Upohar is a “social impact” catering business and a Certified B Corporation, specializing in multicultural menus. A minority-woman-owned business, we consider the impact on people, planet, and profit when making business decisions.
Meaning “gift” in Bengali, Upohar offers the gift of global cuisines to our customers, and the gift of business opportunity to our supply chain vendors.
Our mission is to elevate minority-owned and women-owned micro food businesses and connect them to new markets. Upohar caters large upscale events that provides visibility to these chef-owned micro food businesses, generates supplemental revenue for them, and cultivates appreciation for the different ethnic cuisines they prepare.
The Story of Upohar
Hello! I’m Srirupa Dasgupta, founder and owner of Upohar — a catering business with a social mission to alleviate poverty.
In 2011, when I started the business, Upohar offered the gift of exciting new cuisines to the community. And the gift of employment opportunity to those who were “unemployable” — new immigrants and refugees with a cultural or English-language barrier, people experiencing homelessness, people with a prison record, and anyone in need. This made sense during the Great Recession when jobs were scarce.
Over the years, Upohar evolved from a part-time catering company in 2011, to a restaurant with catering services. In 2014, we opened a vegetarian restaurant at which we served our popular “world buffet” featuring a fully vegan and gluten-free menu. We added a food truck in 2016 and expanded our catering services to offer full-service. And in 2017, we acquired a stand at Lancaster Central Market, serving authentic Puerto Rican food. Then came COVID and we pivoted. We closed the restaurant, and spun off the market stand as a separate business, allowing Upohar to return to our catering roots.
Although much has changed over the years, Upohar’s mission has not. We continue to offer the gift of food and the gift of opportunity.
Post-COVID, Upohar’s gift of opportunity is for our fellow business owners in the hard-hit food industry. We source our extensive repertoire of authentic global cuisines from local minority-owned, immigrant-owned, women-owned small and micro food businesses. These people are experts in their culinary traditions, and this is why our clients rave about the food we serve!
So enjoy our gift to you, knowing that it gives back to the community every time.
Upohar in the News: Trace our Journey
- Upohar 2023: A Social Impact Catering Business
(Aug 3, 2023)
- Women in food: Srirupa Dasgupta, founder of Upohar, shares her path to food and a recipe
(Mar 11, 2020)
- 3 women who inspire each other enter culinary partnership, will train refugees
(Oct 16, 2017)
- A Restaurant that Serves up a Side of Social Goals
(Jan 1, 2015; NPR)
- Srirupa Dasgupta’s “gift” is Upohar Ethnic Cuisines
(Oct 5, 2014; LNP)
Lancaster woman’s catering firm helps refugees
(Dec 16, 2011; Central Penn Business Journal)