Episode 193

Chitra Agrawal ·  Founder and CEO of Brooklyn Delhi

“I think the best cuisine innovations have come from people innovating on what they have in their environment”

Chitra Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Brooklyn Delhi, a food brand inspired by her Indian heritage. She launched Brooklyn Delhi in 2014 as a way to expand the conversation around South Asian food and culture in America, by bringing the flavors she grew up loving to grocery store shelves nationwide. Chitra has over a decade of experience teaching, serving, and writing about Indian home cooking. She is the author of Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn (Penguin, 2017). Her work has been featured in dozens of publications including the New York Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, and more. Prior to founding Brooklyn Delhi in 2014, Chitra worked as a marketing professional for over a decade at companies such as American Express and Omnicom Group.


Social media handles:

Instagram: @chitra @brooklyndelhi

Website: brooklyndelhi.com

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Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Bryan Pham: Hey, everyone. Welcome to our episode on the Asian Host Network podcast. We have a very excellent guest. Her team contacted us via cold email, and we looked at her profile. She’s amazing. You fit our podcast completely. We’re going to have Chitra in the show today. Chitra, welcome to the Asian Network podcast.

[00:00:16] Chitra Agrawal: Thanks for having me.

[00:00:18] Bryan Pham: Of course. 

[00:00:18] Bryan Pham: Please tell us about yourself and your upbringing. We want to hear more about you. 

[00:00:22] Chitra Agrawal: Yes, so I am the co-founder at Brooklyn Deli. We make Indian sauces and condiments, and I’m also a cookbook author. I wrote a cookbook called Vibrant India. And yes, that’s what I’m doing. 

[00:00:37] Bryan Pham: I love that.

[00:00:38] Bryan Pham: Nice, simple, and straight to the point. Tell us about where you grew up. What was your upbringing like? What were some of the values your parents instilled in you that helped you become the entrepreneur you are today? 

[00:00:48] Chitra Agrawal: I grew up in Jersey and was probably one of the only South Asian kids in my school.

[00:00:56] Chitra Agrawal: And that was a large part of how my identity was shaped in a sense because I kind of never really felt like I fit. I think many kids that grow up as the second generation, like me, probably felt the same way. My parents are avid home cooks and just happened to be from two different parts of India.

[00:01:19] Chitra Agrawal: We lived in a multicultural home. My parents grew up speaking two different languages. They grew up eating other foods and had different customs. I was very lucky that I got exposed to it. And I think food for us was always a central focus. I think it’s a way for my brother and me to connect with my parents because it bridges that cultural divide.

[00:01:42] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like there are two types of immigrants. The ones like, Ugh, I never want to return to where I came from. And then, the others are just always longing for home. And I feel like my parents are the second. The latter where they made it a point to take my brother and me to India every year.

[00:01:58] Chitra Agrawal: We got to experience the culture, see what they saw growing up, and connect with family. But then, living in Jersey, as any other American kid, it’s a lot of pizza and bagels. You had this American side and this Indian side happening. Regarding entrepreneurialism, I feel like my parents are very risk-averse; they are scientists.

[00:02:22] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like many immigrant parents come to this country and want to give their children more opportunities. I worked in marketing for over a decade before I founded Brooklyn Deli. I think they were very scared because they were just like, you had this salary, you had benefits.

[00:02:41] Chitra Agrawal: And going from that to, like in the beginning, really struggling as an entrepreneur on figuring it out. I think it was hard for them to see that, but as time passed, they got used to the idea. 

[00:02:54] Bryan Pham: Thank you for sharing that story. I like the fact that food is a common UNFI in your family.

[00:02:59] Bryan Pham: I feel like that is similar for many of us out there. Sometimes, the cultural values we grew up with here don’t align with our parents. The best way that our parents love us is that they make our food and make us a bowl of fruit; it’s encouragement.

[00:03:13] Bryan Pham: Not in common Asian culture where it’s a good job. I think my parents said that to me. 

