About us

THE CATALYST GOURMET STORY…

Follow my daily journey and frequent entrepreneur tips online: www.twitter.com/catalystmom 
or follow our brand online on twitter: www.twitter.com/catalystgourmet or on our facebook page: Catalyst Gourmet  


 

Hello.  I’m Kaushika, the founder, and our mission is to support healthy living and wellness and to delight our consumers.   We love to make healthy living fun with 100% pure antioxidant rich spices that we’ve crafted into inventive gourmet blends to provide new, exciting ways to easily infuse daily favorites with goodness while transforming the taste and aroma into delicious gourmet bliss.  We are lifelong foodies who believe everything you drink and eat can be good for you, taste amazing, smell fabulous and leave you with a smile of joy.   We’re incredibly fussy about taste and quality so every blend is a true artisan creation, inspired by global flavor trends and beautifully packaged so our products stay on the table as a reminder to use daily.

 

We welcome you to discover why consumers who have tasted and tried our brands send us raving testimonials.  They enjoy being able to instantly transform the taste of ordinary tea, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, fruits and meals with our flagship Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers (originally known as Tea Enhancers) and other lines.  Now you too can can transform every drink or food into an Enchanting Chai, Gourmet Ginger, Fennel Fusion, Tantalizing Turmeric, Sultry Cinnamon or Sensational Saffron experience with just a simple sprinkle.  Our clients love having fun with our blends, but love even more that we use only all natural, preservative-free, gluten-free ingredients in our products.

 

We truly love to transform experiences and can’t wait for you to discover our definition of gourmet bliss!

Where did the inspiration for Catalyst Gourmet “Tea” Enhancers come from?   It was literally born while on extended bed rest during my 3rd IVF cycle with serious health risks to me and my now healthy and happy toddler.  

It was during IVF procedures that I began scouring the internet and books for healthy foods and beverages to counter the effects of the IVF and the first time I became passionate about natural healing, ayurvedic and alternative medicine principles.  I tried accupuncture, meditation and changing my diet in order to become healthy and have energy as a 40 yr old first time birth mom.  It was during these IVF procedures that I also discovered and began trying green teas for health reasons for the first time in my life, but found that most were “ok” and more bland than I liked.  Even pre-flavored green teas, while good, left me yearning often for a little more “punch of flavor”.  Ever feel the same way?

I also learned to my dismay that as a diabetic in pregnancy I had to limit my sugar and milk intake so that led to further frustration with beverage options and my daily tea routine in particular. I had grown up drinking really sweet, really milky, rich tea several times a day and very rich Indian style “Chai”.  But, now I had to learn to like healthy green tea without sugar or milk. 

This was my “aha” moment.

I decided I would create a line of spice blends, “tea enhancers” to flavor up my teas to make them gourmet and more delicious while still being good for me.  I spent months developing the line and researched the benefits of various spices in my cabinets and learned about ayurvedic medicine and more in my search for ingredients or spices that fit my criteria.  I initially chose what I like to term my ”10 super spices” for health reasons and then began playing around and formulating recipes for the blends and after two years of testing and tastings and positive feedback and early test market event sales, I am happy to formally introduce my first five flavorful blends and a number of new products that we’ve created.


How Catalyst Tea Enhancers became popular for more than just Tea.

My initial focus was to improve green tea, but it turns out Catalyst Tea Enhancers are delicious in most everything.  Because our blends were formulated to work with the delicate flavor of green teas they work well in all other types of tea, coffee, drinks and foods. 

We were initially surprised at how “tasty” Catalyst Tea Enhancers were when we begin testing them in more than just tea.  We thank our test market consumers and industry mentors who insisted that we try using the products in other things they loved like hot chocolate, oatmeal, smoothies, baking and coffee.   It was the many emails, conversations, feedback and testimonials from my consumers that led me to expand the brand beyond it’s original intent for just tea.  We’re in the process of expanding into Catalyst Gourmet as our brand identity. 

Our consumers taught me to consider these new uses as they too began their own experiments in their search for other ways to enjoy the aroma and taste of my blends because they enjoyed them so much   I love the interactive nature of how things have unfolded and I am learning from my clients, other entrepreneurs, foodies and so many others every day on how to blend all the ideas together for others to enjoy.  


