We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachna Rawat and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachna, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
There are many chais in the market but nothing like Hanuman Chai. Authentic, Ayurvedic and Organic
There is no other chai like Hanuman.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
There are many chais in the market but nothing like Hanuman Chai; Authentic, Ayurvedic, Organic, abundance of flavor. and a legend.
I grew up in Old Delhi, the center of Chai culture. We lived in a home shared by my grandparents and their three sons’ families, with a total of 9 kids! Every morning, the aroma of fresh-ground spices woke us up – the morning chai. Throughout the day, if one person was having chai, everyone else had to have some. Kids were given Karha – an herbal brew that was chai without the black tea. We would all sit around the dining table with friends and family, using chai time as a reason to take time, to tease, to laugh, to encourage each other – to be together.
Time came and went, and I soon left my home in India and started a family in the US. While my children were born in the US, as an immigrant, I relied on teachers and the school system to help my kids learn what they needed to succeed in this environment. I was always grateful for the time teachers took to explain the school system and keep an eye on my kids. A carafe of chai was my way of saying thank you, and it was a perfect beverage over which to talk. It became a source of community, half a world away from India.
When my kids left for college, I realized how much I missed the communities I had over the years, first with my family, then with my kids and their schools and activities. I wanted to share with others what had been a social glue for me – and in the true sense that I had been taught by my family.
Hanuman Chai is a family owned, women run small business in Boulder, CO. We started Hanuman Chai to share a set of values, carried in this beverage. Many folks don’t know or realize that although chai is popular now, it is based on spice combinations that were carefully crafted and studied in an ancient practice known as Ayurveda. Hanuman Chai brings deep, authentic knowledge together with the tenets I relied on as a mother and aspired to pass on to my kids: Strength, perseverance, courage, and devotion; all coming together around a table with a community.
There are so many companies and so many products out there. Each one is unique. But from my own story, I can say that there is no substitute for personal experience and experiential knowledge. I grew up with Ayurveda in our daily routines, and in the air of Old Delhi. I would later study and learn the principles in more detail, but nothing can compare to the years around the table, drinking chai with my family, or the experiences in the kitchen, learning about spices from my mother, aunts, and grandmother. To me, this isn’t a product. It is a part of my history, a part of my family- a part of me.
Hanuman Chai is certified Organic, freshly ground premium spices and herbs and the blends change by the seasons. They also compliment different body types or Doshas.
The journey of Hanuman Chai has been very rewarding and every step has been a learning process for us.
There is no other chai like Hanuman.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Colorado is beautiful and majestic. Every morning brings a new look at the Flatirons. Sunrise is amazing! I like out doors and these are some of the places I enjoy and would share with dear ones.
Chataqua hike. Watching the wild flowers, birds and some wild life. Upon return, lunch or early dinner at Chataqua dinning hall is great!
4th of July trail in Nederland has beautiful water falls and breath taking Columbines.
Not to miss, Maroon Bells in Aspen. No matter what time of the day it is, it is magical! Estes Park and drive up to Pikes Peak amazing!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family; my husband’s support, My kids who are now young doctors and scientists, their enthusiasm, helping with initial set up giving the business a jump start.
Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain team, especially; Ed Fish, Jessica Moore, David Woods, Melanie Judge. They believed in my story and the authenticity of the product. Great Business pioneers and mentors like Mark Retzloff, Terry Retzloff, Rob Quesenberry were always there. Support from friends, Kendra Bartley, who was first my children’s middle school mentor and then my close friend, has provided relentless support.
Picture taken by Rajeev Rawat