[00:03:17] Chitra Agrawal: I know it’s like, I love you. I’m sorry. I’ve never even had one. They tell you they love you by cutting fruit. 

[00:03:26] Bryan Pham: Yes, and it’s crazy how your parents are very adverse because they don’t want you to become an entrepreneur.

[00:03:33] Bryan Pham: They know how much uncertainty that involves, but the thing with Asian parents is that they are your biggest supporters once they see that this is a viable path. 

[00:03:43] Chitra Agrawal: Exactly. 

[00:03:43] Bryan Pham: What was that turning point for you? Where did this become a viable path when they looked at you and the company?

[00:03:49] Bryan Pham: It said, okay, like she can do this. Like she will be able to succeed and care for herself. 

[00:03:54] Chitra Agrawal: It was probably when we went national with whole foods where my parents were like, okay, this is looking like a natural thing now. Because before, I was selling at markets all over the city, just like, it was grassroots. We were getting into like small specialty stores and making our way in that sense. 

[00:04:15] Chitra Agrawal: But when we went national with whole foods, we also got an account with a blue apron. That was when I actually could start paying myself. And that was a big step because I was self-sufficient at that point.

[00:04:28] Bryan Pham: That is a significant milestone. So huge; congrats on that. And let’s talk a bit more about the hustle involved. As you mentioned earlier, the grassroots stuff gets your product out there. What was it like at the very beginning, trying to get your product out there and combining that with your experience as a marketer for ten years, right?

[00:04:46] Bryan Pham: How did you get people to learn about the product and educate people on different flavors?

[00:04:51] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like the beginning was tough because I came from this as a food blogger. I was making food, events, and writing a cookbook. I knew nothing about selling a product to consumers in a sense.

[00:05:06] Chitra Agrawal: I was lucky because my boyfriend, my husband now, is a food packaging designer. He and I conceived of the brand together. That was like a huge leg up. I feel like the packaging is so crucial with food products. But the other hurdle we had was that I started making a char, a very traditional staple Indian condiment.

[00:05:28] Chitra Agrawal: It is just not as known to a lot of people that are not South Asian. So without even knowing it, we were creating our category. And so I think that is what I didn’t realize. Getting into it is how much work that would be. In the beginning, it was a lot of demolding, just getting out there.

[00:05:49] Chitra Agrawal: If there was an opportunity to sell the product at a street market, at an event, anywhere, I would be there. Because the more people that I could reach, try the product. I was getting more people that I could educate. Starting, you don’t have a huge marketing budget.

[00:06:08] Chitra Agrawal: So we relied on word of mouth and social media, anything and everything free to get the word out. 

[00:06:16] Bryan Pham: That is the hustle story we love, and some people look at your products nowadays at whole foods. They’re like, wow, like she must have substance or superpower like you must be well connected. Her parents must be super rich but listen to your story. You hustle, and that’s so important for us to hear. 

[00:06:34] Chitra Agrawal: No, it is all about the hustle, especially in the beginning. I would say, yes, we weren’t profitable for the first four years. I think that another piece of it, too, is that I still worked part-time on the side to support myself. 

[00:06:49] Chitra Agrawal: I also used the advance for my cookbook. And so, I didn’t have a lot of savings and things to fall back on. So I needed to work on the business and make enough for myself to live. 

[00:07:05] Bryan Pham: Yes, I can’t imagine how tough that is. That seems to be a common theme on this podcast, too. Many people are semi-making that jump but trying to find a way to support themselves; let’s dive deeper into those moments. I feel like they are very character-defining moments. Honestly, those times suck, right?

[00:07:22] Bryan Pham: How will you pay this bill? It is just going to be a viable idea. You have so much doubt. There are probably more doubts and bad days to entrepreneurship than people think. 

[00:07:32] Chitra Agrawal: Definitely. 

