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Meet Nadine Habayeb of Bohana in South End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadine Habayeb.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nadine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My business partner Priyal and I are both spiritual junkies, we were curious to learn about some of the world’s most ancient practices and traditional superfoods. On this journey, Priyal went back to her Indian roots and rediscovered her childhood snack growing up in India – Popped Water Lily seeds. It’s a traditional snack in the North of India and one of the most prescribed seeds in the mind-body science of Ayurveda.

We have been friends for years and when she introduced this delicious popped snack to me I was hooked. I was bummed that I couldn’t get the snack in the US. I was moving back to Boston to complete my master’s degree, and it was then that we decided to bring the snack to the US market.

We developed the product, recipes, supply chain, and our branding and officially started selling in Bohana in March of 2018.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our biggest challenge has been building a completely sustainable supply chain. Which we now have and that we are proud of. We cut out the middleman and source our product directly from the farmers. We have established these relationships ourselves and know who are farmers on the ground are. We have worked hard to ensure we have a fully collaborative supply chain from pick to puff with no middle man.

Another challenge has been educating the customer about what the Popped Water Lily Seed is. Thought the seed is growing in popularity around the world, it is brand new to the US market.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We believe in Free Spirit Snacking, simply listening to your body and feeding your soul. Popped Water Lily Seeds, also known as Makhana, have been consumed in India for thousands of years and come from a place of natural and spiritual goodness. We’ve reinvented this ancient puffed snack to fuel our unique selves with nothing but protein packed, plant-based love!

Bohana is packed with micronutrients like amino acids and antioxidants, it has 50% more protein than popcorn and is low in calories and fat. It is grain free, corn free and gluten free, simply just one whole popped seed.

Popped Water Lily seeds have been an Ayurvedic superfood for centuries. Ayurveda is a holistic mind body life-science that believes that every individual is unique and no one lifestyle works for everyone. The foundation is based on listening to your body and doing what works for you. Water Lily seeds, are one of the most prescribed seeds in Ayurveda because of their neutral character making them beneficial for all body types.

Our popped Water Lily seeds are grown in a farm in Bihar, India. Our relationship with our farmers, commitment to fair wages, ethical and sustainable harvesting, and fully collaborative supply chain allows us to source the highest quality ingredients that we are proud of. The cultivation of lily seeds doesn’t destroy the ecosystem, the whole cycle is sustainable, seasonal and naturally occurring. No water lilies are harmed in the pick to puff process.

What were you like growing up?
I have always loved traveling, meeting new people and enjoying good food, discovering it and creating it.


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