences, a detailed description is provided in 'how to order' page for your guidance.

2. Q: Should I create an account to purchase from HEA?
Ans: No, you need not create an account to purchase from HEA. However, we recommend our customers to create one as they will benefit from it in many ways, such as
- Faster Checkout each time as your personal information like Name, Address, contact information are securely saved with us.
- View your order status and order history.
- Save multiple addresses.
- Receive informational articles, notifications about new product arrivals and DISCOUNT COUPONS.
To create an account one needs to provide email id, mobile number and delivery address only and the same details are required for purchasing without creating an account too!

3. Q: Why do certain days seem to be blocked from selection while ordering?
Ans: We take only limited orders a day. When this limit has reached, that particular day will no longer be available for further orders. Since HEA is a small scale venture and that each order is done specifically for a customer with utmost care, the need to limit the number of orders is crucial.

4. Q: Is there a maximum limit on the number of orders per customer?
Ans: There is a maximum limit to the number of orders taken, not per customer but per day. [Read Ans. No: 1]

5. Q: There appears to be no shopping cart on your website. How can I place multiple orders?
Ans: Since we take only limited orders a day, each product needs to be checked out and paid individually before proceeding with your next order. However, you can buy two or more of the same product in one go depending on the 'maximum order quantity' mentioned on the individual product page.

6. Q: Am I eligible for a discount if I place multiple orders?
Ans: Yes! Customers making multiple orders to the same delivery address, date and time slot are eligible to receive a discount. Discount can be availed in the form of 'discount coupon' or as 'cashback' at the time of delivery. Apart from that, each customer will become eligible for special offers (discounts etc) for every 4 orders they make with us.

7. Q: Is it secure to pay online? Or is there other payment options available, like 'Cash on delivery'?
Ans: All online payments are processed through 'Instamojo', a very secure payment gateway. We don't offer 'Cash on delivery' as products are made only against orders and each order will be confirmed only after the successful completion of the payment process.

8. Q: How will I know whether my order is confirmed?
Ans: You will receive an order confirmation to the email provided at the time of registration after the successful completion of the payment process. You will also receive a confirmation call from us within a few hours of order placement.

 

Delivery

1. Q: Should I come and collect my order or is there a home delivery?
Ans: There is no local pick-up option. We provide home/address delivery as part of our service.

2. Q: Do you deliver outside Trivandrum?
Ans: No. We deliver only within Trivandrum city limits. Please input your pin code to verify delivery at your place.

3. Q: Can my order be delivered to my office address?
Ans: Yes, of course! As long as the delivery address is within Trivandrum city limits, it is possible. Please make sure that you select the delivery time slot accordingly.

4. Q: What if there is no one at the address at the time of delivery?
Ans: We will contact you prior to delivery to confirm the presence of a recipient at the given address. Delivery will be attempted even if a contact cannot be established. We will try to contact the customer in such cases and the order will be held for another 24 hours, thereafter the particular order will be considered ‘Cancelled'. No refunds can be availed in such cases. [Please check our Order-Cancellation-Refund policy.]

5. Q: I intend to visit Trivandrum and wish to try your products. How can I place an order?
Ans: You may place your order by providing the address in Trivandrum (city) where you will be staying (Hotel, Guesthouse etc) and the date and time on which you will be available there. In case of uncertainty about the place of stay, you may input any address in Trivandrum while placing an order and before the time of delivery you may change the delivery address using 'Change order address' section in 'My account'.

6. Q: I reside outside Trivandrum. But I wish to place orders for my family and friends residing in Trivandrum. Is it possible?
Ans: Of course, it is possible! As long as the delivery address is within Trivandrum city limits, we will deliver your orders. Just make sure that there is someone at the delivery address to receive the product on the provided date and time.

