Small LI business brings Ghee to the Oscars

Lynbrook-based company, Gourmet Ghee Co.'s black truffle Ghee was featured in a gift bag for the Oscars. Courtesy by Nazia DeFrank.

By Vivica Michel and Chelsea Sullivan

Lynbrook-based Gourmet Ghee Company’s sales tripled after their black truffle flavored butter was featured in gift bags for The Oscars on Feb. 24., the company CEO said.

Black truffle ghee was one of 15 products included in the bags given out in an invite-only gifting suite by “Wow! Creations Media.” Celebrities who came to the suite were given thousands of dollars worth of free gifts in return for their possible endorsement, giving the companies the opportunity to get their name out to the public.

“Having your product in the hands of major celebrities is a big difference,” DeFrank said. “After being in the Oscars we did get great responses from celebrities who wanted their own personal gift baskets of flavors as well as custom flavors.”

Gourmet Ghee was founded in 2017 by CEO Nazia DeFrank. She worked in television productions before deciding to become an entrepreneur, selling ghee, something she grew up eating.

Before The Oscars, the company was first exposed to the media through an appearance on the Dr. Oz within six months of its creation. CEO Nazia DeFrank says that this is the biggest thing that’s happened to their company yet, though. In the week since the Oscars, celebrities like actress Kathy Hilton have been reaching out for their own custom flavors and organizations across Long Island are making plans to collaborate with the company for events.

“It doesn’t have to be a $50 bottle of diamond water,” Matthew Harris, the founder of Wow! Creations Media, the company responsible for putting the gift bags together, said. “Celebrities like to know the story behind the products they’re receiving. They want to know that someone put their blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Consumers are more likely to buy a product if they see a celebrity endorsing it, regardless of their opinion on the, a study from Shih Chien University in Taiwan published in 2018 has shown. The human brain processes celebrities in almost the same way as friends, so people tend to take advice from celebrities as if it is advice from a friend.

“The first day after the Oscars our phones were ringing and have not stopped since,” Diane Montello, senior office manager of Gourmet Ghee, said. “We have been doing tremendous sales and get contacted daily by a new celebrity, an event, a wedding, a gala, or a corporate office.”

Clarified butter has recently become part of a health trend, since research has labeled it as a possible “superfood.”

In Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, goop, Paltrow mentions Ghee as a superfood that is good for your physical health and can be used to improve your mental health and spirituality through a medicinal process called ayurveda.

“Ghee can have a bad reputation due to its contribution to an increased risk of developing heart disease because of its high saturated fat content,” Jordan Pie, a nutritionist and founder of her own health website, reallifeofpie.com.  “However, research has now confirmed that saturated fats, including ghee… can actually play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.”

People who consume more ghee have been shown lower rates of coronary heart disease, according to a study by Dr. Hari Sharma on ghee and its’ effects on a rural population in India.

Now that the company has had its first appearance at The Oscars, its products are set to be featured in gift bags at The Emmy Awards in September.

 

About Vivica Michel 2 Articles
Hello! My name is Vivica Michel. I’m a third-year journalism student at Stony Brook University. I was born and raised in Bronx, NY. Many people constantly assume I’m Hispanic, but I am half African American and half Asian. I’m a city girl through and through. I love NYC and everything that it has to offer. I’m also very passionate about anything that involves my family, music and food. Some of the things that I’m involved with on-campus is Student Media, WUSB 90.1fm, Black World Media, The Odyssey Online and Society of Professional Journalists. I’m hoping to grow as a writer and expand my skills in digital media. I hope to use journalism someday to give voices to those who feel as they aren’t being heard.