Chocolate and Chai Tea
- April 7, 2019
Whilst we have an online presence, a trip to the shop in person adds experiences you can only imagine engaging the senses and social aspects alike. If you’ve visited Holy Cow Home you might recognise it as the cute boutique lifestyle shop nestled in the back streets of Aylesbury.
A shop that welcomes everyone with an explosion of sensory adventures including visual, olfactory and auditory the minute you step in. At the back end of last year, we introduced taste through the retail of quality chocolate ethically sourced via our fair-trade suppliers, with the range catering for many food lifestyles, including vegetarian and vegan.
In the run up to Christmas last year we did not open late or have special shopping evenings with mulled wine and snacks and instead offered our customers a taste of cardamom infused Chai Tea more keeping with the spirit of the store. The Chai experience characterised by being offered in traditional Chai glasses that are narrow at the base and wider towards the top allow it to cool to the perfect drinking temperature perfectly.
My first memories of Chai tea are from holidays in India traveling on noisy steam trains through the hustle and bustle of India’s busiest train stations. The air was thick with complex smells and noisy Chai Wallas with their weathered faces, their high pitched cries of “chai garam” passing through train carriages, dishing out hot, sweet tea from their wire baskets to thirsty travellers, before deftly collecting the empties and skilfully disembarking moments before the train departed.
Drinking Chai Tea and the aromas still evokes memories of the adventures that followed. Earlier saw Chai sold in unglazed clay cups, perfect biodegradble disposable cups that also changes the flavour of the tea.
The truth is, sales have continued to take a nose dive over the last two years, so it makes no business sense to continue as we are without consideration to the existing product mix. Finance and reducing footfall continue to challenge the store so what do we do? My husband, Avi, has been saying to me for the last couple of years that something like tea should be offered in the shop.
We are positioned opposite a high street chain coffee shop, and next door to a very quaint teashop that sell fresh homemade cakes. Not wishing to do something similar I continued to dismiss the idea… until the penny dropped when customers started enquiring about where to buy Indian tea. I could retail Chai
Tea and speciality teas not being served by either of my neighbours. So, after having a conversation with both of them, with a clear conscious and their blessing, a new idea was born.
If you don’t know me, you should know that I do not possess the gift that many good sales-people have: the ability to ‘blag it’. I have to research and talk to many experts in that field. I have to find my guru’s, learn from them, add a bit of my own personality and a sprinkle of passion before I feel I can commit to an idea.
After spending time with a leading expert in tea, I can say I am now a ‘Tea Champion’. I have learnt so much and feel privileged to have been in the presence of such an individual. With that, I am proud to say that now I am on the road where I feel confident about adding a new chapter to the life of Holy Cow Home – “Chai” Indian tea supplier!
That also neatly brings me to my next blog which will be about the history of tea and how we consume it today. Please share your thoughts below I would love to hear from you