In Cerritos, CA, a belly dancer named Leila, in search of coins, fringe and henna, met a native Punjabi merchant, named Karan, selling many of the things she loved. Both Karan and Leila loved music, mysticism and culture. They greeted each other and before she left that day, she invited him to meet with her again. Their fortuitous meeting was just beginning.
They were married the following year and together began cooking home-style Indian and Persian dishes after their weekly trips to local farmers’ markets. Karan’s mother, Mami Gi, would go to the market (sabzi-mundi) with them, and taught Leila their family’s Punjabi recipes. They would share their curry recipes with friends, and often threw dinner parties for loved ones, dancing into the wee hours of the night, Gypsy-style.
Ten years and two children later, they began the Gypsy Eats Supper Club and a hot food booth at the Altadena Heritage Farmers’ Market. They sought to connect the farmers to their healthy hot food offered at the market for all to enjoy. As a staunch locavore, Leila insisted on hand crafting every sauce and beverage they sold, and the product line for the Gypsy Eats Food Co. thus began. They continue to run a local, family-run business, working with others in the community toward common goals of health, hard work and respect.