How Chai Spot, based in New York, Empowers Women in Pakistan – Food | LIMITED TIME OFFER !

How Khalida Brohi and her husband turned their love of the winery into a social enterprise, one coffee at a time.

As a Pakistani in a foreign country, there are days when you want nothing more than a hot cup of authentic chai in a place that reminds you of your home.

Whether you immigrated a few years ago, moved abroad to pursue your studies, and decide to stay or get married and start a new life miles from Pakistan, you can not never be put an end to these cellar cravings. And we are not talking about chai latte (what is chai latte but an insult to the glorious winery?).

Fortunately, most of the world's metropolises – New York, London, Toronto, etc. – have cafes and restaurants that remind you of your home and allow you to reduce your desires. Yet, it is sometimes difficult to find an authentic winery mug, even in the heart of a metropolitan city.

Khalida Brohi, a Pakistani activist, and her husband Dawood, have understood and decided to change this for the diaspora of New York. The result of this decision is Chai Spot: a chai café and a social enterprise in Manhattan.

A few years later, it has two branches in the United States. Khalida and Dawood hope to increase to 50.

A habitat far from home

Spot Chai is more than a cellar spot or a cafe in a foreign country. It is a home away from home for Pakistanis and a comfortable place where foreigners can come to learn about Pakistani traditions and culture.

On the menu you will find a range of traditional and seasonal teas, accompanied by delicious South Asian baked goods and snacks and sweets. Chai Spot's traditional chai with cardamom and Chai Spot's coconut (vegan) chai are the most popular drinks.

The menu has something for everyone: winemakers, vegans and even keto-ers (the winery comes with an option of Stevia instead of sugar).

Chai Spot offers its guests an extraordinary experience for all the senses: smell of fresh spices, comforting flavors, fluffy seating, exotic colors and patterns and upbeat Bollywood songs.

Khalida thinks it's a place where guests can relax, make new friends and see the world through colorful chai glasses, where everything is colorful, beautiful and happy.

The love story behind Chai Spot

Spot Chai is special for more reason; it's a home away from home for Pakistani New Yorkers, a social enterprise that ensures that every cup of wine cellar educates children at home and also because it's the result of a great story of love that brought together two people in exceptional circumstances.

Khalida, a tribal girl from Pakistan, had faced difficulties in her development efforts as opponents in her village tried to bring her down and made things extremely difficult for her family. After a bomb attack in his office and facing a stroke, his father, who normally supported him, told him to stop working. For a much needed break and perspective, Khalida traveled to the United States in 2013 and met Dawood while she was staying with a friend.

Although they come from completely different worlds, Khalida and Dawood are united by their deep faith in God and their desire to make a difference in the world. At the time, Khalida fought her feelings because she feared she had already caused so much trouble to her family, but fate reserved her for other projects.

Khalida and Dawood.

Ten months later, she returned to the United States for a six-month fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It was then Dawood and I saw myself again and realized that we were in love and that we would fight with our families to make our marriage possible. Dawood immediately wrote to my father and also informed his mother. What followed was a shocking achievement for both of us. Our families acted with so much fear and surprise, "she said. imagery.

Their reactions were predictable. Dawood is an Italian-American who grew up in a progressive family in Los Angeles. Khalida grew up in a tribal village in Baluchistan. Their families were poles apart. Dawood's family had seen that Pakistan on TV and his family was not ready to form relationships with anyone from a completely different world.

But as they say, when there is a will, there is a way. Khalida and Dawood remained determined and the winery brought the families together and they were married during a 10-day celebration in Pakistan, where Dawood and his family experienced Pakistan's rich culture and heritage. .

It was then that they decided to bring a taste of Pakistan to the United States. "It could be done with something that is so much about our culture – chai," Khalida added.

Khalida and Dawood have decided to use the funds for their wedding chapter in the United States in order to open the first branch of Chai Spot in Sedona, Arizona.

