The Fort Atkinson Chamber Welcomes the Chai House
Coffee drinkers may be surprised to learn that the United States has seen a significant rise in tea consumption, making it the most popular beverage in the country today. The Chai House, a new business in the Fort Atkinson area, is an importer and online retailer of loose-leaf tea and related tea products from the Republic of Georgia, Nepal, and Southeast Asia. They also handcraft a proprietary line of signature spice blends, including masala (for making masala chai) and golden milk.
Partners Mary Lowisz and Jack Herbert started the business from a shared love of tea and travel. Chai House is an idea that has been gestating for many years in the mind of Lowisz, a Fort Atkinson resident with two grown children and a husband who resides in an assisted-living facility due to a traumatic brain injury from a bicycle accident in 2001. Lowisz, who works as a critical care nurse, began developing a plan to carry her into and through retirement. She met Herbert, a corporate sales and marketing executive with ties to the Republic of Georgia, while attending the same church in Madison. The two became good friends, and discovered their paths were on similar trajectories.
“Before Mary introduced me to real Masala Chai and high-quality, loose-leaf teas,” said Herbert, “I was a confirmed coffee drinker. Once the door to high-quality teas was opened, I became aware of the nuances among tea types and varieties. I found I really enjoy discovering new teas.”
The Chai House is committed to streamlining the journey from crop to cup. By working directly with family farm tea growers, they can bring transparency of source, and ensure their teas are grown by farmers dedicated to sustainable practices. Approximately 85% of tea is sold by a few multinational companies, making it difficult for family tea farms to compete or be treated fairly in the global tea market.
The COVID pandemic resulted in dramatic increases in tea consumption, as people sought the immunity boost and calming agents tea offers. Not all teas are created equal, however. The Chai House intends to provide consumers with an authentic Masala Chai product to combat the sugary, pre-packaged, mis-named products found in some U.S. grocery stores and coffee shops.
Lowisz explained further, “The mission of The Chai House is to spread the joy of tea while creating good for people and good for the planet. We will turn our personal enjoyment of tea and travel into a business model that uses tea and tea-related products as a force for good in the world, encouraging everyone to take time, brew tea and enjoy the company of others or some quiet time alone.”
The Chai House products include signature spice blends, farm harvest teas, tea snacks and tea gift boxes.
Customers are invited to shop online anytime at ChaiHouseLLC.com. The business is also participating as a vendor in the upcoming Holiday Open House & Market on December 4th in Fort Atkinson. For questions regarding tea products, call 920-542-0602, Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.