[00:07:33] Bryan Pham: I want to hear about that story of what you experienced, like what was going through your mind when you’re hitting these low points in your entrepreneur journey where it’s damn? Should I continue?

[00:07:43] Bryan Pham: Should I stop? Were my parents right? I want to hear about those moments. 

[00:07:45] Chitra Agrawal: Right? That is a good point. It’s when your parents are fearful of your future as well, and you’re looking at your numbers and thinking, maybe this isn’t going to work.

[00:07:58] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like with Brooklyn Deli, my identity is very much rolled up into what Brooklyn Deli is. It’s an Indian-American brand. It’s like a total reflection of who I am. It’s not just, oh, if this fails, like it’s not a big deal. It’s a huge deal because this business is a part of my identity.

[00:08:20] Chitra Agrawal: We went through some tough conversations. Me and my husband. I think it was maybe two years or three years in when I was expecting a baby at the time. We need to make this work because we have a kid coming, and it needs to be viable.

[00:08:41] Chitra Agrawal: And so, we gave ourselves. I think we had two trade shows coming up, and we’re like, okay, let’s make it to those trade shows. Six months after the trade shows, see if anything pans out to prove that. Okay, this can go on. That was when we got whole foods and blue aprons, and those two deals saved us.

[00:09:08] Chitra Agrawal: Going to a trade show is like a vast hustle. So like, we had our chairs that we were selling. But to go to the trade show, we decided to bring a bunch of concepts. Since my husband likes this designer, he sketched many different ideas.

[00:09:26] Chitra Agrawal: We had many ideas floating in our heads about other products we wanted to put out. And one thing we would make at home was this catch-up that we would mix with our tomato at char. So it makes this like spicy ketchup that’s infused with Indian flavors.

[00:09:41] Chitra Agrawal: And so, that was one of our ideas. We had put it out there, and the whole foods buyer came up to our table, and they were like, ” I love your chars. They were already being sold in the local places. And she was like, I want to understand what you think about taking the chars on national TV. And at that point, we knew that selling a char on a national scale would not be the way to go because we were having a hard time.

[00:10:11] Chitra Agrawal: We sold it. We could sell it to the buyers, but many people didn’t know what it was. It was on the shelf. People didn’t buy it unless I was demoing. But I couldn’t be at every store all the time, nor did we have the budget to hire people to demo all over. So what we did was we told her that we love that you love our chats, but we have a couple more ideas that we think may work better for us since we don’t have all that budget to do the demoing. 

[00:10:40] Chitra Agrawal: We showed her all these ideas, and she landed on the curry catch-up idea. She was like, this one seems interesting to me, and so we were like, okay, cool.

[00:10:50] Chitra Agrawal: She was like, okay, I’m going back to Austin, like the next day. Can you just give me a sample overnight? And we were like, okay, like we did not have a piece. We were in California at an Airbnb, like doing this trade show. So after the trade show, we ran back to the Airbnb and were like, oh my God, we have to make this right.

[00:11:12] Chitra Agrawal: So we made it, and it was so funny because my brother was there, and my parents and I had a kid by that time. We made the curry ketchup, but we made three different versions, and we were all trying them. And then, we finally were like, this is the one. So we overnighted that version to her, and we got a phone call literally, after like the next day. 

[00:11:34] Chitra Agrawal: She was like, everybody here loves it, and we’re going to take it national. Can you develop curry mustard for me? We were like, yes! But you have to innovate on the fly and think of all these different ways you can make your business survive if it’s what you want to do.

[00:11:54] Chitra Agrawal: And that’s an example right there, with what we did to keep it going. 

[00:11:59] Bryan Pham: I want to say, I love that story a lot. It’s crazy. I think it’s so crazy to hear those challenging stories because it’s so common. Not just among small entrepreneurs but these big companies that you see, there are so many moments where all these companies might die. But I feel like when you’re all in and have nothing to lose, you do things you’ll never do. 

