Srirupa Dasgupta opened Upohar, a restaurant and catering service, with a social mission. Her employees — primarily refugees — earn double the minimum wage.
When Srirupa Dasgupta came to the United States from India to attend college in the mid-1980s, she was determined to work in high-tech, not the restaurant industry.
But today, she owns a small restaurant and catering service in Lancaster, Pa., and employs primarily refugees who might have trouble finding work elsewhere.
After college, Dasgupta worked her way up the corporate ladder — from software engineer to manager at a healthcare company.
Just about the time the tech bubble burst in the late-1990s, she started getting burned out and was looking for something different.
“The starting-over point wasn’t like a Big Bang thing. It was kind of a migration,” says Dasgupta, while in the kitchen of her restaurant, Upohar — the Bengali word for “gift.”
The lunch buffet at Upohar in Lancaster, Pa., includes a mix of cuisines from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Jeff Brady/NPR