The Naan-Americans

Supriya Shekar

Owner of The Naan-Americans

Newton MA | https://www.naanamericans.com/

What does your business do?

Growing up in India, I have the best memories of food tasting from our neighbor’s kitchen, and for some reason food served in other’s kitchen was not only different and unique, but always told me a story of the family living there. From roots of their ethnicity to culture and tradition, kindness and generosity to humility and grandeur. It was indeed my first food experiences as a kid trying new cuisines in culturally rich Indian neighbourhood.

"Naan-Americans” is an extension of my experiences as a child to American soil, where we bring people together through food and enlighten them with history, culture and traditions, bridging the knowledge gap on diversity around us.

We are a community building platform that enables people to experience unique culinary adventures from passionate hosts who enjoys sharing new recipes and stories behind it. Our platform is ideal for passionate cooks, cookbook authors, food bloggers or established chefs. We provide opportunity for talented cooks to follow a passion and work in their own time and on their own terms.

Naan Americans hosts events for all ages. We are known for culinary experiences, as we combine food with activities that could be enjoyed in groups or privately with friends, family or team members in corporate events. Some of our past events includes, health & wellness classes like- Yoga and Ayurveda cooking for Mind, Body and Gut cleansing, Sushi Art that incorporates art in sushi making, Farm to Table events in the outdoors including Korean and Indian cooking, Puppet show and make your own Pumpkin Pie Parfait for kids, and so on...

Since its establishment 8 months ago, Naan Americans has shown tremendous interests and growth within Massachusetts. According to secondary research, millennials are cooking more and it isn’t considered a chore but ability to create an experience. Our uniqueness in bringing culturally enlightening food experiences combined with a fun activity attracts varied people looking for food adventures, culinary skill development, kids activities or group activities. Our classes takes place in different venues, depending on the nature of classes we operate in pop-ups or inside host kitchens.

How would you use the grant money?

Our biggest struggle is to make people feel comfortable going to host’s private kitchens for cooking showcase and tasting experience. Just like AirBnB, any new set-up takes time for people to feel comfortable. Hence, during this transition of their mind-set, we have introduced farms, pop-ups and other public venues for people to walk-in for classes. We would like to use our grant money to provide suitable venue for our cooks to host culturally enlightening culinary events. Every successful class we host contributes towards our contents and marketing materials for our upcoming classes, and this is how we grow. In addition to the venue, we would also use some of our grant money towards marketing and promotion of our classes to reach wider audiences.

What would the grant enable you to do that you can't now?

Grant money will enable us in supporting several programs that we intend to do with our talented cooks and chefs. We will have more flexibility in renting suitable commercial kitchens or public venues for our host chefs to organize culinary adventures. Currently, with limited budget we are finding it hard to provide them with equipped public spaces.

If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your biz reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?

We pay it forward in the means of mentorship, women empowerment, non-profits and community building.

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