The name Chai Guy came about when I started selling chai concentrate to cafes in 1999. Cafe staff would spontaneously blurt out "its the chai guy" when I walked in with chai in hand. I think they would love to be able to announce each and every customer with their own unique identity, but that might just be too much .. although the best cafe I ever worked in did just that, and it was hilarious.
When we can’t find it, we create it. Established in New Zealand in 1999 as the 1st Chai business in Aotearoa, Chai Guy is the result of my ( Dean Sproull ) love of tea, healthly living, and the cafe scene.
I was working for two of New Zealand's most visionary foodies and entrepreneurs , Austin Holden (Harvest, Chantal, East west and more) , and Chris Priestly (Keouac's, Atomic Coffee, Importing espresso machines, Real Groovy and more), when the light went on - good tea! In cafes!! Chai!!!
Initially as Pacific chai, then as Chailoka I was supplying over 300 cafes directly with chai. After selling to Phoenix Organics in 2003 for a royalty payment, I took a 'rest' in Bali / Byron Bay, and waited for the millions to roll in. That is not how it went #Asahi, so back I came with a new recipie.
We are striving to create something that evolves the understanding of harmony, truth and goodness, and that shows life can be better when we find balance between nature and modernity. Therefore, products are made through the union of both. Organic, biodynamics, ethics are all important, which goes beyond the definition of pesticide-free food but connects people, communities and farmers with Nature and the planet it lives on.
Our ethos encompasses conscious selection that considers the origins and culture of each of our products. We are committed to sourcing the highest quality raw ingredients available that also provide the chance to encounter local farmers, engage with diverse regional and traditional systems while mastering multiple forms of artisan food production. Humanity's food choices are one of, if not the most important choice we can make about our own and the planets health. We can choose every day, mindfully, to vote with our dollar and nourish and rejuvenate ourselves AND the planet as the same one indivisible entity.
Dean Sproull Bio; Started in commercial kitchens when he was 15. Washing pots in Palmerston Norths Hong Kong Chinese restaurant. Pots, not dishes .. dishes was the next upgrade. Big crusty pots. I still remember. Worked in the N.Z.D.R.I. when he left school as a microbiologist, chemist, virologist and process engineer. Had a long term relationship with many important French style un-pasteurized milk cheeses (6 years in some cases). What became of these relationships? Fonterra and milk powder .. Worked in Biodynamic and organic and even degenerative agriculture globally. Over 40 years of experience within the organic food industry. Worked in plenty of cafes over a lifetime, movie catering, food trucks and rock stars (might as well claim that one eh). Built the production equipment to make 1000 litres of chai per time.
Foodie to the bone.
A decade on, I constantly explore organics and sustainable agricultural practices with, annoyingly at times, an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
We can’t continue to deny the planetary devastation caused by humanities food systems. Soil to plate, it is very very badly managed. Its time we made the choices that corporations must follow. Oceans are the key. Oceans control the climate. Not trees. Wait, what? All our crap goes into the ocean so lets start by stopping that. Synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conventional agriculture, inefficient and wasteful production and toxic packaging. That is our focus at Chai Guy, for now. The simplistic thinking underlying our food needs represents a short-term solution that undermines the right to adequate food and the health state of the current and future generations. There is a solution. Firstly, today, consciously choosing better products and packaging with every dollar we spend. Shifting from pesticide dependence to regenerative organic agriculture and oceans, purchasing foods produced through organic agriculture and other methods of sustainable food production. Then we become profoundly invested in systems change.
Our products are ready for you to interpret and discover. Each creation engages with the methods, origins and culture of our planet. This is our best effort - product that contributes to balancing the physical and spiritual. And thank you for your support towards progressing the worldwide organic, sustainable food movement. You are simultaneously supporting your health and the health of our planet. Go you.