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GenXYZ: Brook Eddy, 39

Chief executive officer and founder, Bhakti Chai

Eddy knew her tea was a success when café owners in Boulder told her their customers were requesting Bhakti Chai.

Why did you start Bhakti Chai?

I started brewing and selling chai in 2006 because there was nothing else organic and spicy on the market. I made Bhakti Chai on my stove at home and it was getting attention, so I went door-to-door to the cafés in Boulder, trying to sell it. The first place I went, they took an order.

What challenges did you have to overcome?

I had done small business before. I was a writing coach, and I did massage, and I just put up fliers. This was definitely a new world. Mostly for the first year  I heard, ‘Oh we [already] have chai.’

So how could you competitively respond to that?

I said, ‘Charge more for this organic spicy chai with fresh ginger.’ They did, and soon cafes ended up calling me and saying customers were coming in and asking if they had Bhakti Chai.

What can we expect from you in the future?

We will continue to launch products. We came out with a ready-to-drink iced chai in 2011, and now we have a Bhakti Chai chip ice cream. We are also supporting nonprofits, with a focus on empowering women. We have about six partnerships that over the years we have continued to support.

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Nora Caley

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

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