Podcast: Lavanya Mahate — Making a Tasty Impact on Salt Lake’s Dining Scene

Kaitlyn ClarkeBusiness Elevated Podcast

Business Elevated Podcast (Season 6 Episode 13)

This podcast series features business and government leaders discussing what it’s like to live and work in the great state of Utah.

The Business Elevated podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.



In this episode, Pete Codella, managing director of business services at the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, talks with Lavanya Mahate, founder of Saffron Valley restaurants and the RISE Culinary Institute.

Mahate shares her story of moving to Utah from India in 2001. She details her journey in pursuing additional education at the University of Utah, which led to a pivotal role at the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s Business Center. Mahate explores her decision to channel her passion for food into her own business, resulting in the establishment of Saffron Valley, a restaurant chain that celebrates the rich culinary heritage of India. She also highlights her entrepreneurial ventures, including bakeries and RISE Culinary Institute, a nonprofit that empowers refugee women through culinary training and employment opportunities. 

She also discusses her challenges and triumphs, from navigating the complexities of immigration and visa regulations to establishing a successful culinary empire in Utah. Mahate reveals her plans for the future, including her desire to explore more of Utah’s outdoor landscapes and her ongoing commitment to her entrepreneurial endeavors.