Not an easy feat

A beautiful reflection of Pakistan's culture and heritage, Chai Spot serves not only authentic and merged cellars in different flavors, but also displays hand-made products and offers a complete Khalida country experience, as it said. Today, both branches are one of the most visited places in Sedona and New York.

But it was not an easy feat.

The biggest challenge of opening Chai Spot was to navigate the systems of a new country. Khalida and Dawood worked hard to learn the basics and started from scratch. "The budget, of course, was not enough and we ended up finding innovative ways to make the place work in the first few months. Every day was a great adventure, every month was a learning process and every failure showed us what we should not do, "recalls Khalida.

At the same time, she remembers these difficult days, among the best.

"As we plan to open our third site, Dawood and I have achieved a great balance between looking for our skills and distributing tasks based on our skills and interests, and we also have an amazing team to help us, "she adds.

How a winery mug in New York empowers women in Pakistan

For many, Chai Spot can be a reminder of the house, but Khalida has set its priorities. For her, it is a social enterprise dedicated to building bridges between East and West, while empowering women and children in Pakistan.

Guests come to taste an authentic winery, but they know that each cup gives power to the most vulnerable members of society we celebrate: women and children. Chai Spot is committed to devoting 50% of its profits to projects that benefit from it.

The non-profit organization Khalida in Pakistan – the Sughar Foundation – promotes beautiful traditions and provides socio-economic empowerment to women in tribal communities. Their goal is to end the consequences of interchanged marriages, child marriages and crimes of honor.

Together, Chai Spot and the Sughar Foundation empower women in rural communities.

Chai Spot helps the Sughar Foundation achieve its goals by building schools and educating children in communities where funding and opportunities are scarce. Although girls' education is a great way to empower Pakistani women, empowerment can not be done without financial independence.

As a result, Chai Spot's recipes help women entrepreneurs create micro-grants to help them start their own businesses, support their families, and lead happier, more independent lives.

As a woman, Khalida knows the strength that financial independence brings to women's lives and she wants more Pakistani women to experience it.

Two schools, 500 children and more

In just a few years, Chai Spot has already built two schools for girls and boys in rural Pakistan and is preparing a third.

These schools host 500 children in search of a primary education. While Khalida hopes to expand its efforts to higher education, Spot Chai also awards grants and scholarships until a permanent and lasting solution is found.

On a smaller scale, Chai Spot is grateful to be able to distribute toys to hundreds of children, thanks to Tlaq Toy Town, because the social enterprise believes in spreading happiness and joy in the world and where to start before spreading it among children?

Educate the children at 7,000 km.

When Dawood and Khalida got married, they had a small apartment in Karachi to spend more time in Pakistan with their loved ones and work here. Khalida travels to Pakistan every two months and Dawood four or five, but she is now looking to spend more time in the country.

The Sughar Foundation recently signed a contract with the National Rural Support Program as the second implementing partner in Pakistan, and Khalida cites one of the greatest successes of his life. "I received a letter from the prime minister's office, including myself, as a member of the National Youth Council, and we decided to settle in Pakistan for at least a year or two to dedicate all our attention to projects under development here, "she said. .

Clearly, this is just the beginning of many beautiful things to come!

Consider the future of Pakistan and Chai Spot together

While Khalida and Dawood hope to open 50 cafes in 50 states, we can also look forward to a better future for Pakistan's tribal and rural areas. Khalida said imagery that she sincerely believes that Chai Spot has already begun to change the history of Pakistan in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and will continue to reflect her beautiful country.

"Whenever people visit one of our sites, they see the true colors of Pakistan, hear the true stories, touch the craftsmanship of Pakistan's hardworking artisans and enjoy the delicious tea of ​​our country. Chai Spot is already creating lasting friendships among Westerners and will become one of the gates of peace for this country, Insha'Allah, "she added.

Follow Khalida's adventures and watch her conquer the world on Instagram.

How Chai Spot, based in New York, Empowers Women in Pakistan – Food | LIMITED TIME OFFER !
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