From care packages to a Spice Blends biz
My name is Alak Nanda and this is my mom, Vasavi R!
This is the story of how we, in true immigrant style, have come together to build the food company of our dreams.
I was born in India and raised in the US. My mom's care packages always had PODIs and they helped me make easy meals all through college!
Over the years, I have shared PODIs with friends from all around the world.
It is our little dream to make this age-old, lesser-known South Indian pantry staple and shortcut accessible to everyone! As Michael Pollan says "Don't eat anything that a great grandma doesn't recognize as food". PODIs are highly nana-approved.
We describe PODIs as dry-sauces in powder form. Unlike many spice blends, PODIs are ready-to-eat. Just sprinkle to flavor your food, use them as dry-rubs on meat, or mix with rice/cooked grains.
Our PODIs are made of high-quality spices, lentils and herbs. No additives, no unnatural ingredients, and ALL THE FLAVA.
So how and why did we start this little biz?
Very unexpectedly, PODI life was created during the great COVID19 lockdown in India!
After 500+ orders and love from all corners of India, we knew we were onto something. India is an extremely diverse country, and as the renowned restaurant critic Tejal Rao says "Indian cuisine is defined by its multiplicity. It is many cuisines in one. Each resisting generalization and abridgement."
We were/are honored to bring South India's rich and diverse culinary heritage, to the rest of the country.
We truly believe that food has the power to bring people together and can teach us so much about culture. Our food choices have the power to effortlessly stand for inclusiveness and acceptance.
We are thrilled to bring these uncensored, legit flavors to you! We are inviting you into our kitchen! Come join us on this journey across South India :)
The way forward...
We launched our business in Atlanta, GA on Feb 15th, 2021. We've wanted to center our business on impact from day 1.
During the COVID crisis in India, we organized community fundraisers and donated a total of $1200 to grassroots organizations primarily working with trans folx and other marginalized communities in India. Thank you for joining our cooking classes and yoga sessions.
Two minor ways in which we impact our stakeholders now: our minimum wage is $15 (a livable wage).
We will continue to affect change via all our suppliers in India.
For a fledgling company that is funneling all its money into future growth, having the opportunity to be CARAVAN HERDERS means a lot to us. Thank you for your patronage!