This epicurean panel will explore the growing popularity of tea in the western world, and how this drink has become contemporary with South Asian flavors. Each business owner will talk about their journey in this industry.
CEO Ahista Tea
A first generation Indian-Canadian, Ashmit Patel started Ahista in 2019 from India to empower women tea artisans in the subcontinent and elevate the concept of handcrafted teas globally. Since then, the brand has expanded their offering to premium dinnerware for the hospitality industry and has been featured in major publications like Forbes, GQ, Vogue.
CEO Chai Box
Monica Sunny is the CEO and founder of The Chai Box, a small-batch tea company specializing in loose-leaf chai blends inspired by different regions in India and chai concentrate, using ethical and sustainable practices. Growing up in an Indian household, Chai has always been a part of Monica’s culture and heritage and her passion for chai only grew when she wanted to share her love for it with her three boys. Every Friday after school they would have Chai time. Monica would bring out her spice box, what the boys referred to as "The Chai Box" and make the perfect cup together. Soon friends and neighbors wanted to learn too, leading to the creation of The Chai Box in 2016. What started as a passion project in her kitchen, has now grown into one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2021. The Chai Box's goal is to implement an ethical business process from start to finish. They source their spices from small-scale farmers in Kerala, India, who practice sustainable farming. These farmers, particularly women, play a significant role in their community's development. They also prioritize sustainability by composting leftover mulch from chai production and by using minimal and biodegradable packaging. The Chai Box's mission is to spread the love of authentic chai to everyone's home!
Sajani Amarasiri is on a mission to bring balanced wellness routines with ayurvedic wisdom to the world––one that includes gotu kola and a glass of wine. She cut her teeth at Microsoft and Amazon, specializing in tech supply chain management, before diving into her passion for connecting her roots to modern life. Her focus on connecting cultures and communities across the globe awarded her Google IO extended Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Sri Lanka in 2018. Sajani leads Kola Goodies with adaptability and resilience, all markers of her immigrant experience that led her to translate her Sri Lankan heritage to modern life in the States. Through Kola, Sajani is proud to honor her roots while making wellness fun.
Mou Dasgupta is a Trendsetting Disrupter on a mission to spark the American Tea Movement. She is the Founder and CEO of Brook37 The Atelier, an American tea brand, that has the goal to delight the American palate through the skillful curation of the world’s rarest and most exclusive teas. She is known to be a champion for diversity and equality. At the peak of her career, Mou decided to depart her corporate life and follow her passion to build a brand where the core values will be of driving force. Brook37 is Plastic Neutral and 1% for the planet certified from day 1 and they donate 2% of their revenue to social and environmental causes. Brook37 is a woman first organization, where 90% of the team members are women, not by design, but by pure talent. Mou has worked all her life in providing support for various causes. Her Covid relief work was featured by J P Morgan, where she single-handedly supported businesses as well as communities in need in India. Mou is an avid supporter of various NGOs and educational institutions within and outside the USA. Mou has an undergraduate degree in Physics and a MS in Computer Science. Her passion is to disrupt the status quo, that led her to create her brand Brook37. Mou lives in Princeton, NJ with her husband Sanjay, their dog Mishti and cat Zara. They have a daughter Emily, and two sons Sabar and Navin who live in New York.
Moderated by Madhushree Ghosh
Madhushree Ghosh’s debut food narrative memoir, KHABAAR: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory, and Family was published by the University of Iowa Press (@uiowopress) in April 2022. Hailed by Ms Magazine as a ‘Most Anticipated Read for the Rest of Us in 2022’, a Chicago Review of Books: 12 Must-Read Books of April, a Phenomenal Books Must Read Memoir (2022) as well as a Brown Girl Bookshelf and Cold Tea Collective must-read 2022 memoir.