In much the same way that Mo Siegel put Boulder on the tea drinking map when he launched Celestial Seasonings 45 years ago, Brook Eddy is on course to take her wildly popular Bhakti Chai brand on an equally expansive, if not greater, business trajectory.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.
In the April 2013 issue of EveryDay with Rachel Ray, Rachel included Bhakti Chai in her 5 “brand-new buys to shake up your grocery list”!
After a great yoga class, we tend to crave the spicy sweetness of a good chai tea. We discovered two brands that make enjoying chai at home or on the go easier than ever.
Video shot at Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco highlights how Bhakti Chai’s ready-to-drink iced bottles offer a taste of India for on-the-go consumers.
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).
They’ve spent years developing the perfect balance of spice and sweet for a tantalizingly warm chai concentrate….These are America’s Chai sellers.