We had the good fortune of connecting with Nina Tickaradze and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m originally from the country of Georgia, and I moved to the United States when I was a teenager and have lived in Atlanta for more than 20 years. So I have this deep love for the two Georgias, and helped start the Georgia to Georgia Foundation and the Atlanta-Tbilisi Sister City Committee to strengthen business and cultural ties between my native country and my adopted state. It has always been my dream to introduce the ancient Georgian culture and history to Americans. I also wanted to do something to help the displaced refugees who have been impacted by geopolitical conflicts and were usually living in makeshift camps in the Caucasus Mountains. So we started NADI with a vision to make healthy drinks and snacks, create jobs for refugees, and promote the rich cultural heritage of Georgia. NADI is the first and only USDA-certified organic wild rosehip drink in America. It’s packed with Vitamin C and dozens of other vitamins, it is a great immunity booster. Last year we introduced Happy Hearts crispy dried apple chips that are made with only one ingredient, all-natural apples. I want to share these ancient traditions with other cultures, and encourage other people to contribute their history and experiences so we can learn more about their culture. I believe that with hard work and determination, anything is possible — sometimes you just have to change the formula itself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start the first day with breakfast at Alon’s Bakery, and we might grab a bottle of NADI Rosehip Drink that they always keep in the cooler. We would take a walk on the BeltLine and pop into Ponce City Market for a while to go shopping and get lunch from one of the casual restaurants inside like Botiwalla, which has amazing Indian street food. If the weather was nice we would go to the rooftop arcade because it has great 360-views of Midtown, Buckhead and Stone Mountain, and we love the rooftop restaurant 9 Mile Station for sunset cocktails and dinner. We would definitely do some long walks near the Chattahoochee River, Kennesaw Mountain or Cochran Shoals. That would give us a huge appetite for an indulgent Italian dinner of house-made pasta at Sotto Sotto. We would spend one day at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and take the Canopy Walk through the trees, and then bring a picnic lunch to eat at Piedmont Park. A lot of people don’t know that Piedmont Park was inspired by Central Park in New York, so it has similar swooping hills and sweeping vista views of the city. We would get an afternoon snack of Krispy Kreme donuts, and then catch a salsa class and tapas for dinner at Eclipse Di Luna. Then we would have to shake it up and go to the Porsche Driving Experience near the airport to race around their thrilling 1.6-mile course. A professional driver comes with you and gives you tips for handling the car and steering into the turns, and how to regain control if you start to spin out. We would check out the shops in West Midtown after that and maybe play Top Golf for a while. Dinner would be fresh oysters and fish at The Optimist. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In 2020, we were one of 15 women-owned businesses chosen for the Stacy’s Rise Project, which is an award and mentoring program that recognizes and lifts up women entrepreneurs. It was founded by Stacy Madison, the woman who created Stacy’s Pita Chips, which is now part of Frito-Lay and owned by PepsiCo. The teams at PepsiCo were absolutely incredible in helping us shape and share our messaging around healthy eating, active lifestyles, and being a socially responsible venture that creates jobs for refugees. They also introduced me to other amazing women entrepreneurs who have shared their wisdom and experiences, and it helped us improve everything from our retail presence to new website and e-commerce trends to our social media marketing. This has been the most rewarding experience in 2020.