Detroit Mom’s Local Love series highlights local women and the businesses they have built. We love supporting small business! Today’s Local Love Spotlight belongs to Prereeta Mathur, owner of Jashan Fine Chocolate.
To start, we asked Prereeta to share some fun facts about herself. She shared that she came to the U.S.A. all by herself at the age of 17 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Marketing at Wayne State University. Prereeta was born in India and grew up in Dubai, U.A.E.. She currently works in Marketing for a franchiser in the fitness and education industry, and she is passionate and driven!
We asked her to share a little bit more about her business with us, too. Get to know Prereeta and her business, Jashan Fine Chocolate, below!
How did you come up with the idea of your business, and how did you start?
“During the pandemic, I was searching for a more meaningful purpose. I have always enjoyed connecting with friends and family through food, either by having a social gathering at home and cooking a meal for more than 25 people single-handedly, or volunteering to find a good place to eat in metro Detroit and making sure everyone has a good time. So during COVID, I felt this void of connection and came up with this idea: how can one [stay] connected and celebrate life and occasions with loved ones? Hence the name “Jashan” came to mind. “Jashan” means “celebration” in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian.
“I started in my home kitchen; I bought small gift boxes and from Michaels and Amazon or on Etsy and added my chocolate creations in [them]. [Then] I started gifting them to neighbors, friends, and family for birthdays [and] holidays, and asked for honest feedback. This gave me the confidence to look into how I [could] start selling this online.”
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
“Many things! I am a self-taught chocolatier and I do not have formal training, so every batch of chocolate I created was a learning experience. Testing, trying, researching, learning from experts. My curiosity of perfecting the bite size piece of chocolate has taught me many things, including how to marry different Indian flavors with chocolate. One thing I would have done differently is not investing heavily into [the] packaging and design of my beautiful chocolate box. I know that presentation is key! But, there are so many different and economical ways of achieving that.”
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
“One of the best pieces of advice I have received is to live outside your comfort zone. I try to practice that in my daily life. Challenge myself every day to try new things, learn from mistakes; while trying to be kind to myself, and practice self compassion.”
Have you faced adversity in business due to being a woman? How did you navigate that?
“I think there are challenges in the food industry no matter what your gender. But as a woman, people think that because I have always cooked and baked for the family, that this is just a hobby or a phase I am going through and not serious about it. So at first, I would get a lot [of] ‘cute’ remarks and passive support from extended family and friends to encourage this ‘hobby.’ However, that perception quickly changed when I started investing more time and prioritizing my business.”
How do you persevere in challenging times?
“I focus on my goals, [am] grateful of what I have accomplished, and then seek support to get a different perspective from my customers and friends and family.”
What impact do you want your business to have?
“I want everyone to enjoy my product and Celebrate Life! Life is too short to be anything but happy and celebrate every milestone, occasion, and holiday with the people you love.”
What are the pros and cons of being a woman business owner in 2023?
What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
“Don’t wait to start, just start! Work every day to get closer to what you want your business to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect from day one.”
What do you do for personal and professional development?
“I read and take master classes from other professionals.”
What mantra or quote do you live by?
“Be kind, you never know what someone else is going through.”
What’s your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?
“I love downtown Detroit, downtown Plymouth, Petoskey, and Holland.”