Carson City’s spice of life — Ganesha
Karunesh Gupta may have started his spice business in his garage but his dreams reach all the way to the stars.
Gupta is the founder and CEO of Ganesha Enterprises, which makes Indian and Asian spice blends, candies and other food products he says will turn people away from the sugar and fat laden fast foods all too many people eat today.
He said the company is now producing candies in its Carson City plant but will soon begin producing dozens of different spice mixes from Garam Masala to Tikki Masala, curries, and other products used in Indian and Asian cooking.
And, while he started by importing all his spices and other food products, he said his goal is to produce everything right here in the U.S.
He said he made that decision when the quality of his imports began to deteriorate Even now, Gupta said he has begun growing in Guatamala where he has much more control over the product than in the middle east. When he can grow here, he said he will have total control over quality and the product will be even better.
Pointing out many of the spices and other things he uses are grown in the middle east on land that looks much like Nevada, he said he hopes to grow what he needs from cardamom to saffron right here.
He said eventually, his goal would be to even grow food in space to provide for the astronauts and scientists who will explore the heavens in the future.
Up there, he said, he could have total control over quality.
“I have wanted to do this since I was a kid,” he said.
He said the six different confections his company already produces will expand to a product line of nearly 3,000, all natural and healthy and affordable. The candies he said, sell for anywhere from a dime to 25 cents a pouch. The spice blends, he said, will sell for $1.99 a box. All will be produced right here in Carson City.
“We will sell back to India, Pakistan, Turkey, sell back to the people we used to buy from,” he said. “That feels so good.”
And all will be healthy foods without artificial additives and preservatives.
He said his goal is to change the way people think about these foods and make them into healthy eaters.
Gupta said 40 years ago, there weren’t nearly as many cases of cancer, obesity and heart problems because there weren’t so many bad things in the food people ate.
He blames all that junk food for the high blood pressure, cholesterol and other health issues now appearing even in children.
Gupta said people may be living longer now but “the quality of life is not good.”
“My approach is to go natural,” he said. “I want to explore ancient culture and bring it back.”
But since people love candy, chewing gum and other such treats, he said he started off by making natural products such as the spice cardamom into candy. Those candies, packaged in small tins and pouches, he said are selling well across the country. While the market currently is primarily health food and ethnic stores, he said he’s trying to break into the mainstream stores.
While still small, he said the company is growing and will soon expand staff to 35 or more.