Batches Made With Love
Interview with Peggy Andrews
By Kathryn Gordon
Kathryn: Peggy, how did you get the idea for your business? I know a bit about Ayurveda because I've traveled to India and know it involves balancing food intake for body types, but can you explain a bit more?
Peggy: Dosha Pops are the love child of my passion for food and my latest lifestyle change to achieve physical and spiritual balance through Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the 5,000 year old science of life. The inspiration came from years of striving to balance a legal career with social justice volunteering and still maintain a rewarding personal life.
I embarked upon the practice of yoga and meditation, a pathway that eventually led to exploring holistic natural healthcare, and an Ayurveda lifestyle. One of the primary components of my Ayurvedic lifestyle is daily consumption of herbal teas.
Still wanting to indulge, I started crafting these artisanal lollipops with Ayurvedic herbs, spices and teas. Realizing that others want a healthier candy indulgence too, I created Dosha Pops.
Kathryn: Is there a specific significance in the name?
Peggy: The name Dosha Pops came to me as soon as I thought of creating Ayurvedic herbal tea lollipops.
Ayurveda asserts that each individual contains a unique combination of doshas or energies. According to Ayurveda, the 5 elements of nature (space, air, fire, water and earth) combine in the body as these 3 doshas known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda focuses on balancing these doshas for optimal physical, mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda focuses on balancing these doshas for optimal physical, mental and spiritual health.
My lollipops are made of herbal teas, spices and herbs that are meant to balance your dosha. Hence the name Dosha Pops was born.
Kathryn: It’s pretty unusual, to mix in tea, spice and herbs when you cook sugar syrups (which tend to crystallize with “add ins.”) What else makes your lollipops different from others?
Peggy: What makes Dosha Pops unique is that they are designed with ingredients you need to balance your unique dosha. Figuring out which of the Dosha Pops are best for you boils down to your unique doshic energy type.
You can take the “Dosha Pops test” at www.doshapops.com
Kathryn: What kind of spices do you use, and how many flavors do you offer?
Peggy: Our herbal tea recipes blend the flavors of these different botanicals with the most highly regarded Ayurveda spices- such as turmeric, ginger and cardamom to name a few - resulting in a variety of herbal infusions that are great for your health and taste great too!
We have 6 flavors including:
1. Chai Me Up which is made of organic sugar, holy basil tea with chai spices and toasted coconut flakes
2. Velvet Rope which is made of organic sugar and chicory root tea
3. Inner Glow which is made with organic sugar, turmeric root tea, ginger and lemon
4. Mytea Pomegranate is made with organic sugar, rooibos tea and pomegranate
5. Head Over Hibiscus is made with organic sugar and hibiscus flower tea
6. Wishful Pinking is made with organic sugar, pink rose tea and a dusting of rose petal powder
Kathryn: After prototyping at home, you found a unique commercial kitchen space. I visited you there soon after you had set up. How is the production going now that you have a regular production schedule?
Peggy: I found the perfect commercial kitchen space for a small startup business. My kitchen is at an Ayurvedic Institute and Yoga studio. It’s an open kitchen space. There is a storage room that I share with a small Bed & Breakfast hotel that is upstairs. During the mornings the hotel uses the kitchen space to serve continental breakfast. I use the kitchen after breakfast on weekends.
Production is still very small batch. The kitchen space has given me the opportunity to learn how to increase production in a legal space, devote my evenings to marketing efforts for the company, and be able to grow with the demand for Dosha Pops.
Kathryn: You ordered custom silicon lollipop molds from the Chicago Mold Making School. I know you were a bit hesitant about the prototype because of the expense – but you couldn't find anything on the ready-made-market that worked for your product. Do you like the molds?
Peggy: The silicone molds are wonderful! They are much more durable than my old plastic molds. Additionally, I don’t have to oil the silicon molds. My custom molds have given me the opportunity to add the Dosha Pops logo, which is the tea leaf. I chose the tea leaf because my lollipops are made from herbal teas. Plus the tea leaf keeps my branding consistent.
Kathryn: How did you go about finding the kitchen space? And is it working, to share the space with a hotel in terms of storage, ingredients, production space?
Peggy: I let everyone know that I was looking for a commercial kitchen space. My Ayurveda doctor, Michael Ferranti, suggested my current kitchen space.
It’s a tight fit but so far its been working for me. My inventory is kept on dedicated storage and refrigerator shelves versus the hotel. I’m a pretty small business so I don’t need much space. For the lollipops, I store infusions in the refrigerator and sugar bins hold my dry storage
The kitchen is an open space to the public. The advantage of the open kitchen space is that people can see me making Dosha Pops, which is great advertising. The disadvantage is that people try to talk to me while I’m making Dosha Pops, which can be distracting.
Kathryn: You’re selling now in some yoga studios and boutiques; if people want to order your lollipops, how do they contact you?
Peggy: The Dosha Pops web-site should be live by next month. In the meantime, you can purchase Dosha Pops by emailing me at Peggy@doshapops.com or through www.facebook.com/doshapops.
Kathryn: Thank you Peggy, and good luck with your unique product.