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communityspotlight Ani Tirpan & Connecticut’s


FIRST ANNUAL CONNECTICUT VEGETARIAN AND HEALTHY LIVING FESTIVAL


Ani Tirpan


VegFest is for everyone, not just vegans & vegetarians. It is designed to be a holistic experience about improving the quality of life, with something for all ages to taste, learn and/or do.


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here are many ways life-changing moments occur. They may be subtle, dramatic, sudden, evolve over time, happen within or out of our control. North-Haven based entrepreneur, Ani Tirpan, has experienced several such


moments, which continue shaping her choices (the most recent being the cre- ation of Connecticut’s First Annual Vegetarian and Healthy Eating Festival, Veg- Fest, scheduled for April 28 and 29). Originally from Armenia, where an early 20th century genocide nearly wiped out a nation, Tirpan says her family secretly escaped their homeland in 1966 with the clothes they wore and came to Ameri- ca. Though they felt welcomed, it was not an easy transition. Yet, her experiences helped inspire an enduring spirit and the desire to make a difference. She asserts she is “determined not to squander that suffering by holding back, not taking advantage of every single opportunity that comes [her] way.” Seeing herself as a survivor who learns from experience, she ultimately wants to be remembered for touching lives and impacting this world. “On judgement day, I don’t want to be asked ‘why didn’t you do anything for your fellow man?’ All I want to hear is, ‘you did good.’” Tirpan’s “good” includes raising three children, all professionals in public


service, 30+ years of helping others grow businesses, and a dream of starting her own company with an aim to give back to the community. Though encour- aged to sell her homemade salad dressing, a healthy favorite amongst family and friends, she hadn’t previously given it serious consideration. “What did I know


12 Hartford County Edition www.NAHRT.com


about marketing salad dressing? Noth- ing!” However, during a 2009 blizzard, while feeling bored from channel surfing and solitaire, her daughter suggested it might be a good day to research product promotion. That simple encouragement seeded Tirpan’s vision, beginning her journey toward her company’s inception. Starting a new business venture in an industry in which she’d had no prior experience, however, was challenging. By late 2010, after running a textiles company while making dressing, she was ready to leave her job. Rather than fear- ing failure, Tirpan says she didn’t hesi- tate. “What did I have to lose? I came to this world butt naked, I came to America with the clothes on my back and I was going to leave this wonderful country and world butt naked again.” Under- standing ‘things’ come and go, and hav- ing survived before through hard work, dedication and perseverance, she trusted she could do it again. “As necessity is the mother of invention, trial and error are the step-children. I’ve had to invent new ways to success that are unique to my business.” The result of those labors is Whole- some Creations™, a company offering salad dressings utilizing fresh ingredients. The dressings (Green Tea/Ginger, Pome-


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