#OperationGirl: Be Awesome. Help Girls.

August 6, 2014

be awesome help girlsEducating girls globally is one of the top ranked social investments of our time. While this has always been a funding priority for us at Bhakti Chai, we’re thrilled to support Edge of Seven in their #OperationGirl campaign.

A Denver-based nonprofit organization, Edge of Seven empowersedge of seven women and girls by increasing female educational, health and economic opportunities in remote areas of the world.

#OperationGirl provides girls in rural Nepal access to higher education through erecting school buildings, large-scale water supplies, a girls hostel, and a dormitory for 40 girls pursuing a secondary education in the Everest Region. 2014’s project aims to build a higher secondary school and a dormitory for girls pursuing a degree at the only bachelor’s program in the region.

Bhakti Founder and CEO Brook Eddy commends Edge of Seven’s mission. “Education empowers girls to change their lives, make informed choices, and is proven to not only increase income and stability but health outcomes. I’m so proud of the work that Edge of Seven is doing in Nepal for the next generation of women leaders!”

Edge of Seven suggests that empowerment begins with education, a theory that resonates with seventeen-year old Mingmar from the district capital of Salleri: “Women in Nepal are living very miserable lives because they don’t have a voice, and they don’t have a choice in life. I want to fight this in the future.” Mingmar aspires to be a journalist to increase awareness of the challenges women face in Nepal.gir

 

As a mission dedicated to the social and educational advancement of women from remote areas in the East, #OperationGirl is close to Bhakti Chai’s roots and heart.

 

Bhakti Chai founder and CEO Brook Eddy first witnessed the powerful principles of “Bhakti” (devotion through social action) first-hand in rural Northern India, where community members selflessly devoted themselves to the betterment of their village and its inhabitants. Bhakti Chai now submits this same devotion to the region from which it was inspired and to the population that needs it most.

Join Bhakti Chai by donating to #OperationGirl via BeAwesomeHelpGirls to further the Project’s goal of raising $20,000 by the end of 2014. You can donate here!

Spread the word online by e-mailing your friends and family and posting the campaign link on social media. Use the hashtags #beawesome, #helpgirls, #operationgirl and #edgeofseven.

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June/July 2014: Brook Eddy on risk and creativity in Mantra Magazine

“I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior. Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”

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Follow your bliss…right off that cliff.

Written by Brook Eddy for Mantra Magazine, June/July 2014 Issue

Mantra Cover Erykah Badu 06_2014

I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior.

Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”

Launching a company wasn’t risky because I merely had $200 in savings and couldn’t secure a credit card, or because I didn’t have any beverage or manufacturing experience. For me, the nauseating risk was that I was the sole financial provider for my two children and there was nothing to fall back on.

Follow Your Bliss...Right Off That CliffI do not speak of mindless risk taking or extreme-sport-thousand-dollar-poker-table buy-in-behavior, but rather intuitive risk taking. Taking the leap of faith based on gut. Knowing deep inside my dreams demanded that I take action and step off that cliff.  Trusting. Trusting. Trusting.

Sure, there were hecklers in the bleachers saying “Not the right time! “Not the right place!” “Not the right gender!” But instead of listening to the naysayers I decided to listen to my intuitive gut. It has now become a practice, as inherent to entrepreneurship as the lack of sleep.  Just like my yoga practice, it needs attention, it needs to be fed – and then it will feed me.

Risk taking, for me, has generated more creativity. It’s a cycle that rewards change. Each time I look into those dark waters below, the abyss of the unknown, I learn more about my resiliency, my creativity, and somehow, so far, have come out unscathed into the warm calm turquoise waters of success and learned a little more about who I am and what I want.

This isn’t just for entrepreneurs. Anyone in life feeling safe, wanting a little change, or needing to disrupt the status quo can get to know risk taking. Your bliss and your dreams on are on the other side. Take it out for a spin and see how it can change the trajectory of your life. From moving, quitting a job, expressing your heart, ending that unfulfilling relationship, tackling that musical instrument, or writing the screenplay roaming around in your mind the last 10 years – your bliss will thank you.

The other prong of risk taking is resiliency. Of course not every plunge will bring success. Not feeling attached to these outcomes can then facilitate letting go when things don’t work. The quicker you see and feel it isn’t working, whether it’s an employee that needs to go or a marketing initiative falling flat — pull the Band-Aid off fast and know being malleable and resilient will open you up to more opportunities.

