Vancouver company making nostalgic Indian snack finds national success

May 7 2021, 9:09 am


Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.


It’s amazing how many successful business ideas originate from childhood.

The passion, nostalgia, and history with an idea that can last into adulthood can forge a drive that makes a great entrepreneur a successful one.

Anamika Gioia had a snack food she loved as a child in India, and when she moved to Canada she just couldn’t find it anymore. Eventually, she realized it wasn’t just something she wanted back — but a gap in the market.

She couldn’t find a snack as good, or as healthy, and decided she would bring the one to bring it here. Sacred Foods is a snack made from hand-picked lotus seeds, which are then popped and roasted in olive oil with seasonings. Sacred Foods is environmentally-conscious in its cultivation process, healthy in its nutrition, and tastes delicious.

 

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Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local business owners. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local creators, we talked to Anomika Gioia, about her childhood history and how it’s brought her early success in business. 

“I first discovered popped lotus seeds when I was a little girl growing up in India,” Gioia told Daily Hive.

“My mother used to make it for me at home and it was my favourite snack. I used to eat it almost everyday. When I moved to Canada when I was 13, I noticed that I couldn’t find it anywhere — that’s when I first had the idea to create this business when I grew up,” she added.

She started the business in Canada, and was clearly onto something. The success of Sacred Foods has been incredibly impressive, having stories published in Vancouver news outlets and in over 150 grocery stores across Canada.

 

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I developed a growth mindset which transformed how I viewed the capabilities of myself and others,” Gioia said.

“I used to believe that people are born with certain talents and intelligence, but now I realize that’s just a starting point. We are able to learn anything through hard-work and dedication. Failure is just an opportunity to continue growing,” she added.

It’s a level of maturity and experience that’s hard to believe for someone at such a young age. Gioia is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young entrepreneurs in Vancouver, and she has well-earned advice for others like her who hope to start their own business.

 

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I started working on Sacred Foods when I was 23 years old,” she said.

“I was very young and I didn’t have any prior experience or contacts in the industry. I didn’t even have a business degree. However, I overcame my limiting beliefs and took the risk to start my own business anyway. With hard-work and persistence, I was able to figure out the path along the way and I am still learning new things everyday. I hope my story shows aspiring entrepreneurs that they can do the same,” she added.

Of course, persistence, knowledge, hard work, belief, and more are key to growing a business, but many people possess those things. What they may not possess is a great product, or the idea to create one. Gioia has produced a delicious and healthy food that appeals to everyone that loves a savoury snack.

 

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Our snacks are minimally processed and made in small batches with simple ingredients,” she said.

“They are gluten free, non GMO, low in calories and high in protein. The extra bonus is that it tastes amazing and delivers a satisfying crunch. Sacred Foods comes in four delicious flavours: Himalayan Pink Salt, White Cheddar, Sweet Thai Chili and Spicy Wasabi,” she added.

Sacred Goods tastes great, and clearly they are made with care and with health in mind. They are also made with a sense of cultural history that Gioia is proud to continue to share today.

 

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The seeds come from the same plant as the lotus flower. In my culture, the lotus is very sacred and represents purity — which is one of the core values on which I built this brand, said Gioia.f

Sacred Foods is continuing to grow and it’s exciting to watch a local entrepreneur find success like this at such a young age. We can’t wait to watch and see where she takes her business. Gioia is certainly well aware of what she would like to see from her idea that started from her childhood.

Sacred Foods exists to help people discover positivity, mindfulness and healthier habits through snacking,” she told us.

This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
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