Labor of Love Classy Karma Candy
This candy story is a simple love for good eating. I am Mukesh Shah and live in Houston, TX, USA.
In the early nineties, my two girls were growing. The natural urge to see they eat proper and good stuff I always go the extra mile.
We have wonder fruit Amla (Indian Gooseberry) in India. It is the best natural source of vitamin C. It is common and consumed in every house.
We in India have a tradition to eat extra in winter to equip for cold.
The most popular natural tonic in winter is Chyawanprass. It’s an Ayurvedic preparation, and many brands are available. A wonder fruit Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and spices cooked in sugar syrup. It is in the form of jam or paste and children resist eating it.
I use to get it, but it’s hard to make girls eat it regularly. The form is not cool to girls and taste a minor factor. My father insists that girls eat it, and I also eat it every day in my younger days.
I thought to involve girls in making our tonic and Amla was loved by them, so they were interested in our grand project. It is grand for me as I was trying to do the first time in the house. I did make four kg Amla jam with spices.
The results were same elders like it, and girls were not eating it. Few friends ask for more and I did make few more batches and gave it at cost price as a hobby and to spread good eating. The good thing was girls and their friends also were not averse to taste as they were for taste of similar Amla readymade tonics.
I thought of candy and tried experimenting making candy from Amla and spices. Fortunately, my one friend know one candy technician, and he helps in my endeavor. The best part girls love this candy, and it was popular among their friends, too.
I was happy, and extra hard work, and expenses for few failed batches were rewarded by friends asking for it. This candy led me to finally sold this candy idea as a business proposal to largest candy company in India, Parle Products Limited, for 250,000 rupees. It was history for Parle that they paid an outsider for an idea. And let me add they have not used it commercially. The reason, I believe was potential low sales volume by their standard.
I came to USA in May 2005 and started the job. My business and marketing soul were look out for business opportunity. I was for consumable product and food is my hobby. In America, candy dish is in every home, and in the office both, and I find an opportunity.
Classy Karma Candy evolve and is labor of love. Yes, it is a commercial venture but driving force is giving good products to Americans. Having consumer product background starting running items like orange candy and host of another flavored candy is a logical route.
But I am for clean eating and natural freak. I want to give a good option to American families they don’t have. Indian Amla (Gooseberry) they don’t have. It is a wonder fruit and yogis used to eat it with sugar and spices. Consider the age retardant. See all the goodness of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Wikipedia: Indian Gooseberry
Our natural tonic Chyawanprass has lot of herbs and spices. I want to make candy with Amla and spices as I did for my girls earlier. I zeroed in for four cinnamon, ginger, clove and pepper Americans favorites four.
It took almost 18 months to get lovable candy. There were a lot of home and commercial trials. Did almost 30 taste tests to finalize the formula and in 2009, I participated in Chicago Candy Expo, the largest candy expo. I introduced my Classy Karma Candy.
That was very encouraging. Got good response. Everyone likes my Classy Karma Candy. Got good press. Candy Addict blog called it signature candy for yoga flocks. Read The Blog . Now the real task starts that is to do business.
Classy Candy start commercial operation in Aug. 2014 and launched in Houston, TX my local market with first Classy Karma Candy an all natural general purpose candy. My second one is a special treat, and it is Classy Energy Chews made with many herbs and spices along with wonder fruit Amla off course.
This Classy Energy Chew is by request. It so happens that when I have developed this Amla based candy with spices, I also made other candy with many herbs and spices used in Chyawanprass. I show it to my Guru Shri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living Foundation. He liked it and told me “It is good and will work.” Those were very encouraging words for me. When Guru says, “it will work” we consider final.
My Karma Candy is popular and liked by my Art of Living friends. Now they want a real stuff, so next is Classy Energy Chews made with Amla, herbs and spices. It not in the market yet but I give it to request only.
Fortunately Yoga folks like my Karma Candy. Yogis used to eat Amla with sugar and spices and herbs. Many yoga studios started selling it and it is loved by their patrons.