Photography By Jenna Marie Wakani for Sprig Creative

Why everyone should try Richa Gupta’s special sauce

How the search for healthy store-bought sauces put one Toronto woman on the path to feeding hungry kids

The story of Good Food for Good starts with a common problem: Richa Gupta was looking for simple, preservative-free sauces to make weeknight cooking easier. She wanted to feed her four-year-old daughter healthy and hearty food, like coconut curry or enchiladas, and pre-made sauces would be a huge time-saver. But when she couldn’t find any that she felt good about serving up, she decided to make her own.

Okay, she didn’t start a business right away. But Gupta, who was then a marketing executive in the fashion industry, had always known she wanted to make a difference with her work, so it was only a matter of time. First, she switched industries, taking a job in the food sector. “After about a year, my calling to do something more meaningful came back,” she says.

So, in late 2013, she quit her job and started making her own sauces, using her home kitchen as a testing ground and friends and family as critics. She called her new company Good Food for Good, and developed a product line of fresh, organic, ready-to-use sauces in flavours like curry, butter chicken, taco and enchilada.

But the core of Gupta’s business isn’t actually those sauces—it’s about doing something charitable. “Why not let food work for food?” she asks. “Good Food for Good was born of the idea of doing something good for me, as well as providing food for someone in need so you don’t have to make the choice between feeding yourself and choosing to help someone else.”

Inspired by Toms’ shoes One for One model, Gupta donates a portion of the proceeds from each jar of sauce she sells to Akshaya, an Indian organization that feeds 1.7 million children daily. She chose Akshaya because she likes the work they do and how they do it. “For me, it’s all about fresh food. I understand the need for processed food in some places—like refugee camps, for example—but this organization is making real food from scratch, the regional foods that people are used to eating.”

And, in an effort to give back here at home, she has also launched a loose-leaf tea company, Turmeric Teas, which donates a portion of its sales to Food Banks Canada.

So far, Gupta’s venture has helped feed more than 80,000 kids, but she wants to do even more. Her goal: to feed one million kids by 2020. And as Good Food for Good grows, that dream is getting closer by the day.

Two bowls of Richa Gupta's sweetpotato and chickpea curry on a dark-coloured candle surrounded by spices and drinks.

Photography By Matt Gibson for Sprig Creative

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
Serves 2

A hearty, veggie-loaded meal to dig into after a long day, this coconut curry comes together in a matter of minutes.

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup stemmed and chopped kale
¼ tsp kosher salt
Pinch ground black pepper
1 jar of Good Food for Good Fresh Coconut Curry sauce
1 cup water
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)

1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Stir in sweet potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato starts to soften and brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Add in the chickpeas and kale; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.
3. Stir in curry sauce and water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

(Food and prop styling by Sprig Creative)

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