[00:12:22] Chitra Agrawal: Oh yes. 

[00:12:24] Bryan Pham: Like when you feel that desperate, you do anything you can to succeed, and that’s a crazy moment to the end.

[00:12:32] Chitra Agrawal: I know. You have to think for yourself when you’re working for somebody else. It’s at least for me, I realize this, I didn’t have as much motivation. But, like when your life’s on the line, my kid needs to eat.

[00:12:46] Bryan Pham: Oh my God. I don’t have a kid yet, but I’ve been in those moments plenty of times where it’s, oh God, is Asian network going to survive?

[00:12:54] Chitra Agrawal: But you must innovate and keep going continually. 

[00:12:59] Bryan Pham: Yes. I think nowadays, I feel like, on the media side, a lot of entrepreneurship is glamorous. You get nice cars and nice houses over excellent successes. Those are bullshit. It is never really the case. 

[00:13:11] Chitra Agrawal: I just remember those first few years, it was like, I ate a lot of beans, and I did not buy clothes for four years. When you have a passion for something, all that stuff doesn’t matter. You’re just so focused. I’ll do anything to keep Brooklyn Deli going because I love it so much!

[00:13:29] Bryan Pham: It’s crazy how you mention that too.

[00:13:31] Bryan Pham: I think if you do some of the numbers and cut out the want versus essentials. It doesn’t take much to keep your year or life going. That’s the crazy part. 

[00:13:42] Bryan Pham: But I feel when you’re over-saturated with abundance, you’re like, oh, I want this. I want that. I like this lovely watch. I want to want this, whatever it is. Then, your lifestyle creep starts adding in.

[00:13:51] Chitra Agrawal: Totally. I know. 

[00:13:54] Bryan Pham: So I want to hear about your transition. Now things are a lot more normal. Quote, unquote, normal. How has scaling your company been? How big is the company right now? How many employees do you have? How do you maintain culture? Because it’s so important that culture is a living, breathing thing, right?

[00:14:12] Bryan Pham: Whenever you let it down, it’s like, you would be surprised how fast things are going to sell slow.

[00:14:17] Chitra Agrawal: Totally. 

[00:14:18] Bryan Pham: Let us hear about now that things are more regular, quote, unquote. How have you been able to hire more people on your team, scale out your team, delegate, oversee and manage this newer operation that you create?

[00:14:33] Chitra Agrawal: When I started this business, I thought you got lost in the weeds with the product and how you will market it. I feel like many entrepreneurs because I have talked to many other small business owners. The management piece is probably one of the hardest.

[00:14:50] Chitra Agrawal: It’s one I didn’t see coming. Because as the business grew and I needed help, I started to bring in more team members, which was at the time before the pandemic. That was a lot easier because everybody could meet and we just worked in person. It was a whole other ball game than remote working.

[00:15:13] Chitra Agrawal: And so, I think for us, at least like everybody that works at Brooklyn Deli, it is remote. And I’ve tried to work at cultivating culture and just like collaboration through different means. So whether it be making sure that we do face-to-face meetings, whether it be on zoom or google with the other team members we have, and also bringing team members together in that sense. I want people to feel like they’re part of something and not just working in a silo. And so, I think that has been a learning experience for me, as well as just getting feedback and doing formal reviews with team members since management is a new thing for me.

[00:15:58] Chitra Agrawal: I need that guidance as well. And so, I have learned so much just from the people I work with. In terms of, you know, how to delegate? How to maybe let people do their thing? And like giving people freedom in a sense. I don’t want to work or manage people in a vacuum.

[00:16:19] Chitra Agrawal: And so, doing these kinds of reviews that are like 180 reviews has been like a large piece of how I feel like I’ve developed talent within Brooklyn Deli, my ways of managing people on the team. 

[00:16:33] Bryan Pham: Let’s talk about your first hire. That has to be nerve-wracking for you. What was the first position you needed to hire, and what questions were you asking this first person? 

