ALCOEATS - MORE THAN JUST PUMKIN
Focusing more on the health benefits of spices, Adit Agrawal, President & CEO of Alcoeats. Alcoeats explains that his company was born of his personal history of being unhealthy. When he arrived in the United States in 2013 from his native India to attend Kettering University in Flint, MI (an area that has had its own health issues of late), Agarwal says, "I was super obese and did not really know a way out." Over time, the new student also educated himself about healthy eating and used spices to flavor what might otherwise be bland "diet" foods.
"With this came the idea of developing easy-to-use spice mixes that are diet-friendly, easy to use, more gourmet, and all-natural," he explains. And while he realized that the spice space would be -hard to crack," Adit was dedicated to using spices to "make a difference in the lives of others who want to improve their lifestyle or just want to eat the best tasting food possible." While he has seen many products that are easy to use, gourmet, easily relatable to consumers, and beneficial to their health, Adit posits that few if any satisfy all of these qualifications. The difference with Alco, he suggests, is that "we have thought about the customers first and have worked backward to create something that fits perfectly well with their lifestyle." Though this may seem to be a grand claim, as the company's "first customer," Adit can attest to its verity.
Among the biggest challenges that Adit had fulfilling his desires to fulfill the list of qualifications was the relatability of his India-inspired products to an American market. "Not many Americans grow up eating Indian food," he admits, citing what are often "foreign" words like Tikka or Achari. "We have made sure that we make our products relatable so it's very easy for our customers to choose between flavors such as chicken or meat, spicy, creamy or buttery."
In this way, Adit suggests, Alco has become more than a food company, but has gone on to educate consumers and encourage them to make healthy choices that, pardoning the pun. "mix well with their lifestyle." In addition to his website. Adit's offerings are also available on Amazon and at a growing number of stores, especially in the Midwest. "We have some amazing partners that help us reach our customers," Adit says gratefully. Proudly noting that Alcoeats was recently named a Golden ticket winner by the wholesale food distributor KeHe. "We are working around the clock with them to distribute our products nationwide... [and] to be a staple in every pantry across America.
As Adit started his company to deal with his own health issues and those of others, Christina Lehman of From Gracie's Table (www.fromgraciestable.com) opened her's when many people were facing health issues of their own. "I started my line of rubs during Covid as a side job while I wasn't working as a physical therapist assistant," Lehman recalls, noting that she took the name of her company from her late mother. Marygrace. who had often inspired her in the kitchen? As a mother of two children who were unable to go to school. Lehman had to find an opportunity that would allow her to provide for her family while having the flexibility to be home with her children. "I started to think of what I do differently than other people." she recalls, echoing another famous saying about the necessity and a mother. "and that is where my rubs came into the picture." As she had been making her rubs and other food enhancers for many years and had received raves from family and friends, Lehman was confident that she could at least make some money with her culinary creations. or at least that she could offer something new to flavor fans. "I've always heard from anyone who has [eaten] my dishes at my house that they never tasted anything like my rubs [and] marinades," she smiles, " so I was trying to bring something new and delicious as well as versatile to people." And while the money has been of great value to Lehman and her family, the true kick she gets from kicking up the flavor for others is the opportunity to do what she loves and have others fall in love with it as well. "Cooking [is] a passion," she enthuses, "and to have people buying items that only I can produce and loving them is an amazing feeling!". As is the case with many food makers, however, Lehman faced challenges along the road. Chief among these was obtaining the proper licenses to expand her homemade business into a corporate entity.
"ADIT AGARWAL WAS DEDICATED TO USING SPICES TO "MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS WHO WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIFESTYLE OR JUST WANT TO EAT THE BEST-TASTING FOOD POSSIBLE."
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