From Kerala To California, Mayura’s Padmini Aniyan Has Never Let Fear Of Failure Hold Her Back
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Long before she opened Culver City’s Mayura, Padmini Aniyan never let the possibility of failure affect her determination to not only survive, but thrive. She grew up in a small village in Kerala, a southern coastal state in India, earned two master’s degrees and a PhD in business management and taught for two decades. In 2005, she left all that behind and moved to the US with her family. Soon after arriving they opened Mayura, realizing Aniyan’s lifelong goal of running her own food business. Specializing in South Indian cuisine, with an eye to vegan and health-conscious options, Mayura’s aim is, in Aniyan’s words, to cater to people from every category of life.
Being an immigrant woman of color presents obvious challenges, particularly in the male-dominated restaurant industry, but Aniyan thinks maintaining mental strength, confidence, and faith have helped her thrive throughout her life. Back in India, she looked up to women in food, textiles, and technology as sources of inspiration. “Here, I listen to Oprah Winfrey shows a lot: very inspiring, very motivating,” she says. When it comes to being a restaurant owner and chef, Aniyan looks closer to home for support and guidance, citing her late parents, sister, and in-laws for culinary inspiration.
Aniyan is a firm believer in karma, the idea of a universal cycle of cause and effect shared by both Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions. “Whatever you will do, it comes back to you,” she says, when reflecting on the last year. “I tried to look at the possibility in every adversity, and I always do my best. I leave the rest to karma.”
“So many restaurants are closing but we are blessed to be in business,” Aniyan says. Her spirituality has helped her remain optimistic even with the challenges of the pandemic. “We should never compromise quality in our life, and we should do the best for our community,” she says. “That’s what I believe in, and why we do the best we can at Mayura.”
DoorDash believes that supporting and advancing women-owned businesses is an ongoing effort that demands action. Action we can take with our product, voice, and resources, including the partners we choose. DoorDash is proud to partner with RE:Her, a local LA nonprofit created by women-owned restaurants, that is committed to advancing women in the restaurant industry through mentorship, resources, and small business grants.