GRANDMOTHER Surya Singh has the right mix in life – the right mix of spices that is. Singh, the queen of turmeric, developed her terrific Turmeric Tonic products, which “helps people live their best life” by enjoying the benefits of this super spice.
At 70, Singh is setting trends in the world of entrepreneurship, proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Singh, a retired receptionist, was born in Durban and moved to Linden, Joburg some years ago. After retiring, she started a small catering business from home 15 years ago, she said.“My daughters – Sandy and Sukasha Singh – and I started Turmeric Tonic more than two years ago,” said Singh.“I’m a cancer survivor and I believe it has helped me keep healthy. Also, we’re a family of dog lovers and one of our dogs, Yoda, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.
“She underwent chemotherapy but that didn’t help her and we eventually had to put her down. When we were clearing out her medication, we noticed there were a few tablets that contained curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, so we started doing proper research into turmeric and came up with the idea of a Golden Latte (a turmeric and ginger milk drink).”It was tough getting their business off the ground, Singh said. In the beginning they approached a few coffee shops, chains and retailers to try their product, but no one wanted to give them a chance – except for the Checkers supermarket chain.
She said Sandy and Sukasha approached Checkers, which showed interest in the Golden Latte – they knew a lot about the spice as there is hype over turmeric drinks around the world now. Singh and her daughters now supply their blend of the Golden Latte to 138 Checkers coffee shops around the country. “We are very excited about this. They are our first clients,” said Singh. “At the moment were are operating our business from home. My daughters and grandson, Sachin, pitch in to help out, but as we grow the business we will have to hire staff.
“We are grateful to Checkers for supporting small businesses. We still have a long way to go, but so far, this business has already exceeded our expectations. In a few months, people will be able to buy our Golden Latte from any Checkers store.” Singh was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and a third of her colon had to be removed. Luckily, the cancer did not spread and she didn’t need chemotherapy. She said being diagnosed with cancer drove her to investigate the healing benefits of turmeric.She said turmeric had anti inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
Her Golden Latte is her take on an age-old Indian remedy for colds and flu, commonly called hurdee or haldi milk. She said her mother, Sumintra Singh, used to make this drink of turmeric and ginger, brewed in milk, when she was a little girl. The road to success is paved with golden latte for Singh and her daughters. Now that their business has started up, they hope to get their latte into more coffee shops and look to developing other turmeric-based products.