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Behind the Spice: Women Warriors, Empowers the Community that Empowers the World - Through Food

Jan 11, 2022

In 1959, seven Gujarati women believed in themselves, and each other, and started a business to create a sustainable livelihood using the only skill they had - cooking. These women entrepreneurs borrowed Rs 80 from a local social worker -- an amount equal to $1.80. Using that tiny investment - these seven intrepid women took over a loss-making papad producing venture and started Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Liijat Papad (known as Liijat - which means “tasty”). Sixty years later, they turned that belief in themselves and $1.80 into an international business generating more than $224 M in annual revenue, employing over 45,000 women across India.

Seven semi-literate women with no experience in business or knowledge of how to run a company, started and built this now multi-million dollar organization. Not only did they believe in themselves, but they also believed in empowering other women in their community to help themselves- sharing their success and paying it forward. They did all this through the unifying power of food, starting with the simple and most humble, Papad.

Papad, also called papadam, or poppadom is a dough of flour, either fried or cooked with dry heat until crunchy. Flours made from lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, millet or potato are also used - and now even quinoa. Papad was traditionally made by women during the summer months, on rooftops as a community, socializing and supporting each other while creating food together. Papad is a simple, delicious integral part of most Indian households and also a healthy addition where it’s also considered to aid digestion.

Liijat, through its many successes and challenges, has stayed true to its foundation built on the power of food and the core of its mission - empowering women to empower their communities. We simply love this story – women brought together by community, who started a business to help themselves and through that bringing an entire community and generations of women with them to learn, grow and thrive together. This is so much of what drives SugarRoti - a passion for tradition, simple ingredients, shared success. Creating community in your kitchen and beyond and unlocking creativity and health through our products while mindful of sustainability.

“Social change is brought about by those who dare and act, who can think unconventionally, and can court unpopularity” -- Indira Gandhi

*picture courtesy of article - https://shouts.site/rags-to-riches-story-of-lijjat-papad/