A story that is still unfolding…

The journey for my brand and concepts have just begun, but through all of this, it’s my mother’s quiet grace and belief in me and my father’s entrepreneurial spirit that serve me in ways that 20+ years of business experience could not possibly replicate.   

A Thank You To My Supporters, Advisors:

I also have to thank so many others, including my close friends, Dr. Seema Kumar, Ria, Ami, Felisa, Nancy, Shiela, Rani & so many others and even complete strangers who became friends and helped with advice and more during various test markets and tastings around the country this past year.  Thank you also to Ellen Easton for her tea expertise and for being one of the first industry professionals to insist I explore the use of Catalyst Tea Enhancers in baking and more. 

I want to especially thank god, the teams at Shady Grove Fertility, Dr Stillman & my high risk specialist, Dr. Hamersley for our amazing son whose birth has brought us so much joy.  He teaches me daily the value of living in the moment, letting go of the past and enjoying each new day as I see the world through his filter.  The meaning of his name, Anand, means bliss & joy.  

Thank you also to the volunteers, the customers and the cheerleaders and even the early critics who challenged me, inspired me and encouraged my ideas to flourish. 

My hope is that when you buy our products they bring you as much joy as we get in creating them for you. 


Still want to know more? 

To understand how I ended up as a food entrepreneur and passionate about wellness and helping others begins with my family history.

Mom is quite simply, a fabulous cook.  She is the reason I am so picky about food and flavors.  I tend to annoy most chefs by asking for more condiments or toppings or spices to make meals taste better when I eat out.  She is also the reason I love to be in a kitchen as my happiest memories are of cooking and hanging out with her in our kitchen.  She like so many wonderful stay at home moms taught me to appreciate the comfort and true joy that comes with making and sharing good food and how to cook without recipes from the start.   She was an adventurous cook and our home like many other immigrant homes was always filled with smells of fragrant spices, freshly ground curries and home cooked meals but ours was also filled with creative culinary experiments – we had pizza night, Italian pasta night, Mexican night  and more as we jointly discovered as a family all the flavorful options this country had to offer.

My father is the consummate entrepreneurial spirit.  He comes from a small village and was the first in his community to come to the US over on a student visa and brought all of us over to this country back in the 60′s.  He has truly shaped my entrepreneurial spirit and showed me through his own journey that taking risk, accepting failure and success at different points are part of business and life.  Most importantly, he taught me how to stay focused on my goals as he did after he was laid off when we were children and had to reinvent himself several times before finding his niche in real estate and property management.   He instilled in me and my sisters the values of an education, hard work and having a dream. He unfortunately focused so much on his businesses that he failed to focus on his health and eventually became permanently disabled in his 50′s due to uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and kidney failure.  His personal health issues have influenced my focus on wellness and balance as a business and personal mission.  

The common thread between my parents, despite their very different personalities, is that they both have a sense of adventure and created, even with limited means, the most amazing childhood experiences.  They were also both very connected to their Indian community and helped start a cultural organization that exposed us to a very colorful, vibrant  dual culture childhood  and that shaped my love of various cultures, entertaining and making others happy through food and entertaining.   Having 50 or more people over for a weekend dinner was a common experience in our home and they seemed to collect friends everywhere they went.   

That experience influenced me as an adult and I would  throw Tea parties and Wine tastings as a way to bring people together whenever I moved to a new city as it was a great way to connect and build friendships and I too have always loved hosting dinner parties and cooking for a crowd.   I tested starting a cooking class a few years ago to have an outlet for my desire to share my love of good food but then became focused on the IVF journey.  But, even at age 12, I subjected my friends to my creative food experiments at dinner parties thrown lovingly around our old ping pong table that I would decorate and then get teased for being so “formal”.  Thankfully, even then, the food and recipes I created received rave reviews.

I’m blessed to now be sharing my passion for creating extraordinary experiences into a business that allows me to express myself as businesswoman, a cook, an innovator, an artist, a leader and a mom passionate about wellness of mind, body and spirit.  It really can all begin with a simple cup of tea.
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Kaushika