Behind the Brand
Diaspora Co. was founded by third-generation Mumbai native Sana Javeri Kadri, who dreamt of building a more equitable spice trade and empowering small-scale farmers in India. Sana moved from her hometown of Mumbai to the United States for college, where she became intrigued by the American food system and later went on to work in Bi-Rite’s marketing department. During this time, Sana began to realize how fragmented the spice supply chain was; no one seemed to know where their spices came from. So, in 2016, she booked a one-way ticket home to Mumbai and spent 7 months learning everything she could about the spice industry. She visited over 40 different farms, learning that farmers made almost no money on the spices that they grew and that spices typically changed hands over 10 times before arriving at the end consumer. Through a partnership with the Indian Institute of Spices Research, Sana was connected to an equally young and idealistic heirloom turmeric farmer, Mr. Prahbu Kasaraneni, sparking the beginning of Diaspora Co.
Initially, Sana’s goal was to find ten chefs and supply them with just one spice — Pragati Turmeric — from the Indian farmers. To pay for labels, design, and packaging, she maxed out her travel rewards credit card and received $4,000 from her parents in exchange for equity. A few months later and just two weeks into launching Diaspora Co., Sana found herself with about $10,000 worth of orders. She drank a beer to celebrate. From packing and shipping out orders herself to sourcing 30 single-origin spices from 150 farms across India and Sri Lanka, Sana has grown her company into a highly-respected and globally-recognized pantry brand. Today, Diaspora Co. compensates their farm partners about 6 times the commodity price and works tirelessly in their quest to grow a better spice trade.