Marissa Bronfman is no stranger to creating businesses that transcend borders. After stints at NBC Universal and The Huffington Post, Bronfman moved to Mumbai, India in 2010 and spent more than six years living and working in the country. She founded Moxie Media, a boutique digital media agency, and Bowl Bar, a vegan food company, while living in India. She also launched Women in Media, a national panel series and Moxie Mentorship, an international mentorship program for young Indian women.
Upon moving back to Toronto, Marissa Bronfman founded Shot of Gold, an exciting all-natural turmeric company offering people the incredible anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric while on-the-go.
We sat down with her to find out what makes these single-serving blends from India so special and how her businesses is doing its part to give back…
Tell us about Shot of Gold.
Shot of Gold is an all-natural turmeric company making it fun and easy for people to add a dose of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory magic spice with single-serving sachets in four blends that can be popped into a pocket, purse, gym bag, or briefcase and opened anywhere, anytime. Turmeric has been revered for thousands of years as a natural ingredient that prevents and treats a myriad ailments from joint pain to headaches and acne to Alzheimer’s and cancer. Our shots come in both sweet and savoury blends so that they can be added to anything: coffee, tea, nut mylks, smoothies, soups, salads, grain bowls, and more. We give back a portion of every single sale to an inspiring group of schoolgirls in India and have a fun selection of turmeric apparel that is guaranteed to get you stopped in the street.
What moment sparked your decision to build your business?
After living in Bombay for six years I moved back to Toronto (my hometown) and knew I wanted to start a business that would keep me connected to India and give back to India. I wanted to build a truly global brand that would change people’s lives. I noticed that turmeric had become trendy in Toronto and other Western cities like New York and Los Angeles, which is ironic because it’s been used in every single Indian kitchen since the dawn of time. Many people I spoke to were aware that turmeric was good for them but didn’t know why or where to find it, or how to cook with it or take it with them. I realized that if I could make it incredibly easy for people to add a dose of turmeric to their foods and beverages without the fuss and mess, that they could enjoy the amazing benefits of this spice and become healthier and happier with every shot. And with that, Shot of Gold was born!
You spent 6 years living in India. Has your time there influenced any aspects of the way you run your business?
My six years in India were the most extraordinary of my life; they influence everything I think and do, both personally and professionally. Authenticity and gratitude are two things that have really become a huge part of who I am. Supporting Indian farmers and giving back to girls in India is something I’m so proud is at the very heart of Shot of Gold. I learned so much about the healing powers of spices and other natural ingredients, the philosophy of Ayurveda cooking and skincare, the power of yoga and breathing. It’s so cool to now share these learnings through Shot of Gold. I truly believe nature has everything we need to be healthy, happy, productive people and turmeric is such a big part of that.
“If you build it, they will come” – how have you built a community around Shot of Gold?
I believe if you passionately build something that’s unique, solves a problem, and sparks joy in people, it will be successful. But no matter what, community-building and outreach is absolutely necessary. There’s so much noise these days – and attention spans have never been shorter – that simply building something isn’t enough. I was lucky to launch Shot of Gold on Instagram with more than 10k followers because I used the account of Bowl Bar, my vegan food business from Bombay.
For the last year and a half I’ve been talking to people all over Toronto, New York, and even Miami about Shot of Gold and the power of turmeric, laying the groundwork for expanding Shot of Gold’s community to these cities. Also, I’m obviously obsessed with turmeric and friends and followers see that daily on my own social media and have for years. It makes me so happy when people reach out to me with questions about turmeric specifically – or even my plant-based food generally – because I genuinely love to share what I know about the power of natural ingredients to heal our bodies and minds.
I’ve quietly done a couple events and sent out Shot of Gold gifts to a few influencers in Toronto and New York who love the turmeric shots and apparel, and have been helping to spread the word with their friends and followers. Soon we’ll be launching in cafes and shops across North America and doing some really fun and exciting collaborations with chefs and restaurants. I want our growth to be as natural as the product.
What’s the biggest misconception around turmeric that needs to be corrected?
A lot of people still think turmeric is only for Indian food (curries, for example) yet it’s actually incredibly delicious – and beautiful! – in so many different foods and beverages. I’m always awarded shock and surprise when I tell people I put it in my coffee, but if you think about it, it makes total sense. Who wouldn’t want to start their day with an energizing beverage that tackles inflammation in the body from the moment you wake up?
Turmeric is amazing in sweet drinks and desserts, which is why we made a sweet blend as well as a savoury one. I routinely add turmeric to chia pudding, smoothie bowls, coconut yoghurt, cashew mousse – everything really!
Shot of Gold donates 5% of sales to a charity in India called Magic Bus. Why did you choose this charity?
I knew I wanted to build Shot of Gold with giving back as part of its business model, philosophy, and vision. I also knew that absolute transparency with our charitable efforts would be paramount. I didn’t want to write a cheque each year that went to administration fees or a charity I didn’t have firsthand experience with. I chose Magic Bus because a great friend of mine, who I met when he spoke on my Women in Media panel in India as part of the inspiring Girl Rising documentary crew, was heading up their U.S. activities. We travelled to India together and met two communities that Magic Bus works closely with – one in an urban slum and the other in a rural village – so that I could get to know the girls personally and see the Magic Bus impact firsthand. In the village of Dahanu I had this incredibly special experience with a class of Grade 9 schoolgirls and knew that they would be the first group of young women that Shot of Gold would give back to. As Shot of Gold grows we’ll meet and give back to more young women across India and, one day, the world.
Tell us a secret. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.
I used to be a huge Martha Stewart fan when I was 13 to 15! I’d collect her magazines and make all the food and little décor projects in each issue. I still greatly admire her business acumen, grit, and perseverance.
Craziest India story – GO!
There are so many! I’ll tell you over turmeric lattes…