Name: Kavitha Rathi
Business: Potpuri, classic Indian street food
Industry: Food & Beverage
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: I was in love with real hospitality and Indian food, and found both sorely lacking in NYC. As an interior designer during my previous career, I’ve developed a serious aesthetic and rigorous process that now helps me bring Indian street food to Brooklyn, which has been a personal dream for over 2 decades!
How do you define success? Success is when you hit that sweet spot of confidence, a balanced lifestyle, and values, along with a meaningful and sustainable ethos. Bringing your ethnicity, your values, your passions and your livelihood all together in one finely managed and balanced act.
Biggest Success: I didn’t realize it at the time, but getting a platform like Smorgasburg (Brooklyn open-air food market), was a huge success. Also being told by my customers, both of Indian and non-Indian backgrounds, that I’ve changed their perception of what good Indian street food is.
I would like to keep building an awareness of the diversity of Indian food, breaking stereotypes, and catering to the nostalgia and memories of the Indian diaspora for the authenticity of Indian food. Financial viability and an overall large vision for a seamlessly blended business model bringing together 3 of India’s biggest contributions to human society: yoga, ayurveda and spice blends.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? What is my next step? And how, if possible, do I avoid the pitfalls of whatever that next step might be. Developing the courage to take the next step, and finding the right support system to help me make it a well-rounded venture. The fact that I live alone in the United States with no family (they all live in my native country, India) can be very trying. The need for emotional support almost breaks my resolve to continue with my business here, every few months.
Who is your most important role model? Danny Meyer, of Union Square Hospitality Group.
Edited by The Story Exchange