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Indian Lemonade Comes to America

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Maxine Henderson has lived the best of both worlds. Although she was born and raised in London, Ontario, Canada, she had the opportunity to fully immerse herself in her heritage and cultural traditions during trips to Kerala, India, where her parents are from. To honor summers surrounded by family, her Westernized Indian-Canadian upbringing and her children, Henderson embarked on a journey of launching the first Indian-inspired sparkling lemonade and limeade. Beyondish chatted with her about the details.

What was your career background before launching Bollygood?

I was an electrical engineer and used to work for Motorola in Atlanta, GA. I was fortunate to stay home with my four kids for 13 years. I was excited to start my entrepreneurial journey into the beverage space when my youngest was ten.

What is Nimbu Pani, and how did you create your formulation for Bollygood?

Nimbu Pani translates to lemon water and is also known as Indian lemonade. It is a beverage known for centuries in India, sold from street carts to restaurants to home kitchens. Bollygood is a family recipe passed down to me by my grandmother and aunties in India, and I added a sparkling twist to this classic beverage. I created my formulation in my home kitchen, testing it out teaspoon by teaspoon and experimenting with different flavors.

Bollygood founder Maxine Henderson.

How did you come up with the name Bollygood? 

I love the Bollywood film industry, so I played on the name and came up with Bollygood for good-tasting beverages with good ingredients. Bollygood launched online in the fall of 2021 with a different packaging. After being on the market for almost a year and a half, I wanted to make a few changes. I improved the taste, lowered the sugar and sodium levels, and we got Non-GMO Project Verified standing behind our clean ingredients. Our packaging today truly captures the vibrancy and beauty of India. The look and feel of the can resembles the posters I used to see when I went to watch movies in the theaters with my family in India – a lot of color with bold and abstract patterns. The subtle henna patterns, spotlights, rays, and dancing elephants are a nod to the Bollywood rhythmic feel. The can design reflects the organized yet beautiful chaos of India.

How does it feel to marry your Indian roots and your Canadian background to infuse those both into Bollygood?

Kerala, India, is located at the southern tip of India and it’s known for its beaches, mountain ranges, beauty, and delicious cuisine. During those visits I was fully immersed in the vibrant colors, food, Bharatanatyam dancing, elephant rides, doting aunties, and Nimbu Pani. My experiences helped me recreate the timeless Nimbu Pani beverage, adding my modern twist. I also had my kids in mind to create a better-for-you beverage and to bring East Indian representation to the beverage aisle.

Where can Bollygood be purchased?

We are available to ship online at anywhere in the USA. We have recently launched in 57 stores in The Fresh Market (FL, GA, IL, IN, MD, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, and VA). You can also find Bollygood at Disney World in Disney Springs at a restaurant called EET. Please visit my website for more store locations near you and follow @gobollygood. If we aren’t in a store near you, request us on my website and my Instagram page in my bio.

What does the future of Bollygood look like? 

I am thrilled to share that we have received our first investment from Slauson & Co., a venture capital firm. We have some great collaborations coming and more store locations to announce soon. I also have plans in the future to implement my BOLLYGOOD grant to uplift and support other women and women-owned businesses. I’m excited about what is to come for Bollygood!


Allanah Dykes

Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer whose niche is home decor and food, but she has written in almost every field from mental health to political op-eds. Her favorite pastimes are listening to Biggie and Bach and enjoying New York Italian ices and slices


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