Women Supporting Women In Food | Natasha Dhayagude of Chinova Bioworks

Marissa Bronfman

What’s the status of your business? Did you have to pivot, go online, temporarily close?

Since food manufacturing, food service, and food retail have all been classified as essential critical infrastructure, the collective food industry has a responsibility to respond, especially ingredient manufacturers like Chinova Bioworks. So we remain open. As a natural, clean-label preservation ingredient, we continue to maintain the highest standards and activities to maintain quality, safety, and hygiene measures. The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority and will always continue to be!

What’s been the hardest part of this pandemic for you?

Our business is still functioning and operational, but my heart goes out to food vendors and retailers who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat during this trying time. There are people behind these businesses and they are friends and clients we have been closely working with for the past five years that we want to support in any way we are able to. Adapting to the new ‘normal’ is not going to be easy but I hope that the food industry will rally together during this crisis and emerge stronger than ever before.

We see this pandemic and its impact on food choice and availability of food leaving a lasting impression in consumers' minds. The trend that we see emerging for the future of the industry is the need and urgency to take measures to keep natural, artisanal products safe.

What can we as a community do for you?

People need to keep in mind that small business is big business in our communities. These businesses are essential and create a vital sense of community in cities big and small.  They are the backbone of our economy and now it's more important than ever for our communities to come together and support them.

The support we show now can help small businesses weather this storm and emerge to continue serving our communities. Shopping local, staycationing, and ordering online are just some of the ways that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) can be supported during this time and be able to keep their doors open. We need to remember that when you support a small business you’re supporting a dream.

With the rise of the clean-label movement, consumer awareness and curiosity around ingredients has heightened. Chinova is a B2B focused business that that aims to provide brands and retailers with a natural, clean-label preservative that ensures food safety, reduces food waste due to less spoilage, and extends shelf-life without comprising on taste, quality and flavor of your favorite food brands. Our company uses recycled waste material extracted from the stocks of white button mushrooms to provide producers with sustainable and transparent ingredients that their consumers can trust.

As an ingredient producer, we would love to work and collaborate with brands to deliver safe, transparent, and natural preservation ingredients to help their products become shelf-stable. Learn more about our product lines here and connect with us on LinkedIn here

What advice would you give women?

Being taken seriously as a young female entrepreneur in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field has been a big challenge. However, I have learned to overcome this obstacle as my chance of success has little to do with my age or gender. It is shaped by my own willingness to try and persevere. I know this challenge is not my fault, but it's my problem, and learning to solve it is what drives me. This is what my advice would be to other women trying to navigate not just the STEM field but the world of entrepreneurship.

What is your greatest hope right now?

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding job security during this time. My greatest hope is to be able to further scale my business to be able to offer employment opportunities and add to the Chinova team which is made up of 90% of women in STEM. I want to play a part in rebuilding the economy and contributing to the community and industry.

What are the 3 things keeping you sane?

1. Helping my parents with their business Glamp Camp which is a glamping hub located in Waterborough, New Brunswick, which is the perfect place to isolate! 

2. Planning my big Canadian-Indian wedding for next year!

3. Practicing my culinary skills for my Masterchef debut.



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