Seth Hajbi’s love for Indian food first began when he was first introduced to it through his mother-in-law’s cooking. Inspired by her food and story, he opened a cafe in D.C. called Red Toque and has since started a business called Jasmine Foods. Jasmine Foods brings authentic frozen Indian meals like chicken biryani, butter chicken, and saag paneer to your home kitchen. 

What is your business concept and inspiration?

My mother-in-law's cooking was my introduction to Indian food and my inspiration for starting my business: She learned on the Job: she, as well as my father-in-law, come from well to do families in India with servants doing everything, but moved to North America as a recently married couple with a toddler and an infant and had to learn how to cook for her young family on the job. She struggled, persisted and succeeded. She is known among our large family as the best cook.

What has been the most challenging aspect so far?

Our challenge has been bringing our authentic and affordable Indian food to as many people in DC as possible. 

Thanks to Union Kitchen, we are a step closer to overcoming our biggest challenge of making our authentic and affordable Indian food available to all of DC residents and beyond.

What are you most excited about? Short-term and long-term

In the short term, our focus is to produce our introductory products consistently and test the wider DC market with our flavor. Our long term focus is to expand our product line as well as our sales territory.

Where do you see your brand in 5 years?

In five years, we'd like to be selling our products not only on the east coast but all over the US.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day starts with a cappuccino and a review of the previous day's business with an eye on making today's better. Continuous improvement is our best way to guard against complacency and mediocrity.

What’s the best reaction you’ve received about your product?

“Wow, that's amazing!”

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