Toronto friends start up side hustle making healthy bubble tea that sells out in minutes
When two Toronto friends came up with a concept that put bubble tea and health together, they ended up creating a product that's been selling out in a matter of minutes.
Chakra Nutrition is the brainchild of Andy Ly and Justin Li who met in first year at Western University at (where else) an entrepreneurship club.
"We were in the same business class in first-year and we also did a few extra-curricular activities together throughout our undergraduate experience," Ly tells blogTO.
They both currently have other full-time jobs, Justin at a tech company as a product and growth analyst and Andy at a financial services company as an associate. On the side, they enjoy physical activities like basketball and going to the gym.
"When you think of fitness, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't bubble tea," says Ly.
"Bubble tea is too delicious of a drink to give up. It's a staple in Asian culture and something to enjoy with your friends. It's the social equivalent of going to Starbucks or Tim Hortons with your friends."
When gyms closed in Ontario in 2020, the friends wanted to find more of a balance between the deliciousness of bubble tea and their personal fitness and health, so they landed on the idea of a protein powder that would taste just like bubble tea.
"Product development can take months since we need to find the right ingredients to help with the taste, adjust the sweetness levels, and make sure the consistency is right," says Ly.
"For example, we added real black tea to really bring out the flavours of our milk tea protein powder which took one year to make."
It was time well spent, though: their first drop on Dec. 6, 2021 sold out in 13 hours, and their second drop on Jan. 31, 2022, sold out in three minutes.
They've now just done their third launch on May 9, and their lineup includes signature milk tea, taro milk tea and matcha milk tea flavours. They even have tapioca pearls to complete the experience.
They have a one-pound option that costs $38.99 and a two-pound option that costs $48.99.
"We definitely want to look into more flavours, and plant-based products so we can cater to anyone with dietary restrictions," says Ly.
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