7. Q: Can I change the delivery address and time once I have placed an order?
Ans: Any change in delivery address and time should be notified in due time and it is subject to confirmation from HEA. To change the delivery address, use 'Change order address' section in 'My account'. A change in delivery time can be made only by contacting us directly.

8. Q: Is it possible to deliver my order at a different time slot other than mentioned on your website?
Ans: No, it is not possible. Sorry for the inconvenience!

9. Q: Can I change the delivery date once I have placed an order?
Ans: Any change in delivery date should be notified in due time and it is subject to confirmation from HEA. Kindly contact us directly for confirmation.

Cancellation & Refund

1. Q: How can I cancel my order?
Ans: To cancel an order, log in to your HEA account. Go to your orders under 'My account' section to view all the orders you have placed. Select the option 'cancel' to cancel a particular order. Please note that all order cancellations are subject to our 'Cancellation Policy'.

2. Q: Do I receive the whole amount when I cancel my order?
Ans: All order cancellations and refunds are subject to our 'Cancellation Refund Policy'. As all our products are made against orders, cancellations within 24 hours of the delivery date and time will receive only 40% refund and those between 48 to 24 hours, 60% refund of the non-discounted product price. All order cancellations prior to 48 hours shall receive a full refund of amount transacted at the time of order placement. No refunds can be availed past the delivery time.

Products, Ingredients related FAQ and Information.

1. Q: Do you sell homemade baked items?
Ans: Ours is a small-scale family business and therefore our production unit is a designated area for this purpose in our home itself. It can be called homemade as the venue is our 'home'. But on the other hand, the techniques and skills involved stand par with professional standards. Our choice to use the highest quality ingredients from around the globe makes our products a lot more than homemade. They are definitely 'gourmet'!

2. Q: Do you make egg-less cakes?
Ans: No, we don't. The role of eggs as a binder and as a leavening agent in cakes or other such products cannot be exactly replaced by any other ingredient. Moreover, eggs are a great source of protein, essential fatty acids and Calcium. So probably we won't make any egg-less cakes until and unless we find a successful recipe that works without eggs.

3. Q: Do you make sugar-free cakes?
Ans: No, we don't. Cakes are basically a form of sweet dessert. It doesn't make any sense to us to create a non-sweet cake as it won't be enjoyable at all. We neither support nor promote the use of artificial sweetening agents like Aspartame as they can cause several health issues.

4. Q: Do you make gluten-free cakes?
Ans: Yes, we do! As per date, we offer two flourless dessert cakes. The 'Sans Rival' cake and the 'Chocolate Hazelnut Dacquoise'. We are likely to offer more of gluten-free cakes in the future.

5. Do you make wheat cakes?
Ans: We don't make cakes using 'whole wheat' flour, but using 'all-purpose' flour. We use whole wheat to bake our bread.

6. Q: Do you do theme-based cakes, sugar fondant cakes and tier cakes?
Ans: No, we don't. We are makers of gourmet baked foods and the word 'gourmet' means high quality, refined and sophisticated. We have chosen a wonderful list of existing recipes from around the globe and all these recipes are aesthetically represented in its original and natural way. Many at times the sugar fondant or other decorations on cakes will overpower or hide the cakes' actual flavours which in our case will be considered a failure if that happens. So we chose not to do theme-based or fondant or tier cakes even though we are well equipped and skilled to do those. We are pretty sure that there are plenty of talented cake decorators out there!

7. Q: What is the difference between cakes and pastries?
Ans: A cake needs no description. But there is a misconception regarding the word 'pastry'. Pastries are not pieces of layered cakes. The word "pastries" suggests many kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, flour and eggs. The French word pâtisserie is also used in English (with or without the accent) for the same foods. Common pastry dishes include pies, tarts, quiches, pasties and puff pastries.

8. Q: Do you sell cakes based on weights (1/2 kg, 1 kg etc)?
Ans: We don't sell cakes by weight but by size/no: of servings. As the recipes we offer are so diverse in its texture and density, it is quite impossible to standardize them by weight. We basically offer cakes of two sizes. 7” cakes which can serve 10-12 wedges and 10” cakes, 18-20 wedges.

