Name: Alak Vasa
Business/Location: Elements Truffles/Union City, NJ
Specialty: We create Ayurveda-inspired artisanal chocolates sweetened with honey.
What problem does your business solve?: There is a saying, "you are what you eat." We believe that the quality of food we eat directly impacts our state of mind and how we feel. We make clean and high-vibe chocolates that your taste buds will enjoy. Our goal is to create a line of products that positively impacts your body and uplifts your state of mind.
What makes your business unique?: We have integrated the ancient science of Ayurveda with the art of making chocolates. Our chocolates are hand-made in micro batches. They are free from dairy, refined-sugar, gluten, soy, and anything artificial. They are made with two main ingredients cacao and honey. The flavors are infused with pure essential oils. While the chocolates are being made, we play ancient vedic chants in the background to infuse the subtle positivity in the food and the environment. Our cacao is fair-trade, ethically sourced, and we donate 25% of our profits to child education efforts in rural India.
Elements Truffles was born at the intersection of two things that make us happy: chocolates and meditation. We are an Ayurveda-inspired line of clean chocolates that taste good and does good —for the body, mind, and community.
What’s your story?: I was a trader on Wall Street. Everything was going well, but a sense of purpose was missing. I was good at what I was doing, but I felt I was meant to do something else. About 12 years ago, I learned to meditate. And as I grew in the practice, I became more aware of the food I was eating. I noticed that I was integrating a lot of elements of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, that was naturally a part of our life growing up. Ayurveda, also known as sister science to Yoga, was taking me back to my roots. So I wanted to create a line of chocolates that are not only healthy and tasty, but also infused with this beautiful science that focuses on bringing balance and simplicity to everyday life.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Being a food entrepreneur can be quite stressful — managing everything from sourcing and production to packaging and sales. It is also a business where each one of us is heavily invested on an emotional level. One thing that has really helped me is taking 20 minutes daily to meditate. Those 20 minutes go a long way, and they have truly helped me get through those days when I feel like I am ready to give it all up, but I don't! :)
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: Personally, I am glad I did not know much about running a food business. I just jumped in without much thought and tackled things one at a time. I feel if I'd known all the things I have discovered during the process, I would have been overwhelmed and would probably still be stuck in planning mode.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I have been so lucky to have a team that truly believes in the product and in me. (On some days, they believe in me more than I believe in myself.)
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur?: I love every aspect of being a food entrepreneur. I love my team, I love the learnings, I love the growth, I love the ability to see my dream transform into a reality, and, most importantly, I love the community of food entrepreneurs and bloggers. Everyone is so supportive and wants to see you grow.