And yet, after thousands of jumps the fear still creeps in at times, whispering “Go Back Home little Girl.” But risk takers don’t turn around. They don’t slump shoulders and fold up into themselves in a corner.  They stand up, look the unknown straight in the face and say, “Bring It.”

Bhakti Chai is best chai tea

This week, Taster’s Choice is spicing things up – in the form of liquid chai concentrates, which can be served either hot or cold.  With a wide variety available on the market – green tea, red rooibos and more – we kept things simple by sticking with the classic blends that use black tea and spices. In first place is Bhakti Chai. Several of our panelists enjoyed the “complex spices,” noting that the tea offered a “very soothing quality” and had a “nice kick from the ginger.”

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These entrepreneurs get a taste of success

In USA TODAY’s newest small-business series — Smart Small Business — Bhakti Chai is one of four expanding firms in the food and beverage industry openly sharing their entrepreneurial triumphs and challenges, and discussing the specific actions that have led to customer retention, increased distribution and positive product reviews. Each firm was honored with a “sofi” award from the Specialty Food Association, which is considered an Oscar in the artisanal food world.

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Behind the Menu: Coffee and Tea with a cause

WRITTEN BY JEN, 707 BIN BLOGGER, JULY 16, 2013

At Bin 707 Foodbar, we offer top of the line, local and domestic wines, beer and spirits. Did you know we also offer top of the line Colorado Owned coffees, and teas? Bin 707
As is true for all areas of Bin 707 Foodbar- we go out of our way to deliver you the best products available. This is why when it comes to espresso- we use Copper Door Coffee Roasters out of Denver, and when it comes to the perfect Chai- we use Bhakti Chai out of Boulder.

Copper Door Coffee Roasters began as a small operation started by Sinjin Eberle in college. With a background as a barista, Sinjin decided to begin roasting his own beans and started with one simple goal in mind: no burnt coffee. Since then, Copper Door Coffee Roasters has become a small-batch company that provides people with consistently good beans. They use all American-made machinery to roast their coffee beans- which are purchased at well-above fair trade prices. These beans come in honestly and are never roasted until they are ordered- which is why they stay so fresh. This devotion to fresh, fairly traded beans serves to offer a product that is the way coffee and espresso should be: delicious by it’s self, every time.

Bhakti Chai also began as a small project that aimed to re-create the rich flavors of Northern India’s masala chai. They have now grown into a Sofi: best of specialty food “Outstanding Hot Beverage” award winning company with a huge following. They offer a product that is as personable as it is soulful, blended with the intent of being enjoyed in many forms. Bhakti means “devotion” and is intended to be lived out through social action- as such Bhakti Chai is devoted to all organic flavors with all of their foreign tea being fair trade certified. They also devote themselves to the Bhakti principle through social action by donating a percentage of their revenue to various programs which support women’s rights. So while you’re at Bin 707 Foodbar enjoying your Bhakti beverage, you can rest assured it’s not just an iced tea or latte you’re supporting but also a cause.

From taking espresso back to a place of pure, complex flavor with above fair trade standards, to social action through delicious chai- we are glad to serve products that not only are the best quality, but that also have a deep calling to do things right. Bin 707 Foodbar offers Bhakti Chai’s original chai blend which is vegan, gluten free and non-gmo verified. We also offer Copper Door Coffee Roaster’s espresso blend: a 50/50 blend of pure Columbian coffee and pure Brazilian coffee. This blend ensures freshness and a complex flavor profile that is rich and delicious without any cream or syrup. Stop by today to try it in a hand-made latte or by it’s self. While you’re here, you can also try our delicious Bhakti Chai latte with plenty of spicy ginger and cardamom.

“Living My Bhakti”

Laura Henderson was chosen as Bhakti Chai’s Q2 “Living Your Bhakti” Leader.  Here is her story on how she came to be living her purpose – or her “Bhakti”!

When the opportunity came along to partner with Bhakti Chai through their 2013 alliance with Off The Mat, Into The World, I was delighted to have the opportunity to share my story and my non-profit, Growing Places Indy, with people outside of our community. I’m not from Indiana, and like most people, before living here nothing much came to mind when I thought of Indiana or Indianapolis. Now that I have chosen to make Indianapolis home, and to invest myself deeply in the land and people here, I love to share the beautiful stories of people and places that I have found. I’m excited that as Bhakti’s Q2 “Living Your Bhakti” Leader, we were all able to spread awareness of our passions and the manifestation of our great work!