 

Cocoa and Chocolate:

As defined by EC directive on 'cocoa and chocolate products intended for human consumption'.
Only a product with this composition may be called chocolate:
Total cocoa solids: at least 35%
De-oiled cocoa solids: at least 14%
Cocoa butter: at least 18%

1. Q: What is the difference between a Real (couverture) chocolate and a Compound chocolate?
Ans: As mentioned above, a Real (Couverture) chocolate is fit to be called a chocolate and contains only cocoa butter as the fat content, whereas in a Compound chocolate the healthy and tasty cocoa butter is entirely replaced with vegetable oils. This practice cuts big corners on the price tag as well as on the taste and wholesomeness of the product.

2. Q: What is White compound chocolate?
Ans: White compound chocolate cannot be called as 'Chocolate' by any means as it does not contain cocoa butter or anything related to 'Cocoa beans'. It contains only Milk solids and Vegetable oil and can be vaguely called as a 'White confection'.

3. Q: How can I distinguish between Real(couverture) chocolate and Compound Chocolate?
Ans: One can definitely appreciate the easy meltability, smooth texture and a deep flavour in a real chocolate owing to the presence of cocoa butter as opposed to the dull and oily taste of a compound chocolate that sticks on to your palate.
Another important factor is the price. The cost of a genuine, unadulterated Cocoa product (Chocolate, Cocoa powder etc) would be roughly between ₹ 1- 2 per gram of the Cocoa product. Compound chocolate sells for 1/8th to a 1/4th price of this.

4. Q: Do you use compound chocolate in any of your products?
Ans: Yes, we use the highest quality compound chocolate available in two of our products as of now. 'Semi-sweet compound chocolate' in Brownies and 'White confection' in Blondies. For all other products, we use the finest couverture chocolate from Belgium.

Vanilla Extract:

1. Q: What is the difference between Vanilla extract and Vanilla essence?
Ans: Vanilla extract is usually a natural product made by soaking vanilla pods in Ethyl alcohol or Glycerol(INS 422). We use high-quality natural Bourbon Vanilla extract featuring premium Madagascar Vanilla beans.
Vanilla essence is usually a synthetic (ie chemically produced) vanilla flavouring and is a lot cheaper than the natural extract. It is synthesized from lignin-containing "brown liquor", a byproduct of the sulfite process for making wood pulp or from the petrochemical raw material Guaiacol.
The complex aroma and flavour imparted by the natural Vanilla extract can never be imitated by any artificial essence.

2. Q: What happens to the Ethyl alcohol/Glycerol which is used to make the natural Vanilla extract in the final baked product?
Ans: Cakes are usually baked at 180°C, with the temperature in the middle of the cake reaching close to 100°C. Ethyl alcohol gets evaporated around 80°C, leaving behind only the wonderful flavour and aroma of Vanilla beans.
Glycerol is similar to sugars. It is safely and readily absorbed and is converted into glucose in the human body providing 4.3 kilocalories of energy per gram.

Cream:

1. Q: Do you make fresh cream cakes?
Ans: As mentioned before, we create only gourmet baked foods. So whenever a recipe demands cream in it, it will be fresh dairy cream and nothing else! The name 'fresh cream cakes' would have probably become popular to differentiate it from the commonly available cakes with some non-dairy cream substitute.

2. Q: Are cream cakes healthy? Certain cream cakes taste oily and they seem to stick on to the palate. Why is that?
Ans: Real dairy cream is definitely healthy as it is the essence of milk. The cream cakes that tastes oily and stick on to the palate probably won't have real dairy cream in it. Instead, a certain non-dairy cream substitute which is essentially emulsified vegetable oil with a whitish appearance is used.

