FOOD

Biena’s Poorvi Patodia Believes in Filling Up on the Good Stuff

March 6th, 2020

Poorvi Patodia has always loved to snack, but she didn’t love that there only seemed to be unhealthy options available. Inspired by a lifelong love of chickpeas, she began experimenting with flavors and textures. The result is Biena, which has been at the forefront of the healthy snacking movement. Read on to learn how Patodia, the founder and CEO, nourishes herself, her family, and others.

When you reflect on your business, what are you most proud of?

We’re proud to say that Biena was a pioneer in plant-based snacking and helped make better-for-you snacks mainstream. I am personally proud of being able to inspire and encourage women to start businesses. I truly enjoy mentoring entrepreneurs who are just starting out.

Which product would you recommend to people who are unfamiliar with your brand?

It depends on who’s asking and what they’re craving! Our Roasted Chickpea Snacks are what we were known for first—they go through a multi-stage roasting and seasoning process. The result is a snack that has a light, airy crunch and bold flavor. They’re great on their own (Habanero and Sea Salt are my personal favorites) and taste great sprinkled on a salad or added to a grain bowl. If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly, junk food replacement-type snack, our Chickpea Puffs are a no brainer. My girls are obsessed with the Aged White Cheddar flavor.

At Biena, we put taste at the forefront and use only clean, nutritious ingredients. Our snacks satisfy cravings and offer so much more in terms of nourishment, with 7 grams of plant protein and no rice or corn fillers.

How do you unwind after a tough day?

After a tough day—you’ll have a lot of those as an entrepreneur!—I love to spend time with my daughters. Learning about how their days went and hearing their wins or challenges puts everything in perspective. I’m also a big proponent of using exercise to unwind. I love a spin class or a jog outside on a beautiful day. It really clears the mind.

Describe your favorite self-care or wellness ritual that helps you feel your best.

When you’re running a fast-growing business, it can seem like there is never enough time in the day, which is why creating good habits from the outset is so important. I like to start my day with exercise and meditation, and end each day with reflection and planning for the rest of the week. On weekends when I have more time, I love to cook with my family as a form of self-care. I feel my best when I’m with them.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself! Be your authentic self, trust your gut instincts (because they’re right) and ignore what others around you are doing.

What social, political, or governmental issue are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about encouraging healthy lifestyles for children, from the food they put in their bodies to prioritizing education to maintaining an open dialogue about challenges they’re facing. Biena is all about fueling our bodies with the good stuff—and that doesn’t only mean snacks. Fostering and encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship in children is also a passion of mine. Planting that seed early helps our kids see that anything is possible.

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This article is related to: Brand, Healthy Snacks, Well-Being

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Melinda GrossMelinda writes about health, wellness, and food for the Thrive Market blog. She started her career as a financial journalist in NYC and has written for Where Magazine, Worth, Forbes, and TheStreet.com. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys working out, sketching, and playing with her daughter and mini-dachshund, Goliath.

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