Those who frequent the Whole Foods at Preston Road and Forest Lane might recognize Amee Joshi. The Preston Hollow resident and entrepreneur can often be found handing out samples of Jalsa, her product that started with her mother-in-law’s recipe.
After working 20 years in corporate America, and a few years at home, Joshi decided she wanted to go back to work without having to clock in 70 hours a week. Little did she realize the answer was in the salsa recipe her mother-in-law had given to her on her wedding day.
So Joshi launched Jalsa in December 2013. While she got into small stores, such as Bolsa, quickly, it took her six months to make her way to the big retailers.
“You can’t be shy,” Joshi said. “You need to be able to hear ‘no thank you,’ and go back two months later and try again.”
In June 2014, Joshi’s product hit the Whole Foods shelves. Ever since, she has been sampling her product for anyone willing to try. She’s also sampled and sold her food at the State Fair of Texas for the past two years.
“Everyone has a salsa, and you have to win people over,” Joshi said. “The best way to do it is to get it in their mouth.”
Along with the flavors and ingredients, the name of her product incorporates Joshi’s family culture.
“The name Jalsa means celebration or joy in Hindi,” she said. “It has a lot of fun ways to put it together. Salsa, to me, means joy.”
A combination of Indian and Tex-Mex flavors, Jalsa incorporates jalapeños, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onion. A milder tamarind Jalsa, launched last summer, includes the same ingredients, minus the green onion, and adds a little apple.
“It’s not as spicy, has a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of tartness,” Joshi said. She also recommends it as a marinade and cooking sauce.
Joshi plans on growing her business to other stores, and eventually beyond Dallas and to the rest of Texas.
While Joshi’s mother-in-law has suffered from dementia, Joshi is proud to be continuing her legacy of combining food and her family’s culture.
“That’s what I love about food,” Joshi said. “Food bridges cultures.”