The spice industry is growing with South Asian flavors! These game changers will talk about their journey and the changing industry.
Sana Javeri Kadri
CEO Diaspora Inc
Sana Javeri Kadri (she/her) is the founder of Diaspora Co., a direct trade spice company working towards a radically equitable, sustainable, and more delicious spice supply chain. She’s been working in the food industry since she was a teenager, and has dipped her toes in every facet of the food industry from line cook to farmworker, to food photographer, to marketing consultant, to CSA manager, to spice CEO.
She founded Diaspora Co. in 2017 with a big vision and a very small budget ($8K!). It has quickly grown (23x since 2018!) to become a nationally acclaimed, beloved spice brand that champions more than 200 regenerative family farms and 1500+ farmworkers. Diaspora aims to set the bar for what equity and quality can look like in the global spice trade.
CEO Peepal People
Alyzeh Rizvi is an architect, designer, researcher and, as of 2021, the co-founder & CEO of Peepal People: a contemporary South Asian pantry brand that makes cross-cultural products such as hot sauces using South Asian flavors. Alyzeh’s life is a mix of east and west. Her upbringing in Pakistan has led to a strong passion for South Asian culture, and her work in the US creative industry reflects her commitment to applying her contemporary knowledge in modern design to South Asian practices. Alyzeh advocates for design thinking in all industries including CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and has applied this framework with clients such as Coca-Cola, E & J Gallo Winery, Dell, and Smoothie King to drive innovation in both DTC and retail. Her work on “Women & Money” with IDEO.org, funded by the Gates Foundation, has been shared globally and focused on improving accessibility to digital finance for a largely underrepresented group - women in Pakistan.
CEO Podi Life
Alak Nanda is the founder & CEO of PODI life - a South Indian Pantry shop that currently offers a wide range of PODIs - their flagship product. During a decade-long career in healthcare, pharma and early-stage startups, Alak lived across the US, Germany, India and France. She carried her beloved PODIs with her everywhere and shared them with friends, colleagues, strangers - and soon realized she shared a collective love for these flavor bombs, thus PODI life was born! During the COVID19 pandemic, Alak and her mom, Vasavi, piloted this project in India and found immediate success, and launched the business for real, in the US, in 2021. Alak has two bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics and a Masters in Business Administration - but more importantly, a boundless curiosity and appetite to learn new things.
CEO Kula Nursery
Zee Husain is the founder of Kula Nursery, a grassroots urban nursery working within and for BIPOC communities to increase food sovereignty through garden education and culturally relevant plant starts. Since 2020, Zee has been deeply rooted within the South Asian community in the greater San Francisco Bay Area to understand food preferences and determine what culturally important foods, medicines and herbs are missing from the local food system. She grows and tends to these culinarily, medicinally and spiritually important South Asian plants in her nursery, located in Oakland, CA.
Author of Khabaar
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.