Sunday, May 28, 2023

"Choosing Home, Building Success: Sonam Zam's Path to Making a Difference


In a world driven by the allure of greener pastures abroad, and even so dreadfully true about the wild rush we are experiencing in our own country, it is refreshing to encounter individuals who choose to stay back and make a difference in their local communities. 

Sonam Zam in front of her House

In front of her Oil Refinery Unit- Paro Refinery!

Meet Sonam Zam, a young high school graduate, who made the courageous decision to shoulder the responsibility of her family businesses instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere. Running a cafe nestled on a hilltop nearby since 2019, now working full time at the refinery unit which her brother established in April 2022 with a decent investment of little less than 30 lakhs, and a thriving backyard vegetable garden, Sonam Zam is a shining example of how passion, determination, and a deep connection to one's roots can create a path to success.


Explaining to me how the machines function...

For Sonam, the love for her home and family has always been paramount. Growing up in a picturesque Pangbisa Village surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, she witnessed her parents' dedication to their businesses and the impact they had on their community. Rather than succumbing to the allure of distant lands, Sonam realized the potential right at her doorstep. Inspired by her parents' and especially by her elder brother’s entrepreneurial spirit, she has embarked on a journey to not only preserve their legacy but to make her own mark.


One of her family’s ventures is a charming café perched on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the JSW Law School and a tranquil atmosphere of Pangbisa. This space is a haven for locals and tourists alike. The café serves as a hub for community gatherings, serving freshly brewed coffee, delectable homemade pastries, and dishes that celebrate the rich local flavors. Sonam's dedication to quality, warmth, and hospitality has earned her café a special place in the hearts of visitors and locals, making it a must-visit destination. However, owing to her brother’s decision to leave for Australia recently, Sonam and her family have leased out the cafe so she can be with her aging parents more often and also delve full time into vegetable farming and to spearhead the functioning of the “Paro Refinery”- and to slowly diversify the products of her Oil refinery unit in the near future.


Sonam Zam's dedication to create opportunities at the doorstep is exemplified by her enthusiastic involvement in the backyard vegetable garden. They also have a green-house pitched to grow vegetables on winter days. Recognizing the importance of fresh, organic produce, Sonam along with her parents work in their large vegetable garden that supplies the market and commuters with a bounty of seasonal delights. While I was inside her refinery unit trying to comprehend the functionality of the complex machinery, I overheard her receiving at least 4 calls in regard to vegetable inquiries. 

The Oil Refinery Unit has come as an anchor for the community of which Sonam takes great pride. The unit buys local produce and helps convert it into oil which the unit sells to generate revenue. Thus, making it a win-win process for both the parties. The by-product of the refinery( oil-cake) can be used to feed the cattle. She is happy to contribute by producing something which can substitute import of oil to some extent. She exudes a lot of confidence and excitement in revealing her future plans to diversify products into different variants according to the different usage. Her knowledge about the health benefits of various mustard oil products in itself was commendable. She believes , one day her refinery will also be able to create employment for interested Bhutanese youths.

Oil Refinery Unit

Sonam Zams decision to stay back and nurture her family businesses while embracing her own entrepreneurial aspirations sets her apart as a beacon of inspiration. Her unwavering commitment to her hometown, her family, and the values she holds dear resonates deeply with those who aspire to make a positive impact in their own communities. Sonam's story serves as a reminder that success can be found not only in far-flung destinations but also in the soil beneath our feet and in the dreams we nurture close to our hearts.

Sonam Zam's journey as a young high school graduate turned entrepreneur showcases the power of passion, dedication, and a deep connection to one's roots. By staying true to her values and building upon her family's legacy, she has transformed her ventures into thriving businesses that contribute to the local community's well-being. Sonam's story is a testament to the fact that one can create a fulfilling and prosperous life by embracing opportunities at home and making a difference right where they are.

Finished product


Benefits of Mustard Oil! (info courtesy-

Let's delve into the fascinating world of mustard oil and discover the myriad of health benefits it has to offer, both when applied topically and consumed internally.

Heart's Delight: Mustard oil is a heart's best friend! With its low saturated fat content and high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid, this golden elixir promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. Say goodbye to arrhythmias, heart failure, and angina as mustard oil helps reduce their occurrence, making it a heart-friendly choice.

Breathe Easy: Say farewell to pesky coughs and colds! Mustard oil has been used for centuries to soothe respiratory illnesses. Inhaling steam infused with mustard oil helps clear congestion and provides much-needed relief. For a powerful concoction, combine mustard oil with garlic and ajwain, and massage it onto your feet and chest to experience the soothing magic.

The Warrior Within: Harness the antibacterial, antifungal, and anticarcinogenic properties of mustard oil! Packed with glucosinolate and allyl isothiocyanate, this potent oil acts as a shield against gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers while keeping harmful fungi and infections at bay. Let mustard oil be your ally in the fight against these health threats.

Strength in Every Drop: Embrace the power of healthy blood cells! Mustard oil is a rich source of essential fats, providing the building blocks for diverse biological functions within our bodies. By reducing cholesterol and enhancing the structure of red blood cells, mustard oil strengthens and nourishes, ensuring vitality from the inside out.

Invigorate Your Senses: Let mustard oil awaken your body and senses! As a natural stimulant, it improves blood circulation, detoxifies your system, and leaves you feeling refreshed. Revitalize tired muscles, bid adieu to stress, and embark on a journey of rejuvenation.

Arthritis Alleviator: Find solace from joint pain and arthritis! Give yourself the gift of relief through regular massages with mustard oil. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids eases stiffness, reduces pain, and provides comfort to those grappling with arthritis. Embrace the freedom of movement and reclaim your zest for life!

Immune Booster Extraordinaire: Nurture your immune system with the perfect balance of nutrients! Mustard oil's composition, rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E, fortifies your body's defense mechanisms. Boost your immunity and embrace a healthier, more resilient you.

Sweet Victory over Diabetes: Take control of your diabetes journey with mustard oil! The alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E found in this remarkable oil, has beneficial effects in managing diabetic hazards. Regulate your blood sugar levels and pave the way for a balanced, fulfilling life.

Fuel Your Appetite: Ignite the fire within and embrace a hearty appetite! Mustard oil acts as a culinary companion, boosting your desire to eat. By stimulating the stomach, promoting the secretion of gastric juices and bile, this remarkable oil kindles the feeling of hunger, ensuring you savor every meal.

Nature's Defense Against Cancer: Unleash the potential to fight cancer! Emerging research suggests that mustard oil may slow down the growth and spread of certain cancer cells. Explore the possibilities and let this powerful oil be your ally in the battle against this formidable disease.


  1. Her next step should be to make the product visible to consumers - by placing the product at popular outlets in cities like Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue etc. There are some of us who like to support locally grown/produced product - the problem is we do not know where to find them. For instance after knowing that toilet papers and paper napkins are now made in Bhutan, I still have a hard time finding them.

    Buyers should not have a hard time finding the products.


"Choosing Home, Building Success: Sonam Zam's Path to Making a Difference

  In a world driven by the allure of greener pastures abroad, and even so dreadfully true about the wild rush we are experiencing in our own...