About Erika Rani Chopra
(Owner & Operator)
Erika Rani originally grew up on the East Coast (New England area) and attended Syracuse University in New York. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Prior to this, Erika worked in the financial industry for the past 17 years. Her and her teenage son live in the Torrey Pines area of San Diego and love the sun & surf! Outside of work, she enjoys both watching and playing sports, volunteering, a blissful beach day, gardening, happy hour with friends, and of course, cooking and baking.
Hello there! Here are some fun faves about me, I had to include the "food" ones. If you happened to hand any of these things to me on any given day, I would love it.
Caesar Salad, Cheeseburger & Beer Battered Fries, Eggs Benedict, Chicken Parmesan, Tonkotsu Ramen, Seafood/Sushi, Indian Cuisine (of course).
Sparkling Water (obsessed), Arnold Palmer, Dirty Martini, Gin & Tonic, anything from Copper Cow Coffee, The Pinots (Noir /Grigio), Chocolate Milk, Stella Artois, Amstel Light, freshly squeezed OJ or Lemonade.
Léon: The Professional, Braveheart, American History X, Forrest Gump, Friday, Shawshank, The Last Samurai, The Sandlot, Glory, Tommy Boy, Justice League Cartoon movies, Pixar Animation, anything Martin Scorcese makes or classic mob piece: Goodfellas, Casino, Bronx Tale, The Godfather(s), Scarface, don't get me started on my fave 80's movies...
Pink Starburst, Skittles, Kit Kat (cold), Albanese Gummy Bears, Black Licorice (yes, I'm one of those people), Reese's PB Cups (cold), Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles, Hi-Chew, pure Maple Syrup Sugar Candy (my kryptonite).
Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, and Tennis (played all those Varsity in H. S. too!)
My Own (obvs), Hot Fudge Sundae, Double Stuff Oreo (cold), NY Cheesecake, anything with buttercream on it, TJ's Coffee Blast Ice Cream, Giant Cinnamon Roll, Chewy Candy, J.P. Licks Coffee Oreo Ice Cream.
I grew up listening to all of these people: LL Cool J (my first tape deck purchase, Mama Said Knock You Out), The Notorious B.I.G. (Ready to Die), Jay-Z (Reasonable Doubt), Dr. Dre (The Chronic), Nas (Illmatic), Wu-Tang Clan (everything), Tupac (All Eyez on Me), The Roots (Illadelph Halflife), and many more!
To all my Indian sisters out there trying to make it in this world as a female person of color, hang in there and never lose your voice. I salute you! Do these videos ring true to your life like it does to mine? If so, I want to be your friend.
A Personal Note From Erika Rani
Towards the end of December 2022, I sat back in my chair and reflected on my past year at work. It was a productive year for us, with lots of great things accomplished by our various teams. However, in the end, my desk job in the field of finance had left me staring at two giant computer screens for 10 hours a day and working in an environment where I didn't get much respect or mental peace...especially from my manager. :( Those two things are priceless and not worth sacrificing anything for. Queue...my resignation.
I guess you could say this is considered a fresh start, a re-do, a clean slate, a small window just opened up, and an opportunity to pivot in life in some way has now presented itself to me. I had no idea I would be in this spot one year later after taking a new job at what turned out to be an unhealthy company (Ugh). But that is what life is, an unpredictable force I am going to have to deal with. So now what? Do I spruce up the old resume and throw it back out there into the ocean of financial companies hoping I finally find my work family? Or, maybe I go into my brain bank of the secretly-always-wanted-but-never-pursued list of jobs? You know, those top-secret ones you never really told anyone about, but wanted since you were muuuuch younger. It just never happened to happen. Maybe I can actually do something I want to do, or at least one of the things that have stuck with me to this day. No matter the current state of the world or if it is the year 2023. Registered Nurse? No, that's not it. Model? No, that's not it. Police Officer? (who of course makes Detective) No, that's not it. Stand Up Comic? No, that's not it. Baker/Cook? Hmmm...that's a maybe. Being my own Boss (finally) / Business Owner? Yes, that's it. Actually, let's grab that maybe, and throw it into the mix. A Bakery?
Queue...the internal battle between my head, my heart, and all the insecurity in between. "Can you even...?" "Why would you...?" "Who would you...?" "When can this...?" "Do you even have...?" "What if you need to...?" All the beginnings of sentences that played around in my head for daaaays trying to destroy all positive thoughts popping up. Then one day, I caught myself pumping myself up in my head between actual new business thoughts. "You can doooo it!" "You go girl!" "You are strong and independent!" "You are confident and capable!" "Why Not YOU?!!". In my head, my body was jumping up and down like an athlete in a locker room before a big game, getting ready to go out there to play and crush it. "You can do this...this is the game of life!!" Then I pictured myself kicking the locker room door open and running down that tunnel. The inner child in me would have most definitely yelled "Echo...Echo, Echoooo!".
I also had an in-between feeling pop up at least a couple of times a day at this point. Where the decision I am making to start a small business left me squeamish, more insecure, concerned and scared of the unknown...yet...at the same time, an uplifting feeling...like I have lived enough, seen enough, cried enough, triumphed enough, been through enough, worked enough, saved enough to.....just see what happens. Life is truly a gamble, and in the end, I believe in myself so I'm betting on myself. I rolled the dice. Ok, no more "life" talk. Here is my personal and professional pivot!
Being born in America as a second-generation Asian Indian, I have always had a foot in both worlds or countries I should say. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of India are something that will never fade in your mind if you have been lucky enough to experience them firsthand. The country has a long and deep tradition of incorporating sweets or what we call “Mithai” into the culture. To Indians, mithai symbolizes so many things such as joyous celebration, good fortune, happiness, and prosperity. No traditional celebrations, festivals, or ceremonies are truly complete without delicious Indian sweet treats being present, distributed, and devoured!
Many elements of Indian culture have already been embraced by other countries, and expanding on this through a culinary experience will be special for so many people and their taste buds! I believe there is a place for these uniquely flavored dishes stemming from the country’s traditions and plentiful gourmet flavors. The Maharani’s Mithai came to fruition because of my proud heritage, my life path changing unexpectedly, my incessant sweet tooth, and my passion for cooking and baking.
Whether it is meticulously measuring out ingredients or attentively packaging up an order, I love it all. Thank you for supporting my small business and I look forward to serving you and your taste buds for years to come.