[00:16:41] Chitra Agrawal: Yes. So I guess the first person that I had with me was doing more, actually like social media. She, I think, came on as a consultant in a sense. She was great. She came on the team to set frameworks up because I didn’t know how we should organize things. She set everything up so I could hire people to take on a lot of the pieces because I didn’t even know where to begin, which was a learning experience for me. 

[00:17:13] Chitra Agrawal: I was in a realm I was somewhat familiar with because it came from the marketing realm. But, like, she was coming from it from a very social media aspect, so I was also learning from her. And many other hires at Brooklyn Deli, she went through a referral through a friend in my community. And I think that, for the most part, I feel like, for many of the people I have hired, it has been a very successful type of relationship. It has come through my community. And so, I think that is one thing that I feel a lot of people say: ” Oh, once you have a job posting, just put it out on LinkedIn or put it out.

[00:17:51] Chitra Agrawal: My thing is to tap your network first because those are the people who most likely already know about your brand. Maybe even use your products and would feel passionate because you guys have friends or people in common. 

[00:18:05] Chitra Agrawal: That’s one of the things that I learned when I realized that the first hire came through my community. But I had subsequent engagements that had come through other means that didn’t work the same way. 

[00:18:18] Bryan Pham: Yes, I agree. I think the community’s an underrated part of driving a successful company, right? You need to tap into your community. Also, the benefit of tapping into your community is that they know your mission and what you’re working on. And especially at an early-stage company, every single hire dictates your culture right off the bat. 

[00:18:37] Chitra Agrawal: Totally. I know. Another thing that I find interesting is not hiring people. You feel like you could be friends with them in a way. But hiring the right person for the job, too, in a sense, I feel like that’s another thing that I had to learn over time. It’s okay if you’re like a buddy, but it’s like, can this person do the job?

[00:19:01] Bryan Pham: Yes. I have a lot to say on that topic as well. I feel like it’s harder to be a boss with people than your buddy is with if that makes sense. 

[00:19:10] Chitra Agrawal: Oh yes. 

[00:19:11] Bryan Pham: It’s like a mixture of boss and friendship. You’re telling them, hey man, like I need this done! 

[00:19:16] Chitra Agrawal: Yes! I’ll do my best. 

[00:19:18] Bryan Pham: Yes! Congratulations on all your success, being able to scale, being able to get whole foods, and building a sustainable business! 

[00:19:25] Bryan Pham: Let’s switch over and talk a little more about. As an author, I knew earlier that you briefly mentioned publishing a book. What was that process like? Was that before or after you started your company? As you mentioned earlier, more chronological in your timeline, you said that you were a food blogger first, right? 

[00:19:44] Bryan Pham: Walk us through this exact timeline so we have a clear idea of your journey. 

[00:19:49] Chitra Agrawal: Yes, so I guess the journey to get to the cookbook was interesting.

[00:19:53] Chitra Agrawal: It was, like, I had started doing this food blog, but I was still working a job on the side. I was doing marketing full-time; at the time, I just wanted to document my family’s recipes. But what ended up happening is that it started to become this way for me to just look at my identity as an Indian-American through the lens of food.

[00:20:16] Chitra Agrawal: So what I ended up doing was, like, I was taking these traditional cooking techniques. I was learning from my family, but then I started applying to them because I like local produce. Or I would enjoy different cuisines that I eat in the city. And then, as time passed, more people, besides my mother, started to read the blog.

[00:20:33] Chitra Agrawal: I like connecting with local farmers. I started to develop venues that used their product. I was working with local chefs and coming up with popup dinners. So I worked with my friend Diana Kwan, who’s like a Chinese cookbook Coordinator. We did a Chinese-Indian supper club for a while that was called Tora.

[00:20:51] Chitra Agrawal: And so, I was doing all these kinds of interesting, different things, and it caught the eye of a publisher. Because I was posting on social media and still writing my blog, they were like, we’re interested to see what a book would be like from you just about everything you’re doing.

