Maria Kuriakose

Introducing Maria Kuriakose, the entrepreneur behind Thenga, a startup that transforms coconut shells into unique and ideal gifts.

Have you ever pondered the meaning of ‘Thenga’? In Malayalam, it translates to coconuts! Thenga, a petite start-up led by women hailing from Kerala, India, is dedicated to creating products utilizing discarded coconut shells. Thenga handmade products from a quaint Kerala village are now accessible worldwide.

Thenga, a locally grown brand from Kerala, transforms coconut waste into durable, sustainable, and handcrafted home products.

Maria Kuriakose established Thenga in August 2019. Originally hailing from Kerala, she moved to Mumbai for her higher education and career. While working in Mumbai, the desire to contribute to her hometown’s agricultural sector prompted her to return and initiate a business. Recognizing coconuts as the primary agricultural crop in Kerala, she decided to focus on this versatile resource, considering that the state itself was named after coconuts. In Malayalam, “Kera” translates to coconuts, making Kerala the literal land of coconuts.

Maria embarked on her full-time commitment to Thenga last year, embracing social entrepreneurship to not only elevate the local artisan community but also contribute positively to the environment. Leaving her corporate job in Mumbai, she dedicated herself to the brand to enhance the farming economy and generate sustainable income.

“Utilizing every aspect of a coconut became my goal. Initially considering the husk and water, I eventually focused on shells. Typically burned in mills for fuel, I collaborated with my engineer father to develop affordable machinery that transforms coconut shells into functional bowls,” Maria explains.

The most challenging aspect lies in selecting the appropriate shells from the heap. Maria, working alongside skilled artisans, meticulously chooses suitable shells to craft batches of similarly sized products. Maria explains, “Our coconut bowls come in three sizes: mini (150ml), medium (200ml), and the Kerala Jumbo coconut shells, the largest, capable of holding 500-600ml. For those in need of larger containers, we import Vietnam coconut shells that can accommodate up to 900ml.

These handmade, eco-friendly bowls are resilient to room and cool temperatures, although Maria advises against serving hot foods. All Thenga coco products are free from chemical and inorganic compounds that could compromise their natural quality. The final coating is applied using coconut oil instead of varnish. Maria adds, “If the exterior dulls after multiple washes, you can restore its luster by applying coconut oil. The shell absorbs the oil, ensuring the longevity of the product for decades.

Thenga, 2nd Floor, Manjali Building, CBE Road, Sultanpet, Palakkad – 678001, Kerala, India
Phone : +91 80756 98276, 96338 13926
Email :
Web :

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