Meet Seena Chriti.
Founder & Owner of Paktli.
"My biggest lesson was to find the right moment and to create something that is incredibly fulfilling... [Paktli] keeps growing and giving people JOY."
Paktli is a puffed ancient grain snack inspired by Mexican Alegrias.
Q: What is a lesson you've learned that has shaped your work?
A: For years I've been wanting to start my own food manufacturing company. The idea of creating this snack called Paktli had been brewing in my mind for years but only when I was able to be specific and focus my energy was I able to finally start. Being in the middle of the pandemic with my kids at home was a catalyst that pushed me even harder. Once the idea was conceived, experiments started at home and production started at the Findlay Kitchen, the whole concept made total sense.
The branding behind it all came so naturally. The name "Paktli" means joy and the product is a snack called "alegrias" which also means joy. The colors represent the looms and fabrics from Oaxaca, an exquisite place in Mexico. I have been out if my country (Mexico) for years and with this project, I am honoring it and introducing a piece of my culture to the world.
So my biggest lesson was to find the right moment and to allow myself to finally create something that is incredibly fulfilling - with unstoppable energy, it keeps growing and giving people JOY.
Q: How did a grant from Main Street Ventures impact you and your business?
A: It will provide me with resources to be able to solve some of my main issues, including packaging, displays, and equipment to increase production.
Q: What makes Cincinnati a great place to start a business?
A: I'm in absolute awe and thankfulness with this city. I can start by naming how lucky I feel to have encountered Findlay Kitchen to be my incubator and the reason for my existence as a business. They gave me so many tools and resources as well as so much promotion and invitations to events that have helped my business immensely. Now after a year, Paktli is in more than 44 places - it feels as if Paktli has become this beloved local brand that everyone needs to have in their store.
I can't express enough gratitude to the Cincinnati public and food scene. I have received countless posts on social media of people posting about my product and recommending it. I am convinced that my lifelong search for having my own snack business had to wait until I arrived in Cincinnati where it all could happen and become possible in an almost magical and unstoppable way.
Q: What's next for Paktli?
A: To continue growing in a more structured way, to consolidate and grow what is already working locally (markets, local wholesale accounts). My big goal is to grow my online sales because those are the most profitable and it feels amazing when I receive orders on my website.