Flour:

1. Q: what kind of flours do you use?
Ans: As of now, We use the best quality All-purpose/cake flour for cakes; Corn polenta, a combination of Whole wheat flour and All-purpose flour in bread and pastries and Almond, pistachio or Hazelnut flour for our dessert cakes.

2. Q: Do you use 'maida'? Is it healthy?
Ans: We use the best quality All- purpose wheat flour/ Cake flour, a.ka. Maida in many of our products. Maida is a wheat flour, finely milled without any bran, refined, and bleached. It closely resembles Cake flour or All-purpose flour. Although naturally yellowish due to pigments present in wheat, maida is typically bleached, either naturally due to atmospheric oxygen, or with any flour bleaching agents. The lighter colour and the changes of functional properties of the flour proteins are likely to be caused by their oxidation. Bleaching process reduces the protein and micronutrient content of the flour, but a reputed manufacturer always fortifies the lost micro-nutrients back.
The controversy surrounding Maida is based on unproven half-truths and a commonly held belief is that maida contains alloxan, which itself is banned in developed countries for use in food, added as a bleaching agent or formed as a byproduct of certain bleaching procedures. While it is a minor product of xanthophyll oxidation, there is no evidence that trace amounts of alloxan thus formed comprise a health risk.

Cream cheese:

1. Q: Do you make cheesecakes?
Ans: No, but we would love to make some cheesecakes. As we use only the best Cream cheese – Original, Preservative-free Philadelphia Cream cheese, which is quite expensive and hard to come by, we reserve its use for frostings on cakes like Hummingbird and Chocolate Italian.We will never use some cheaper varieties which are filled with edible gums, other substitutes, additives and preservatives just for the sake of adding 'Cheesecakes' to our product list.

Cinnamon:

1. Q: What is special about the cinnamon you use?
Ans: We use the finest quality 'True Cinnamon' - Cinnamomum verum from Sri Lanka. Real cinnamon sticks appear as smooth, light brown, brittle, tightly rolled quills which are highly aromatic and have a delicate sweet taste with subtle notes of clove.
Cinnamon is often adulterated with 'Cassia bark' - Cinnamomum cassia by mixing it with genuine cinnamon or a portion of cinnamon bark which has been deprived of its essential oil by distillation/extraction. Cassia is usually a lot cheaper than True cinnamon and can be easily identified by its thicker and rough bark, dark brown to reddish colour and it's strong peppery to pungent taste. Cassia contains high levels of a blood-thinning component called Coumarin, which could damage the liver if consumed regularly or taken in huge amounts.

 

 

Pricing

1. Q: Why are your products' price high?
Ans: We are creators of gourmet baked foods and we use only the best quality ingredients, cherry-picked from all around the globe. For instance, the real(couverture) chocolate and natural vanilla bean extract we use are approximately 8x costlier than the Compound chocolate and Artificial Vanilla essence that is found in common practice.(Read ingredient & Product FAQ to know more)
Well, this is sadly the state of current worldly affairs, '' We all get what we pay for'' and considering that we would say that our products are cheaper for the gourmet ingredients featured in them!

2. Q: The product prices are very reasonable considering the specialty ingredients in them. Is this profitable for you?
Ans: We are not in a money oriented business(Check out About us page to know more). Of course, we do remunerate ourselves for the time spent; Speaking of profit it is marginal, just enough to keep the oven running! It makes us happier to give more value to the customer's money and even with the specialty ingredients, we strive to keep the product prices low by finding the best deals for raw materials, both in local and online stores and multitasking at our human resources section.

3. Q: Is the shipping really free? How does it work?!
Ans: Free shipping is a notion far removed from the fact! Logistics are never free, whether it is in-house or third-party executed. Shipping costs are almost always included in the product prices and we are not too different. We add a nominal amount to the product price to cover the delivery expenses and we can assure you that it is more profitable for a customer as shipping costs get shared with other orders and save your valuable time, energy and money!