We had the good fortune of connecting with Kushal M. Choksi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kushal M., is there something you believe many others might not?
“You should do enough research before starting your own business. Understanding your market is essential if you’re going to build a successful business”
What I have discovered in my entrepreneurial journey is that all the studies, the survey, and the market research are strictly backward looking. It is like driving your car while constantly looking in the rear view mirror. Consumers don’t really know what they are looking for or acknowledge a need for a product unless the product is presented to them. When you believe in yourself and in your product you have the power to create the need. And your passion will support you until your product finds the right market. There is always someone somewhere waiting for your product. If I would have done all the market research before starting a chocolate business, I probably never would have started it.
What should our readers know about your business?
We make Ayurveda inspired artisanal chocolate. Our decadent & high-vibe chocolates, are crafted with simple ingredients, powered with ancient superfoods, and inspired by the healing science of Ayurveda. Our chocolates are made with two main ingredients; ethically sourced Ecuadorian cacao and locally-sourced raw honey. They are free from dairy, refined sugar, gluten, gmo, soy, emulsifier and anything artificial.
What really sets us apart is our ability to combine our rich heritage of Ayurveda with our love for chocolate to create healthy indulgence. Each chocolate bar is infused with Ayurvedic herbs and spices and infused with pure essential oils that lends to its unique flavor profile and melt-in-the mouth texture.
What excites us the most is being able to support education of underprivileged children in India. We donate 25% of our profits to the non-profit organization, Care for Children.
Running your own business comes with its own set of challenges and the buck stops with you. It almost feels like a mystery box challenge. Every day, you don’t know what ingredients you will be given, but it is up to you to make the best possible dish with it. Looking at the challenges as an adventure as compared to a problem has really helped us learn, grow, and enjoy the journey. One of the biggest lesson I have learnt is that you won’t have an answer or solution for everything nor can you plan for every possible event. The only thing you can do is show up, do your 100% and have conviction that in due time, things will fall in place – and fall in place they do!
Most often, our indulgences are accompanied with a punch of guilt. We don’t allow ourselves to indulge freely. And then, we jump on to diets, not allowing ourselves to indulge, and then eventually, we want to break free from the diet. These diets/fads are so limiting and they cannot be adopted as a lifestyle. With Elements Truffles through the power of the 5000 year old science of Ayurveda, we want to tell the world that indulgences can be healthy, the so familiar feeling of guilt does not need to be attached to it. When we learn to listen to our bodies, when we align ourselves with nature, when we focus on balance, life truly becomes a joyful and satisfying experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely go eat at:
2. Divya’s Kitchen
5. Spicy Moon
7. May Kaidee
8. Thiru’s Dosa at Washington State Park
9. By Chloe’s
10. Jaiya Thai
11. Indian Accent
12. Van Leeuwen
Walk on the High Line Park
Bike on Central Park
Run/Jog on the Westside Promenade
Sunset from the observing gallery of One World Trade Center
Soak in the city skyline views from The Edge
Jet Sking in the Hudson river
Dip in the ancient baths at AIRE Tribeca
Ayurvedic massage at Pratima Spa
Retail therapy on Prince St. Soho and Artists and Flea Market in Williamsburg Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our parents have been our biggest cheerleaders. When we told them, about quitting our comfortable wall-street jobs to start a food business, we could sense they were a little nervous for us. But the minute they realized, this is something we were passionate about, they jumped right in to help us. From wrapping chocolate bars, improvising recipes, suggesting new flavors, to offering timely advise they have been our constant pillars of strength and biggest cheerleaders.
We would also like to acknowledge Divya Alter, an expert Ayurveda Chef, for being our mentor and support since the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey.
And lastly, the amazing community, without whom we would have not been where we are at today. They appreciated our product, gave us feedback, showered love, opened up their connections, and supported us in ever way possible.