Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Raina Kumra, Founder of Spicewell, located in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
New Salt and Pepper's 21 vitamins and minerals all sourced from organic vegetables. Our customers are anyone who wants to close the nutrient gaps in your and your family's diet.
Tell us about yourself
Mid-pandemic, my family went through a bit of a health crisis - my husband had just had knee surgery and was laid up, and the next morning my daughter broke her collarbone. So now I had two patients and another child to take care of. And caretaking is the hardest job in the world. I was very focused on getting them healthy as fast as possible, and I knew I would do it through food. I hid vegetables I took from my garden in my 5-year-old's food by dehydrating and powdering them to blend into her smoothie and sprinkle on her soups. It took my daughter only 7 days to be back on her feet again, while most people with broken collarbones take at least two weeks. I did the same for my husband, dosing them both full of turmeric and other medicinal herbs and spices. They both healed tremendously fast. Once they healed and I returned to my kitchen, I had all these vegetable powders lying around and put on my hat to solve problems at scale. I asked myself, how could I impact the nutrient deficiency we all face without changing habits? I looked down at the salt and pepper on my counter, and Spicewell was born.
I began formally studying plant medicine to deepen my understanding of the science behind where our medicine originally came from. I understood how the food we eat has an outsized impact on our ability to fend off chronic disease. I began doing more research on the fact that our soil has fewer nutrients now than it ever has and that the food grown in this soil is also less nutritive. I came to understand how our entire food and health system was broken. And no matter how well we eat, we are still not getting enough of what we need. I learned that most Americans are walking around with a nutrient deficiency. And there is a direct link to chronic illness. And, being the problem-solver and movement-builder that I am at my core, I was determined to fix this at scale. I set out to solve this problem by starting with the first nutrient-dense and lower-in-sodium salt and pepper. I've added ancient Ayurvedic formulations known to help the body and mind adapt to inflammation and stress, as well as 21 vitamins and minerals to eat with your food - the way they were always meant to be absorbed. We were lucky to have Dr. Mark Hyman and Ann Veneman as our earliest advisors - both true believers in the power of food.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our New Pepper was nominated for a NEXTY award, which is very critical in the food industry, and we were honored with a Trendsetters spotlight at the Fancy Food show, which was our first time exhibiting. All of this was such a surprise, and we couldn't even believe it. It's wonderful to hear from our customers that they have completely swapped out their salt and pepper with ours and only use us now. It's so lovely to hear that it is helping people's parents with their arthritis symptoms, and parents send it to their undernourished college children all the time, and moms use it to sneak vegetables into their kids.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Sustainable supply for packaging - the packaging industry is so flawed!
Sourcing ingredients and transparency which is important to us.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Businesses take years of care and feeding before they can cross over to that overnight success moment. It's all behind the scenes, while the Instagram version of founding a company is incredibly damaging and discouraging. How important it is to find my people and community to journey with. This is a tough time to build, but those who persevere in this time are more likely to succeed in the long term because we have to build real healthy businesses!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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