Ricardo Da Costa, aka the Chai Guy who sells his aromatic Indian tea at the Bay Street Station each morning, has launched a campaign to raise funds for his chai company, Yogic Chai.
Da Costa and his wife, Angela, began their web-based business in 2007, selling spicy blends like coconut masala chai and wild blueberry chai. Da Costa began using his ChaiCyle (rhymes with bicycle) to pedal—and peddle—his tea around Montclair, going from train station to train station. The tea is also delivered to Be Evolution Yoga daily, and to Asana House on Saturdays. Blends are sold at Trend Coffee/Tea house and at The Karuna Shala.
Like most small startups, Yogic Chai wants to expand. The couple tried to enter the retail market earlier this year, but funds were lacking. Now they hope to raise enough money to give it another shot. Their goal is $10,000, which will go toward purchasing UPC code bars, so that Yogic Chai can be sold in Whole Foods and Amazon, and toward getting organic certification. The money will also help them update their website. For more information, and to donate, log on to https://www.gofundme.com/yogicchaifund.
In the meantime, Da Costa will keep selling his chai at Bay Street. He stopped using his ChaiCycle at the end of last year to focus on Bay Street, where he also sells coffee, cold drinks and baked items from Whole Foods. In January, after the town renews his license, he’ll be out on his ChaiCycle again, he says, offering his spicy tea at the Walnut St. station as well as Bay St.
If you’re wondering just how good his chai is, know this: It won 1st place at the 2011 North American Tea Championship this year.
We know some of you got upset with Bloomfield resident Makenzie Caine’s Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to record an album. (As of 8:43 a.m, she was $1,238 short of her goal, with 15 hours left.)
Maybe this little primer on “Crowd Funding” that Da Costa posted on his GoFundMe page will stoke your generosity.