SPICE OF LIFE
Carson City company produces treats made with cardamom, saffron, and edible gold.
WRITTEN BY CLAIRE CUDAHY
PHOTOS BY LOU MANNA
In just a decade, Karunesh Gupta has grown Ganesha Enterprises from his Carson City garage, where he started selling Indian spices and goods, into a 24,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
“I started doing imports and distribution of goods that people might not be able to get here, but after losing my father to cancer, the focus changed to producing healthier products,” Gupta says.
The main items coming out of Ganesha are made with cardamom and saffron, including bulk bags of the spices.
Tutti Frutti vegan gummy treats
“These two have a big impact on human health,” Gupta says. “They have effects on mood, anxiety, cancer cells that are becoming metastatic, the liver, and even metabolism … multiple effects from head to toe.”
Ganesha also produces an all-natural breath freshener using cardamom and saffron called Gold Cardamom Fruitas, which incorporates 24-karat edible gold.
“You can use it as a natural alternative to chewing gum,” Gupta says. “In other countries, they are putting the Gold Cardamom Fruitas into their coffee, tea, and bread. It’s a flavorant, but it also has all of the health benefits to it.”
Gold Cardamom Fruitas
An idea blooms
After years of sourcing saffron from Central America, Gupta began growing saffron in his Carson City facility in 2016.
Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigmata — female reproductive parts — of the small purple flower known as saffron crocus. Each flower has just three saffron threads. The most expensive spice in the world, saffron can cost $1,500 or more per pound.
“Iran produces 95 percent of the saffron in the world, and every time it changes hands, the markup goes up,” Gupta says. “The other thing is that all the harvesting is done by hand, so that makes for high labor costs.”
In the future, Gupta hopes to ramp up production of the spice and carry more health-focused treats such as Tutti Frutti, a colorful fruit gummy made from raw papaya.
“I asked my son, ‘Why do you eat so much junk food?’ and he said, ‘Dad, it tastes so good!’ My drive is to create products that taste like junk food but aren’t,” Gupta says. “All of our products are vegan, gluten free, and kosher certified. Our products are more focused on health and treat the body like a temple so people can live a much healthier life.”
Karunesh Gupta, owner of Ganesha Enterprises, examines more than $5,000 of saffron
For details about Ganesha or to purchase products, visit Ganeshaspice.com.