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 Vinita Parekh, owner of Karma Wellness Kitchen!
We asked Vinita to share a few fun facts about herself with us so we could get to know her a little bit better!
- She likes to go skydiving.
- She loves funny memes!
- She loves experimenting with ingredients in her kitchen.
We also asked Vinita to share a little bit more about her business with us. Get to know her and her business, Karma Wellness Kitchen, below!
How did you come up with the idea of your business, and how did you start?
“Karma Wellness Kitchen began when my son moved to California for college. He wanted to eat the home-cooked meals that he grew up eating. I started sending brown bags of rice, lentils, and spices that he could easily cook in an Instant Pot in his dorm room. The comforting meals that he prepared reminded him of home away from home.
“I am a lucky daughter who grew up in the food business. In my Indian home, I had the best of both worlds: my mom and grandmother were amazing cooks who loved to feed guests, and my dad had the family grain business. From them, I learned how to cook healthy, delicious food without preservatives or additives. From my dad, I vicariously learned the art of picking quality spices, the seasons for picking spices, 80-plus varieties of rice, and the different grades of lentils.
“Little did I know that this knowledge would help me start Karma Wellness Kitchen, a plant-based food company, creating clean plant-based superfood snacks and meal kits.”
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
“Yes, I would have created a business plan to exactly know how to take a business from being a hobby to scaling it. Working on the packaging and knowing the target customer from the start would have proven to be helpful.”
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
“The best advice that I have received is to know your target customer and manage your finances well.”
Have you faced adversity in business due to being a woman? How did you navigate that?
“Yes, I have faced adversity in business as a minority and woman-owned business when some businesses and distributors avoid acknowledging your presence, no call-backs in spite of several follow-ups, or even giving an opportunity to talk. However, I believe that these challenges provide me with opportunities to develop resilience and strategies to overcome these obstacles.”
How do you persevere in challenging times?
“Staying positive and celebrating the small wins.”
What impact do you want your business to have?
“At Karma, we believe in creating a sustainable healthy food future that’s good for our bodies and planet.”
What are the pros and cons of being a woman business owner in 2023?
“The pros of being a woman business owner: customers like to see it’s a minority, women-owned brand; funding opportunities for business owners; [and getting] to learn and meet other women business owners/makers through events.
“Cons: the constant multi-tasking with limited help, managing all aspects of the business, [and] competing with the big brands/sharks in the stores.”
What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
“Here are a few things that I would share [with] someone becoming an entrepreneur: have passion, do customer discovery, manage the finances, and be ready to work 24/7.”
What do you do for personal and professional development?
“I enjoy listening to podcasts, [visiting] trade shows, [and meeting] fellow makers to understand and learn from their stories [and] business experiences.”
What mantra or quote do you live by?
“At Karma it’s about eating good, thinking good, [and] doing good for yourself and the community.”
What’s your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?
“Mackinac Island, and watching the sunset at Walled Lake after work.”