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For Surya Singh, 70, It’s Better Latte Than Never

For Surya Singh, 70, it’s better Latte than never

23 AUGUST 2018, 2:00PM / NOUR SALLAM

DETERMINATION: Surya Singh and Melva Sithole serve up the Golden Latte. Picture: Elaine Banister Photography

Cape Town – Seventy-year-old Surya Singh has expanded her business to supply Golden Lattes to all 120 Checkers coffee shops across South Africa.Turmeric has always been a spice in Singh’s life. She would always give the spice to her children when they were sick, apply turmeric powder to their cuts, and feed them hurdee milk, a drink of milk, turmeric, and ginger that is a staple in Indian homes.

But it wasn’t until two years ago that Singh launched her business Turmeric Tonic.

Unfortunately, Singh’s brand was built out of grief.

“(Our dog) Yoda was only three years old when the vet told us she had lymphoma. When she was going through chemotherapy, she was on quite a few medications and I noticed one of them consisted of curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric,” she explained.

It wasn’t until after Yoda sadly died that Singh started researching the health benefits of turmeric as a digestive aid and an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and considering the possibility of turning her grief into a business.

After 15 years of running a catering business from home, Singh perfected the formula for her Golden Latte.

Singh said that when the product launched, she was hopeful because she was creating something good with many health benefits, yet fearful of failure.

As a cancer patient in remission, Singh knew a thing or two about false hope and anticipation.

She said: “We approached quite a few retailers, who wouldn’t even take our calls, or reply to our emails.”

However, within the first year, Turmeric Tonic landed a huge order from Checkers. “I’m proof that you’re never too old for success.

“Rapidly increasing our production capacity has been challenging, but successfully establishing and growing a small business is a dream come true,” said Singh.

She added: “If you look at the richest business people in the country, most of them are men and that needs to change.

“I hope other women who are trying to start businesses keep at it because as my daughter, Sandy, is fond of saying, ‘You can’t score a goal if you don’t take a shot’.”

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