Only once you move away from home do you learn to appreciate your family’s best kept secrets: their recipes. Just ask recent Babson MBA graduate Soham Patel, who missed his mother’s ayurvedic ingredients the minute he left his Indian-American home. So much so, he’s striving to bring them to grocery store shelves nationwide in the form of organic beverage line MissionRoot.
Made with ginger root, tulsi herb, hibiscus flower and amla fruit, MissionRoot’s debut line of drinks contains no high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or beet sugar, providing a tasty way to detoxify your body. The ginger root, alone, is considered to be a kick to the immune system, as it is both anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory.
Using his mother’s age-old recipes as a starting point, Patel worked with flavorist Barr Hogen, who helped develop Odwalla beverages and food bars for nine years as the company’s former creative chef. The now Cambridge-based MissionRoot can already be found in 20 Whole Foods Markets throughout New England, and will be on The Fresh Market shelves come the spring of 2013, according to Ben Donohue, MissionRoot’s vice president of business development.
As the company continues to grow, Donohue says they hope to be in school cafeterias, small retail chains and yoga studios. And, if sales continue to be brisk in Boston, MissionRoot has plans to expand to Los Angeles and New York. “The key is establishing partnerships,” Donohue admits, claiming finding distributors willing to work with a startup company is one of the biggest challenges.
As the company continues to market, they’ll also need to educate consumers about ayurvedic ingredients, which they have started to do through Twitter. “We see ourselves as an ayurvedic drink, but we also see ourselves as a non-carbonated, ginger root-based drink and a healthy water alternative,” Donohue says—a description they want to convey to customers.
With the average 12-ounce bottle selling for $2.69, MissionRoot is aligned with its various local competitors, such as Nantucket Nectars. What’s better, however, is that five percent of MissionRoot’s profits benefit The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-governmental school lunch program, which provides hot meals to more than 1.3 million school children in India every day.
For those looking to combat physical and mental strain—or maybe just a bout of homesickness—taste MissionRoot for yourself. To see if it’s in a store near you, click here.