How did I come to a place where I was truly “Living my Bhakti”?  Here is my story:

A few years ago, I met two amazing women who were living their purpose – or as I now call it “living their Bhakti — in ways that I found revolutionary and inspiring. One of those women was Seane Corn, who was teaching yoga with Off The Mat, Into the World in a way I had not encountered. I heard her asking us to consider how we were activating the awareness we found on our mats in our lives in ways that led us to be the change we hoped to see in the world. The second was Debbie Apple, a dairy farmer in central Indiana raising 100% grass fed cows for raw milk. Debbie spoke truth to power in a way that spoke to my soul as she educated and advocated for a food system that worked with the ecology of our land and bodies rather than against them. These two women offered call-to-action that spoke to the core of my being, and I found I simply had to respond.

Fast-forward six years, and my response has manifested into Growing Places Indy, a small non-profit that I founded and direct with the mission to empower individuals – and through individuals communities – to “Grow well, Eat well, Live well and Be well”. Because my inspiration came through first-hand experiences and relationships, our work is activated through opportunities to engage in first-hand experiences and relationships that connect individuals to how and where food is grown and raised, who is growing it, and how to eat it. Because yoga and meditation are central to my ability to show up and do the work that I need to do, we offer yoga and meditation classes to the public, which in turn benefit our programs.

Laura Henderson sporting Bhakti tankOn May 11, 2013, Growing Places Indy hosted “Follow the Trail to Be Well,” as part of official dedication celebration of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a 13-mile recreational trail that circumnavigates downtown Indianapolis, connecting the different cultural districts and neighborhoods. One of our urban micro-farms is located along the Cultural Trail in White River State Park – over 200 acres of recreation and green space in the heart of the city. We offered yoga classes and opportunities to work and learn in the garden throughout the day, as marching bands, street performers, and families of every walk of life passed along the trail that day, and stopped to watch, ask questions, try out yoga or a gardening activity, and of course enjoy a sample of Bhakti Chai.

On June 21, 2013, Indianapolis yoga studios joined together to host the inaugural Monumental Yoga event. We closed down traffic on the south half of Moment Circle, at the center of downtown Indianapolis, in the middle of the workday for an all levels sun salutation celebration of the Solstice. Over 1,200 registered for the event, and it was a site like none we’ve seen in this city. On a day where the temperature topped 90, first time and veteran practitioners alike were undeterred from laying out their mats and joining in the fun. It was really fun to have a “How are you living your Bhakti?” banner at the Bhakti Chai sample table, and on such a hot day the cold chai was extra popular!

This has been such a fun partnership for me personally, and for Growing Places Indy. We are grateful to Bhakti Chai and Off the Mat, Into the World for the opportunity to share our story! If you find yourself in Indianapolis, get in touch! We’d love to help you find the food, yoga and activities that will make your Indy experience one in which you get to eat well, be well and have fun!

The Bhakti Brand: Beautiful. Brazen. Brilliant.

Written by Elizabeth Powell for Eat.Drink.Boulder ~ November 12, 2012

Intimate Confessions

bad tea w quoteSorry, Regular Tea, I’m just not that into you. You can tempt me with your gorgeous packaging and your delicate scent, but you just don’t bring the right texture and mouthfeel to the table. And I’ve given you an all-out international effort…apple chai in Turkey, mate (both bitter and sweet) in Argentina, chamomile in France. The connection just isn’t happening. The Turkish affair was warm and sweet but not commitment-worthy. The mate offering is a glorious way to make friends, but definitely an acquired taste I didn’t wish to acquire. Years later, that sweet American number from Oregon had me intrigued for a time—the texture was enhanced by the creaminess of milk—but that overly saccharine interlude faded in a few months. I wanted to like it, but it was like awkward first sex…you just know it’s gotta be better than that.In love with Bhakti

Then I moved to Boulder and became intimate with two locally brewed Indian-style chai teas, taking them home on half-gallon benders, enjoying mutually respectful engagements that lasted a few years. Indecision reigned, and I stooped to occasionally drinking both at the same time. I don’t think they minded. In retrospect, although I owe them for exposing me to the delectable mixture of ginger, cardamom, black tea, sugar and milk, they were but stepping stones to True Love. Bhakti Chai Love. Now this was Tea with a capital B! Not only is Bhakti Chai worthy of an invitation home for the holidays, it inspires soft purrs and heart-warming joy. On certain days you may even recall the line “I’ll have what she’s having” from When Harry Met Sally. And I’m not alone in my devotion-bordering-on-obsession. For thousands of loyal fans, Bhakti Chai has become part of who we are. And this, my friends, is the key to brilliant and successful brands.

