In today’s millennial era, where junk and processed food gets the crowd, it contains immense sugar and fat, leading to many crucial health issues. Considering the fact that processed food might seem tastier by how it is showcased, but the way it affects our system internally expresses broadly about how it makes the masses unhealthy.
Withdrawing such negative aspects of food and with the thought of enlightening the youth with healthy superfoods, the ideation of Asha Pops came into existence. This initiation happened from a devoted snacker Jai and his mother, Asha, who is always on guard for healthy alternatives for her child.
Quest for finding a healthy alternative for Asha, who ate popped water lily seeds snacks growing up in India, also popularly known as Makhana. It is a Euryale Ferox plant that grows in India, known for its ayurvedic origin, which gives a mouth-lingering plant-based puffy snack. These are super light with a crunchy puff texture on the outside, making them an irresistible snack to munch on!
Co-founders of Asha Pops, Asha, and Jai Farswani, the mother and son duo, nurtured it in their ways. Asha with her knack for making these Asha Pops in various flavors stretching from Bombay Masala to Dark Chocolate. In contrast, Jai handles the other aspects of the company, like all commercial operations and much more.
As the word Asha implies hope in Sanskrit, Asha support the Sankara Eye Foundation to help set up eye hospitals in the regions in India where our lily seeds growers reside to help provide them with the gift of eyesight so they can continue to work and earn a livelihood.
Let’s unwrap the story of Asha Pops and learn more about it!
Uncovering Asha Pops
While elaborating on the start of Asha Pops, Mom Ashsa says as she grew up in the hills of western India, her family followed a strict vegetarian diet consisting of farm-fresh nutritious ingredients recommended by Ayurveda, the ancient Indian holistic science. Depicting her holistic approach to making a healthy snack.
Talking about the time back in 2018 when she started eating these Popped Water Lily Seeds as a low-calorie superfood snack. She grew up snacking on these while fasting and when she was pregnant with each of her four children. At 120 calories per bag, she enjoyed them guilt-free and slept better. When Jai, her son, tried them, he got undeniably got hooked to them. When his mom made his few friends try them out. They loved Asha’s pops and encouraged him to explore getting a business started with his mom.
Jai felt that these pearls of nature should be enjoyed by all and encouraged her to help him introduce these to their local community in Los Angeles. That’s how Asha Pops was born.
The CEO of Asha Pops, Jai, was born in the urban metropolis of Dubai. As he moved to New England for school, where he also got his pilot’s license. And post graduation, he decided to pursue his passion for aviation by working at AIG’s aviation finance firm in LA.
On the thought of starting a business with his mom, they pitched their tent in the Marina Del Rey farmer’s market and thanks to the support of their Asha Pops fam, they feel blessed to now be in larger retail outlets, including stores like Whole Foods, Erewhon, Natural Grocers, Raleys, Foxtrot, Equinox Hotels & Gyms, etc.
The Progressive Influence
AshaPops offers a variety of better-for-you superfood vegan snacking alternatives to chips, puffs, and Popcorn. They contain 120 calories per 1 oz bag, providing a delicious low-calorie crunchy snack.
All their flavors are Vegan, Allergen-Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, and Paleo and do not contain any added sugars.
The mother of the duo, Asha, grew up in India eating a vegetarian diet with farm-fresh & nutritious ingredients, endorsed by the ancient holistic science of Ayurvedic. With her expertise in cooking and knowledge of ancient ingredients, she handles all aspects of the products, including R&D, recipe development & formulation.
Her son, Jai, handles all commercial operations of AshaPops. His past roles include corporate strategy and divestment of AIG’s $5B aircraft leasing division, fundraising for select startups in the US & India, and launching a tech marketplace that provides month-to-month corporate housing for traveling professionals.
Jai graduated with honors from Northeastern University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. Outside his professional life, he is a private pilot with a passion for aviation, travel, and languages.
Asha Pops dwells on the family-like foundation with core values like, “Family, love, respect, kindness, and empathy are what our company values, and their whole team encompasses it.”
They further elaborate by saying, what you feel, and think is put out in the universe, and we know that our food is made with love, and this ends up in how your food tastes and makes you feel. We know that each batch we put out has great energy, and we get wonderful feedback from our AshaPops fam on how much they enjoy eating our healthy puffs of joy!
They support the Sankara Eye Foundation to help set up eye hospitals in the regions in India where our lily seeds growers reside to help provide them with the gift of eyesight so they can continue to work and earn a livelihood.
Exclusivity of Asha Pops
Being a home-grown brand with love, they emphasize making the products with absolute nurturing.
They say, “All the snacks are healthy snacks that are handcrafted in small batches in their production kitchen.”
Flourishing Through the Adversities
As a small family-run business, we have been able to overcome challenges by working as a team and working daily to create high-quality products.
While sharing about adversities they faced during the foundation of Asha Pops, they state, “We’re creating a new category of allergen-free superfood snacks with our Asha Pops Water Lily Seeds. AshaPops provide a low-calorie healthy alternative to puffs, chips, and popcorn.”
Advice for Emerging Leaders
While spreading the word of advice, they convey the message saying there will always be obstacles to overcome as an entrepreneur. What has been helpful is to have a resource of individuals who have gone through the same path to reach out to for advice. So, to join any groups where you can ask for help and mentorship
Touching on the hard part of life and reality, they share their views, saying – experience and wisdom earned through life are invaluable that cannot be learned solely through textbook studying. The school of hard-knock lives helps to shape our perspective and provides a solid base of understanding that has helped tremendously in entrepreneurship.
Starting a company brings in a variety of experiences and challenges that have allowed them to bring their creative energy to the fire, keeping them mentally active and becoming a medium for them to give back to their community.
They punch in their advice, saying- if you feel passionate about your idea and bringing it to your customers, then stay resilient through the challenging times since these challenges help you grow and come out stronger!
The Vision of Asha Pops
The Makers of Asha Pops state envisioning their future, “Our vision is to grow Asha Pops’s retail presence nationwide and launch across the Midwest & East Coast in 2023.”
They are also excited to launch a new AshaPops flavor based on recommendations from their AshaPops fam.
Moments of Recognitions
They were awarded the Whole Foods Supplier of the Year SoPac Award for 2021.
SPINS Featured Brand (since we are their Top 2.5%, Quartile Performer)
Our AshaPops Chili Lime Flavor won the Best Healthy Snack of 2020 award by Hearst Magazines’ Good Housekeeping edition
Featured on US Weekly
Ryan Seacrest, a customer of AshaPops fam and surprised them with a shoutout on his show: https://youtu.be/jd9hZ_NlKbY