[00:21:07] Chitra Agrawal: That was the first kind of seed. But at the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. So I put it on the back burner and just explored. And I think that’s one cool thing about having a hobby. But you also have a full-time job because it gives you the freedom to explore.

[00:21:30] Chitra Agrawal: If somebody was like, hey, do you want to do a popup? I’m like, sure. I’ll do it because there’s no real risk in doing it. All you’re doing is learning and seeing what you like to do. And so, I kept on doing that kind of stuff. I started teaching cooking classes and getting into South Indian cooking. 

[00:21:47] Chitra Agrawal: My mom is from Bangalore, and it was that specific type of cooking that I grew up eating. And then, I started to like the sense that this is what I wanted to write the book about. So I got an agent, and that was also through my network.

[00:22:03] Chitra Agrawal: I reached out to people I knew who had written cookbooks and asked them if they would recommend their agent. Then, I started talking to some, and I knew this idea had crystallized in my head just from the experience of doing it. I wrote an 80-page proposal, gave it to the agent, and she shopped it around. A couple of publishers were interested, and this took time, though.

[00:22:28] Chitra Agrawal: And finally, in 2014 is when I started writing the cookbook, and I decided to launch Brooklyn Deli, which I don’t recommend doing both of those things at the same time. But I wrote the book over three years. I did not have a dishwasher. A lot. It was a lot. It was an exciting experience because you honed these recipe writing and testing skills, from blogging to writing a book. I feel like I still apply at Brooklyn Deli.

[00:23:00] Chitra Agrawal: The book came to be then. I think one thing I also learned from writing the book is that many people, from my point of view, run into this authentic kind of conversation. People are like, is it genuine?

[00:23:14] Chitra Agrawal: What are you doing? I got into that trap a little bit when I started writing the book, where I was chasing down this quintessential recipe. These were all family recipes. I just remember, at one point, realizing that every person in my family made this one recipe differently.

[00:23:32] Chitra Agrawal: And if anything, that freed me up so much, I just realized that it’s like authentic, throw that word out the window. First, it’s faithful to the home cook or original to whoever is making it. And that’s kind of set me on my way for how I wrote vibrant India.

[00:23:55] Chitra Agrawal: It became a book that was very much based on these recipes for my family. It had my take on them, so I used local ingredients or meshing different cuisines with these traditional techniques. I took a lot of that learning with me to Brooklyn Deli, which has freed me up.

[00:24:13] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like creating what I want to make. Suppose I like it and do not think about what other people think.

[00:24:20] Bryan Pham: I like that. I like that a lot. I think with food, especially as you mentioned the word authentic, you mean it’s really hard. It’s really hard to nail it down.

[00:24:28] Bryan Pham: It is. What I think is authentic is how my mom makes it right. For example, I’m Vietnamese-American. For me to go back to a Vietnamese town, little Soong or something, and eat Vietnamese food, I’m like, why does it look different?

[00:24:40] Chitra Agrawal: You’re like, this isn’t right.

[00:24:42] Bryan Pham: Yes, it is up to the person creating the meals, whatever brings them comfort. As long as the baseline is the same and you add your flavor to it, it’s whatever brings you comfort. That brings unity and bond through. 

[00:24:55] Chitra Agrawal: Totally. Exactly. And I also feel like it frees people up. You don’t have to prescribe what other people think about. What is authentic or what is traditional?

[00:25:05] Chitra Agrawal: I think the best cuisine innovations have come from people innovating on what they have there too. Many of our parents came to this country and probably didn’t have many of the same ingredients that they grew up eating. Home cooks are just so creative.

[00:25:23] Chitra Agrawal: I feel like home cooks are often not given as much credit as they should be, but I remember my mom just applying these south Indian ingredients. Just like what she would find at the grocery store, and it worked. It’s like zucchini. She never ate that growing up, but she couldn’t make it taste really good.