Brand Loyalty

Here’s the deal: people connect strongly to brands that reflect their values, identity, and desire for connection. Strong brands anticipate needs and transform desires. Pay a visit to Bhakti’s Facebook page and you see wall posts exclaiming “LOVE!!!”, “amaazzinngggg!!!!”, “yummiest tea on the planet”, “I’m so addicted”, and “thanks for getting me through my first trimester”. Wow. This display of brand loyalty is nothing short of amazing, and BhaktiChai.com artfully and humbly welcomes you into the fold. A brilliant feature on their Facebook homepage is a promotion of “Iced Barackti Chai”, and the web site has an impressive collection of mouthwatering photos and recipes using the liquid magic. Good brands inspire loyalty, return visits, desire, and the “I gotta have it NOW” mantra that further solidifies the brand loyalty. Hmmm…kinda like that oxytocin high you feel when you’re in love! Good job, Bhakti peeps. Bhakti Chai’s founder, Brook Eddy, is committed to social action (Bhakti means “devotion through social action”) and has forged creative partnerships with other amazing brands, further solidifying a loyalist following. The company walks its talk through numerous charitable donations to nonprofits that provide services to women, girls, and the environment. What’s more, they use Fair Trade and organic ingredients, and prioritize zero waste manufacturing.

lips
How Do I Love Thee? Top 10 Ways:
  1. Public Displays of Affection: Out at your local cafe, ask for hot or iced Bhakti Chai with your choice of milk.
  2. Take Me Home: Bring home large bottles of concentrate sold at select local retailers, as well as ready-to-drink individual serving bottles.
  3. As You Like It: Adding milk to Bhakti concentrate allows you to make it as sweet, spicy, or hot as your mood calls for.
  4. Existential Pick-Me-Up: Need an emotional mood-boost? Simply heat, take a deep breath, and sip slowly. Ahhhhh..
  5. Night-time Nirvana: Curl up with Bhakti and a late-night Netflix. Paired best with Italian or French films.
  6. Frozen Ginger-y Love: Eat Bhakti Chai Chip ice cream out of the carton with one spoon and your S.O. (note to Bhakti: I’d relish more dark chocolate chips in the mix!)
  7. Smooth and Sweet: Add the chai concentrate to any smoothie, for a little caffeine boost, and just for the sake of it.
  8. Sunday Bliss: A hot cuppa Bhakti with the Sunday morning NY Times.
  9. Nix a Cold: Run, don’t walk, to drink a hot cup when you feel a cold coming on (it’s rich with antioxidant ginger and other spices). Repeat as needed.
  10. Anytime. Anywhere. 75% chai, 25% soy milk, extra hot.

Believe me, this magical liquid can sneak her way into your life and take up permanent residence.

Are you ready for love? I love my Bhakti Chai

Local companies tout B Corp. status

Eighteen companies in the Boulder Valley have gone through the certification process created by the B Lab, a nonprofit group based in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Companies who want to become certified go through a free analysis that includes filling out paperwork and answering questions from B Lab employees.

They’re part of a growing cadre of more than 700 companies around the globe — including Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings Inc. in Vermont — that want to go through the independent verification process of being socially and environmentally conscious.

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Bhakti Chai Founder Puts Investing in Women First

Written for Fair Trade USA by Brook Eddy


As a single mother starting my chai company, I knew from the inception that we needed to use Fair Trade Certified tea. Building a company that could, on some small level, help women build a business or save money for their daughter’s education wasn’t inspired merely by my own role as a mother. It was a poignant experience I had while visiting India that moved me to make a difference.

I watched as women sat in a circle, saris splayed and splattered across the cement floor. While it felt like there were tambourines vibrating around the circle, predicting a holy occasion – it was just the faint sound of bells dangling from wrists and ankles as each woman took a turn speaking passionately.

This was not a spiritual gathering – these women came together to talk business, to talk community renovation. A group of workers building a collective, where one voice became the echoing boom for change.

Thankfully, Fair Trade tea was widely available when I was starting Bhakti Chai.  While the premium pricing didn’t look good for our bottom line, the social impact was far more important than profits. Our direct Fair Trade dollars, when in the hands of mothers, guarantees that communities have books, medicine, education, science, vaccines, and technology.

