July 15, 2022
I start every blog post with a photo, and I picked this one this morning because it represents why my mood shifted this morning. It's a gloomy, rainy morning in Chicago and I started it like I do just about every a.m. - about to give up. About to give up on my 6 am workout - about to give up on my retail quests - about to give up on working so damn hard every day. Is it worth it? Why am I doing this? It would be easier not to do it at all. Instead, I push that all aside and get to the gym. Once there, I knocked out an hour-long full body weight workout and I realized that I can't give up. My mission is too important and the folks that are there to help me along the way are counting on me.
So, what does Toledo, Ohio have to do with it? It has to do with the ray of hope I got this week. We had been approved by Whole Foods corporate in Ohio and I thought why not start calling around? The buyer in Toledo not only answered the. phone when my assistant Patti called - but he was more than excited about bringing our products in. This was after almost a year of trying. Think about that. A year of being told 'no' ... a year of no news, a year of no movement.
At the moment we have spices and legumes - our sauces are coming in finally after a 4 month wait this afternoon - and he was more than happy to bring our legumes in because well, they don't carry them. Most mainstream grocers DO NOT sell the legumes needed to make Indian food at home. Can you believe this? With all the beans, peas, and lentils they do sell, they don't offer up split and skinned yellow moong dal, black whole urad dal, split and skinned pigeon peas, or black chickpeas. It's because folks who do not make Indian food at home do not know what is best suited and needed to successfully make authentic Indian.
It all goes back to that one conversation with a friend using my first cookbook who told me she had to swap out the lentils for varieties she could actually find because she had no idea where to buy the legumes that we in the Indian community take for granted. She thought they were 'exotic' because she'd simply never heard of them let alone seen them in a store. She had eaten them because she loved Indian restaurants, but could not figure out how to connect those meals out with her home kitchen. I decided in that one moment and conversation that I had to change that.
So, thank you TOLEDO for helping us connect the dots for your customers. We are ready and excited to get the word out that our products are on your shelves. I hope that you'll share this post with your social media networks in the hopes that even one or two people may know someone in Toledo who will stop in and purchase our products. That's the goal as soon as you get on a shelf to get OFF that shelf asap!
And, I hope that no matter where you are that you'll tell your own favorite retailer about us - how we make that Indian cooking experience - well, easy and understandable. I hope that if you find a store with our product on the shelf you'll buy a jar or two, take a photo with it in the store and post with #indianasapplepie and tag us! We are running contests all summer to give away copies of my cookbooks and I've love to enter you.
And, I hope you'll share with us -- what keeps you going? Do you need some support/help to keep at it? Reply in the comment section below. We are here for you! xoxo Anupy
For a full list of where our products are currently sold, click here.
Watch what Indian As Apple Pie is all about:
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