So, let’s start from the start...
Bhoomi's founder, Arpit Bhopalkar grew up in India playing Table-Tennis from an early age. His father was his first coach and after Table-Tennis training sessions in Indian summer, Arpit’s father, Ashok, would hop him and his brother on his motor-bike, like in a Wes Anderson movie, and wrrroom straight to a sugarcane juice vendor! The vendor would hand crank the sugarcane juice machine, the trio would gulp a refreshing glass of cane juice and here they go...ready for the next session of Table-Tennis! Just like that! Arpit went on to represent India as an International athlete. Cane Juice was an incredible beverage full of electrolytes and antioxidants which has been consumed people around the globe for thousands of years.
You see, sugarcane juice is rooted in principles of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing science that’s all about balance. Ayurveda teaches us that there's a direct link between our minds and our bodies, and that true wellness comes from balancing the two. Part of achieving that balance involves—you guessed it—nutrition. When we're mindful about our intake, the body responds with rejuvenation and healing. It’s nature, but it’s also science. Working together. Balanced. That’s Ayurveda.
Moving into the Big Easy - New Orleans
In 2013, Arpit moved to New Orleans to earn his MBA at Tulane. And of course, just like the summers in India, NOLA can get downright swampy. So, Arpit needed a way to hydrate and refresh. Like, quickly. But he couldn’t find his favorite Indian drink— sugarcane juice...and this is how the idea of Bhoomi was born.
But Sugar?! Really?!
We know what you’re thinking. “Sugar? Really?” As in, the single worst thing one can put in one’s body? The s-word?” This is the part where we wish we could hug each one of you and share fundamental differences between cane juice and refined sugar. Let's take a look at some of the common myths:
- Cane Sugar is Cane Water - NOT
- Sugarcane is Sugar - NOT
- Cane Water is Sugar Water - NOT
Okay, but wait, then what is it? Well, Cane Juice or Water is simply the water extracted from a stalk of sugarcane which has 80% water content. The “refined granulated sugar” is toxic, heavily processed with nutrients stripped away. In short, Cane Water does not equal Sugar Water. In cultures like Arpit’s, people have been pressing the juice from sugarcane for centuries—drinking it straight, or sometimes adding natural flavors like lime or ginger. You know how powerful wheatgrass is, right? Well, sugarcane is (just another variety) also a type of grass, and its juice contains electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, and phytonutrients—so it hydrates more effectively than water alone. Plus, we’ve added something we like to call “badass super botanicals”—which is a clever way to say “even more health benefits.”
Renavigating the Story of Sugar in the West
While we share Bhoomi’s story, it would be completely unfair to not discuss the tumultuous history of sugarcane in the west. To sum it up, sugar trade was done on the back of slavery and oppression to fuel colonization which disenfranchised communities of color across the world like never before. Therefore, building a thriving sugarcane company would be meaningless if we do not address this issue and support communities of color and most importantly African American sugarcane farmers. As a matter of fact, there were approximately 60 black sugarcane farmers in Louisiana in 1983, but today, there are only four. Why? How? Well, click this link to learn more.
We want to do more...We want to share the lessons of Ayurveda with the world. We want to educate people about the difference between cane water and every single other kind of “sugar.” We are working to support minority sugarcane farmers, and help restore justice to their community. And We want to create a radical yet simple, responsible product using renewable, sustainable resources.
In naming this venture “Bhoomi” (which, in Sanskrit, translates to “Mother Earth”), we are looking to create a little back-and-forth with Mother Nature and Social Justice. Some revolution in sugarcane world of a sort, if you will.