Because of Fair Trade certification efforts, tea pickers in India are not just getting a livable wage, but a competitive wage through Fair Trade farms. They’re seeing Fair Trade dollars at work creating healthy communities through the building of schools and health clinics. They are feeling less of a burden by working manageable hours, experiencing better working conditions, and rewarded with more income than they’ve ever seen before.

The World Food Programme found that when women earn income, they reinvest 90% of it in their families and communities, unlike men that re-invest at the rate of 35%. In addition, increased funds in their family ensures their daughters stay in school longer and do not have to work at home, in the fields, or get married early.

“INVESTMENT IN GIRLS’ EDUCATION MAY WELL BE THE HIGHEST-RETURN INVESTMENT AVAILABLE IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD.” – LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST AT THE WORLD BANK.

It could be an amazing transformation to see in just 15 years how Fair Trade purchasing ALONE can change the power structure for women in the fields picking tea, starting collective businesses, Internet start ups, artistic endeavors, and social impact ventures by all of us making a little conscious shift in our purchasing every day.

We at Bhakti Chai feel honored to know that the premium we pay on our Fair Trade Certified tea not only directly helps women and mothers – but is a cool compress of self-sufficiency for creating the next generation of educated women, entrepreneurs, land owners, and community leaders.

As we approach Mother’s Day, may we all be reminded of the millions of Mothers working to make a difference in this world and feel empowered that we too can help this salient revolution everyday by voting for women with your Fair Trade Certified dollars. It’s a simple yet truly significant way to make strides in improving leadership and education opportunities for Moms on a global level.

 

March 2013: Natural Functionality Reinvented

From a beverage perspective, the Fancy Food Show has been gaining a reputation as a brief glimpse into the future for the next wave of all things functional and/or natural from across the globe. Here’s a snapshot of the liquid creations on display at the winter edition of the show in late January in San Francisco, which was presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).

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January 2013: “Colorado Distiller Tea and Brew Master: Sugar and Spice”

If you measured out the beverage industry by gender, gents would tip the scale in ownership. Two Colorado women are filling this gap with exceptional products that don’t compromise sustainability, authenticity and charitable giving. Though Karen Hoskin, founder of Montanya Distillers in Crested butte, and Brook Eddy, founder of Bhakti Chai in Boulder, are mountains apart in location, the two women share too many similarities to ignore, so we paired them up for this profile and winter cocktail recipe.

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November 2012: Intimate Confessions ~ The Bhakti Brand: Beautiful. Brazen. Brilliant

Sorry, Regular Tea, I’m just not that into you. You can tempt me with your gorgeous packaging and your delicate scent, but you just don’t bring the right texture and mouthfeel to the table…Bhakti Chai…Now this was Tea with a capital B! Not only is Bhakti Chai worthy of an invitation home for the holidays, it inspires soft purrs and heart-warming joy. On certain days you may even recall the line “I’ll have what she’s having” from When Harry Met Sally. And I’m not alone in my devotion-bordering-on-obsession. For thousands of loyal fans, Bhakti Chai has become part of who we are. And this, my friends, is the key to brilliant and successful brands. Read more…

October 2012: Bhakti All-Star – Bhakti Chai

The desert heat beams down upon your shoulders in a blaze of loving fury, you have danced and laughed and done yoga, spent an afternoon singing devotional hymns of kirtan, on your lips in your mouth the evidence… suddenly there it beams zeeee – an aura of gold, blue and red flashes calling you in…mouthwatering you follow the bliss to the goddess in the tent, and there in her hand.. The evidence… that you are not in fact dreaming this up…there in her hands is a spicy euphoric wonderland. Without another thought you reach for it, and hand her the few dollars which you question…could something this amazing be this available? But before anyone can change their mind or the mirage disappears, you have indulged. You have taken the sweet and savory sips of the Chai of the Bhakti Chai and your thirst has been quenched, you now understand devotion.

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March 2012: Natural Products Expo West: Boulder Startups Look to Shine in Anaheim

Brook Eddy, the founder of Boulder’s Bhakti Chai, has had her eye on Expo West for a while, but waited until this year to pull the trigger.

“I think we could’ve gone out (in past years), but it just felt a little premature,” she said. “We didn’t have something that was widely distributed … I just wanted to be able to have more things in line.”

Now that Bhakti Chai has launched its ready-to-drink concentrated chai and grown its distribution, Eddy knew that this year would be the time to go. Expo West, she said, could be the launching pad her brand needs.

