About The Innovation District

Where Chattanooga’s entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives collide. 

Events Calendar

Discover activities and events in the area.

Resiliency Checklist

Everything you need to prepare your organization for a crisis.

Small Business Supports

Helping small business owners across the region.

The Edney Innovation Center

The front door to the Innovation District of Chattanooga.

Tech Goes Home

Expanding access to technology and teaching digital literacy.

Digital Access Committee

Bringing together partners to close the digital divide, together.

HCS EdConnect

Home internet at no cost to thousands of families.

Connected Communities: Orchard Knob

The OKC leverages the collective support of partner organizations to tackle the whole picture of health and wellness in the historically underserved neighborhood.


Answering the most basic and most complex questions about life in Chattanooga

EMPACT Program

Preparing residents for the jobs of tomorrow, and today. 

Chattanooga Smart Communities Collaborative

Working together to identify our region’s challenges and create solutions.

Environmental Sensors

Collecting and analyzing air quality data from across our region with US Ignite.

Education (4K Microscope & Lola)

High-tech tools in Hamilton County’s classrooms.

Community Connectivity

Expanding access to the internet in homes and neighborhoods.

Resilient Business: Spice Trail weathers pandemic by serving Indian meals to-go

Spice Trail business owner Sujata Shahi Singh holds a glass of wine high in the air as she smiles standing in front of a bar
Members of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga's team pose at a community event.

By Sadie Seaman

*About this series: The Innovation District of Chattanooga is featuring businesses that were able to survive the challenges brought by Covid-19. Help your business, nonprofit, or faith-based organization stay ready for a crisis by visiting ResiliencyChecklist.org, a free tool from The Enterprise Center. *

About three years ago, a stranger approached Sujata Shahi Singh and asked where in town served the best Indian cuisine, and she responded, jokingly, “My house, of course!”

That’s when she got her big idea. Since moving to Tennessee, she had seen a need for a variety in the restaurant industry and had previously explored opening her own restaurant, but it was a daunting process. But now, Sujata had an idea that would be simpler to launch: a pop-up restaurant that would serve food at existing venues. In June of 2019, she officially started Spice Trail.

Sujata held these pop-up dinners at many different venues in Chattanooga, such as The Camp House and The Dwell Hotel. Guests would sample Sujata’s many specialities, including one of her favorites, a dish called “poori” which consists of an unleavened bread that is rolled, spiced, and fried. Before the onset of the pandemic, Spice Trail’s pop-up events had become very popular, but with the challenges of COVID-19, Sujata had to rethink her model.

To keep business going as this past year roared on, Spice Trail developed a to-go meal service, where customers can order a meal once a week through Spice Trail’s website. While they’ve been able to adapt and keep serving meals, the new model has come with challenges.

“Pop-ups were more fun, more adventurous. I could provide more variety,” said Sujata.

By moving the business completely online, Spice Trail has had to greatly increase their marketing efforts, and it’s also made licensing for the business more challenging.

“I want to go back to doing pop-ups because this has its limitations,” Sujata said. “Things taste better fresh, not everything can be warmed up.”

Even though the to-go model is not ideal, it has allowed Spice Trail to remain open over the last year, and Sujata is hopeful that she can restart the in-person dinner events by the summer.

Pictured is a dish called “poori” which consists of an unleavened bread that is rolled, spiced, and fried