We shared CEREAL with our subscribers in April 2016 and it was a SMASH HIT! We did expect the title to be a success to be honest and must confess, at the risk of sounding immodest in the reflected glory, that we were not very surprised with the feedback. The title boasts of a steady following world over and its success is evident from its sharply rising print circulation which is now over 40,000 copies; you see, that explains our not-so-modest admission. While the appreciation for the title was still pouring in, we decided to do what was naturally expected of us by our readers i.e. to make this magazine a permanent (and only a click away) feature at Paper Planes.

We are thrilled to announce that we have the exclusive privilege of bringing CEREAL to India. You can now go on our online shop and get yourself copies of the latest CEREAL issues.

What's more? We took this opportunity to also catch up with Rosa Park, the editor of the magazine, to talk about the beginning of the journey and the upcoming plans for this title, which is ever rising in popularity. Here is what she had to share:

Everyone loves Cereal, the astronomical rise in its print run is the proof of that- what do you think makes Cereal so popular?

It’s difficult for me to speak on behalf of others, but perhaps a contributing factor to our strong and growing readership is the personal nature of our content. In that, Rich and I - the two co-founders of the title - to date visit every single location that we put in the magazine, to ensure that it is something we would personally recommend to our readers. I hope that sense of commitment to high standards comes through, and is one of the reasons why the reader can rely on us, issue to issue, for solid content.

What prompted you to start a magazine?

It’s a simple answer - Rich and I have both loved magazines for as long as we can remember, and had the skill set required to start one between the two of us, and so Cereal came to be.

Did this rapid/wide success of the magazine surprise you – especially given the generally prevailing pessimism around ‘print’ and its survival?

It surprised us because we had little to no expectations in the beginning. This wasn't in a negative way where we didn’t believe in our product, but in a realistic way where we understand it’s a saturated market and it will be difficult to get the reader’s attention. So when we started, we started with hope but understanding that things may not go as we wished. So we were happy and surprised when volume 1 sold out within the month. That was great encouragement for the following issue.

The latest issue (issue 11) covered three different cites- Tokyo, Seattle and Vienna – I am curious how you select the places that get covered in an issue?

We select our destinations based on personal interest and curiosity, as well as which combination will make for interesting and varied editorial content.

What do you carry to read on your travels? What are your current reads - books/magazines?

I am always reading, I usually have 2-3 books and 5-8 magazines with me on flight and in trains. I’m currently reading 'Hare with the Amber Eyes' as well as Obama’s 'Dreams From My Father'. And I usually have The Economist, New Yorker, Vogue, Wired, Monocle and Porter on me.

You added a new literary supplement to the magazine not too long ago. I loved the supplement that came with this issue titled ‘Freedom’ – what was the thought process behind adding this literary supplement to the magazine?

Many people are drawn to Cereal for its photography and sense of aesthetics, which is great because we put so much effort into that side of things. However, we put equal emphasis on the words and to really bring that point home, we decided to launch a literary supplement where the focus is entirely on words and we can have a bit more fun with the writing.

Do you wish to make more changes/additions to the magazines in the near future? What should the readers expect in the upcoming issues - anything you can let us in on?

I think we will always make amends to the magazine in trying to improve and evolve it; as I like to say, each issue is a step forwards from the one before. Hopefully our readers agree with that sentiment! I am afraid you will simply have to wait for the next issue to see what we do next ;)

What’s the most exciting part of the process of making a magazine?

Connecting with people who inspire you.

We see big brands advertising with the magazine – as an independent magazine, was it quite a challenge to find advertisers initially?

Advertising was definitely a challenge in the beginning but it’s definitely picking up speed now and I am proud of what my advertising team has achieved to date. At the end of the day, advertising is about giving the brand confidence in your title, and you do that through the best content possible as well as a healthy, growing circulation - two areas I am very invested in, so hopefully the future looks brighter for our advertising!

We get asked a lot by our readers about the pros and cons of making an independent magazine. Would you like to share your thoughts on that?

I could talk about this for ours, but for the sake of brevity, the pros is that you get to talk about the topics you love for a living and meet people who you admire and feel inspired by. The cons is that the reality of running an independent magazine is tough and ruthless, so you need to be prepared for the non-creative, business driven side of things if you really want to have an indie title.

Lastly, you were recently in India – we noticed that from your Instagram posts. Where all did you go? Did we manage to win you over? Can we expect India in Cereal soon?

We spent more of our time in Rajasthan though we did a short stint in Goa! What a lovely country! I absolutely loved it and hope to return to explore other parts. India will feature in the next issue!