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February 2012: Brook Eddy’s trip to India leads to journey as entrepreneur

Brook Eddy went to India looking for inspiration. She got it, just in a different way than she expected. In India, Eddy fell in love with chai – spicy, sweetened tea served with milk – and today her Colorado-based Bhakti Chai is approaching $2 million in sales and Bon Appetit magazine namechecked Bhakti in naming Boulder America’s Foodiest Town in 2010. The path to tea mogul was challenging and unexpected.

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February 2012: The Secrets of Success for Bhakti Chai

From being made on a stove at her home in Nederland, to making 500,000 gallons a year, it’s all happened in just 5 years. Bhakti Chai has seen revenues double annually, and now they are projecting 6-million dollars in revenue this year. They order ingredients from all over the world – ginger from Peru, tea from India, spices from everywhere – and then brew & bottle their Chai products in Longmont.

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Liquid Assets Chai

In only her second year of business, Eddy began donating money to nonprofit organizations that empower and educate women. In 2010, Bhakti, which uses sustainable packaging as well as organic and fair- trade ingredients, contributed $23,000 to nonprofits. This year, Eddy plans to give back 15% of income to charitable organizations.

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Tax Credits for ‘Angels’ Get Clipped

Tax breaks for angel investors have cropped up in recent years in about two dozen states as a means of stimulating job growth. But the effectiveness of the incentives-which range from breaks on 15% of funding in Colorado to 100% in Hawaii-are coming under greater scrutiny, particularly as states face budget pressure.

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The West’s Best Food Towns: Boulder vs. Denver Food Fight

Must be something in the Eldorado Natural Spring Water: Just look at the list of household-name, innovative, healthy-gourmet companies started or based here: Celestial Seasonings, Bhakti Chai, Silk, Horizon, Seth Ellis Chocolatier, Justin’s, and more. And we’re among the towns chosen by Ann Cooper—America’s Jamie Oliver—to pilot salad bars and other healthy foods in public-school cafeterias, drawing in Boulder chefs like Bradford Heap of Salt bistro to cook for kids.

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Bhakti Chai Could Be as American as Apple Pie

Here’s the magic secret about trends and branding: If you have the foresight or good fortune to tap into a strong trend and establish your brand early, you’re likely to strike pay dirt. This is especially true when the name of your company is the name of the trend, as with Bhakti Chai, the “Starbucks®” drink of the Yoga community.

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50 Companies to watch in Colorado

To get shop owners to put the product on the menu board, Bhakti needed a way to differentiate, so it offered inexpensive purchase materials for the register and counter areas. These were vital in educating consumers about the product. These little counter signs changed the way people ordered chai in Colorado by getting them to ask for the product by name.

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Colorado Entrepreneur Brews Chai Business

During a tough financial period, entrepreneur Brook Eddy recalls having her mailman on speed dial, because she was desperate to get her hands on any outstanding checks from clients. This year her business is set to reach nearly $2 million in sales and is pushing toward national distribution for its spicy tea drinks.

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Freshly Brewed

The recipe for Bhakti Chai was created almost entirely out of necessity. Company founder and CEO Brook Eddy had returned home to Boulder after a months-long spiritual trip to India (where the tea is the caffeinated drink of choice), and she couldn’t find anyone who knew how to make a proper, Indian-style chai.

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Brewing Up the Masala Magic

When Brook Eddy first came to Mumbai in 2002 to study the spiritual movement Swadhayay, which promotes devotion through social action, “chai” was something she happily sipped along her travels across India. But one day, says Eddy, she was served something called masala chai or “special” chai. “It really awoke my mind and taste buds. I love spices and this spice elixir spoke to my constitution, and seemed to nudge and inspire me,” says this post-graduate in social policy and non-profit management from the University of Michigan.

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America’s Foodiest Town 2010

It turns out that, along with having fit, smart, and eco-conscious citizens, Boulder is home to a number of innovative food companies (Celestial Seasonings, Izze Beverage Company, and Bhakti Chai), several top-tier restaurants, and one of the best farmers’ markets in the country.

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Press Release: Spicy Ice Cream Sizzles This Summer

BOULDER, CO (June 21, 2010) — From crushed red hots and habanero peppers, to chipotle chocolate and sweet barbecue – ice cream parlors across the country are playing around with spice in ice cream. While spicy foods are believed to cool the body during hot weather, Bhakti Chai wanted to sweeten the burn with a cool and spicy treat.

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