Meet the duo behind AshaPops: Jai and Asha Farswani
The AshaPops story as told by the founders
Asha aunty: In the summer of 2017, I started having trouble sleeping and my doctor prescribed Magnesium pills. Always preferring natural sources of treatment versus meds, I elected to eat Popped Water Lily Seeds which are a good source of Magnesium. We grew up snacking on these ancient Ayurvedic seeds during days of fasting or when I was pregnant with each of my four children. At 100 calories per bag, I could enjoy them guilt-free and sleep better. I had Jai try them too and he got hooked! Jai felt that these pearls of nature should be enjoyed by all and encouraged me to help him introduce these to our local community here in Los Angeles. That was the birth of AshaPops in late 2017.
Jai: I was born in Dubai and moved to New England for school where I also got my pilot’s license. Upon graduation, I decided to pursue my passion for aviation by working at AIG’s aviation finance firm here in LA. I got hooked on Asha’s Popped Water Lily Seeds and would take bags to meetings or friends’ parties to snack on. My friends loved mom’s crunchy servings and, with healthy snacking trending in America, they encouraged me to launch a business with mom.
In Fall 2017, we pitched our tent at a local Los Angeles farmer’s market and thanks to the support of our AshaPops family, feel blessed to have now sold AshaPops across the nation in retail outlets like Whole Foods, Erewhon and many more from California to NYC.
Jai, can you share your quick background and what were you doing before AshaPops? I handle all commercial operations of AshaPops. My past roles include corporate strategy and divestment of AIG’s aircraft leasing division, fundraising for select startups in US & India, venture capital and launching a tech marketplace (HouseStay) which provides month-to-month corporate housing for traveling professionals. I graduated with honors from Northeastern University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. Outside of my professional life, I’m a private pilot with a passion for aviation, travel and languages.
What sets AshaPops apart from other snacks?
Snacking continues to increase amongst millennials, with a growing number also dealing with allergen sensitivity and mineral & vitamin deficiencies. They’re looking for a low calorie, nutrient-rich, flavorful grab-n-go snack to sustain themselves between meals. For those with allergen sensitivities, the bar is set even higher looking for dairy-free, gluten-free and corn-free options. Moms, especially Millennial moms, are also looking for similar profile snack for their kids.
Enter AshaPops to bridge this gap and address the need. At 100 calories per 1 oz bag, with 4g of Plant Protein containing Magnesium & Antioxidants, AshaPops are an excellent Plant-based Vegan & Paleo snacking alternative which don’t get stuck in your teeth like Popcorn or cause any bloating. It’s corn-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free & dairy-free making it an excellent snacking solution that’s guilt-free.
Asha aunty, how does it feel being co-owners of this successful brand with your son?
I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to enjoy quality time with my son, while working on a common mission that we both feel passionate about. I’m appreciative of my son Jai in encouraging me to embark on this journey which allows us to make an impact on our communities. It’s been such an amazing journey thus far, meeting so many wonderful people who have become a part of our AshaPops fam and excited to continue to use AshaPops as a force for good.
Asha aunty, what are some simple Ayurvedic ingredients to have on hand in the kitchen to add to daily cooking?
Some of my favorite Ayurvedic ingredients that I include in almost every dish I cook are carom, mustard and fenugreek seeds. They are best used when making dals (lentils), vegetables or in chapatis (Indian bread).
What’s next for AshaPops? More flavors? Different types of snacks?
A new flavor! We are excited to launch our new flavor in January 2021 so busy with launching that. Stay tuned :)
Editor’s note: Currently, Chili Lime, Turmeric Garlic and Dark Chocolate are my favorite flavors. 😋
Where can readers purchase AshaPops?
The most convenient option to purchase our AshaPops is through our website using the following link: www.ashapops.com
Enter discount code upon checkout of LOVEMISHKA for 15% off your first purchase.
Facebook: @AshaSuperfoods Anything else you’d like readers to know about your brand?
AshaPops is committed to helping provide our growers & their families with the livelihood & dignity that they rightfully deserve. We are contributing 5% of all AshaPops net proceeds to Akhand Jyoti, the largest Eye Hospital in Eastern India. This non-profit hospital helps provide farmers with eyecare and restoring eyesights to ensure they can continue to earn a livelihood. What’s more, they empower women in these families by providing them with an education and providing them with the medical training to eventually run these centers.