[00:25:40] Bryan Pham: Yes, I like that too. I think this is the incredible power of having immigrant parents. In a new country, the greens look different, but they make it similar to what they’re used to. And often, that’s the birth of contemporary cuisine, right? I don’t know.

[00:25:55] Bryan Pham: I don’t know if you had the opportunity to, but when I look into food history, it feels like it’s through meeting people and going to different countries. Going to other places and merging what you think tastes good and what brings comfort and creating brand new cuisines.

[00:26:10] Bryan Pham: So totally being authentic to one dish is impossible. Right? 

[00:26:14] Chitra Agrawal: I think so, too.

[00:26:16] Bryan Pham: So the next part of the podcast, I want to hear about your goals. What are your goals for your company over the next five to 10 years? What do you hope to accomplish for my growth level into a professional level? 

[00:26:31] Chitra Agrawal: I mean, from a very high level, I want to show people that Indian cuisine can be made with premium ingredients, and it can be mainstream.

[00:26:44] Chitra Agrawal: When I first started Brooklyn Deli, I was like, this is an Indian-American brand. They were just like, what is that, right? And I want to turn that idea on its head and make people realize that from the second-generation perspective, there’s value in what we do.

[00:27:01] Chitra Agrawal: We have much to bring to the table. I think that Brooklyn Deli is a way for us to do that. As well as to celebrate culture and cuisine coming from a South Asian perspective. I would love to see Brooklyn Deli on shelves at every grocery store in America growing up. I never really felt like I was represented or seen.

[00:27:23] Chitra Agrawal: I hope that South Asians that come in the next generations feel proud about their culture when they see Brooklyn Deli. They feel pleased there’s a brand representing them, who they are, and the flavors they grew up with. 

[00:27:36] Bryan Pham: Yes, I like that goal of perspective too.

[00:27:39] Bryan Pham: And I think what’s great about our generation is that we’re pushing for representation. We’re trying for visibility because I feel that’s a comic beam among all Asian Americans, right? We were just overlooked, and for the longest time growing up, I think many of us were embarrassed about our cuisine.

[00:27:56] Bryan Pham: Oh my God. It smells different or whatever it is, but America is going through an awakening right now where they love Asian food, and you love flavors, which is excellent. 

[00:28:07] Chitra Agrawal: Yes, but you were like, where were you in middle school when I was bringing my food from home?

[00:28:13] Bryan Pham: Chitra, I think it’s fantastic to have you on today’s podcast, and I want to end with one question. That question is if you could restart any part of your journey, what would you have done differently? 

[00:28:24] Chitra Agrawal: That’s a good question. I feel like I would probably have done a little bit more research. I think you get so excited about an idea, and you just want to put it out there.

[00:28:38] Chitra Agrawal: I didn’t do much research about categories or anything like that in supermarkets, or even, you know, how to go about it. If I could do it again, I would probably slow it down. Just be a bit more methodical about how we did our launch, not to take too long, but just a little bit. 

[00:29:01] Bryan Pham: Yes, you’re highly successful. It’s awesome. Hearing that perspective about being more methodical, I feel like most entrepreneurs dive head-deep into it and then figure out, oh, I got a swim or sink. 

[00:29:15] Chitra Agrawal: Right, I know the passion. It leads all of us. Yes, mostly. 

[00:29:20] Bryan Pham: I agree.

[00:29:22] Bryan Pham: Thank you for that answer. So how can our listeners find out more about you and your company? 

[00:29:27] Chitra Agrawal: So on social media, we’re at Brooklyn Deli, and then we’re at Brooklyn Deli.com. 

[00:29:33] Bryan Pham: Awesome. We will include all that in the show notes, but thank you so much for being at the show today. We appreciate it.

[00:29:40] Chitra Agrawal: Thanks so much for having me. 

[00:29:41] Bryan Pham: Of course.