Supplements maker Organic India—whose mission is to bring more plants and herbs into the lives of the public—recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new concept café in Boulder, Colorado.
Company CEO Miguel Gil spawned the idea when Covid-19 shutdowns compelled the company to give up its leased corporate office. With that money still in the budget, he found a shuttered street corner in downtown Boulder that will be both a public café as well as co-working space for Organic India staffers and the public.
The site will include a public event space for everything from herbal education to meditation, house a podcast studio and be a new product test space.
"This concept sprung from a concept of connecting with community," said Gil. "The reason for the café is to demonstrate how you can incorporate herbs into your diet in a successful and beneficial way. We want to encourage people to use herbs as a healing modality in their lives and share with your family."
The opportunity to test out new product concepts on the public will be more valuable than traditional focus-group testing, he added.
"We're really excited about that," he said. "Here, teas, supplements and food-type products will be prototyped with the community. We will incorporate that feedback into new product developments."
Organic India sources ingredients from 2,500 farmers in India, some of whom have just an acre of land to till.
"We provide a lot of health care and access to water all over India," said Gill. "This is highly unusual. We are a mission-driven, purpose-driven company."
The Conscious Community Café will also be notable because it is in the building that formerly housed Penny Lane, a one-time Boulder coffee house institution.
"Penny Lane was the place where clove cigs, poetry and coffee collided," said Bill Capsalis, head of Naturally Boulder. "It's where old Boulder came to talk and no doubt subversive things came to life."
Boulder Mayor Aaron Brocket was also on hand at the ground-breaking ceremony, extolling Organic India's corporate roots and building concept as being a perfect fit for Boulder's innovation economy.
"Organic India shares the core values of Boulder," said Brockett, citing zero-waste, regenerative agriculture practices, plant-based foods and healthy foods that live lightly on the landscape. "This is an iconic spot as the former home of Penny Lane. Think of the poetry slams and the music produced here. Now you can channel that in the next phase. Everyone knows this building and now they'll know it as Organic India."
Organic India will also be partnering with NudeFoods, Ampersand Coffee and Eco-Cycle to bring its vision to life for a unique corporate and community space.
"All the best ideas for business success are still out there to be discovered," said John Thayer, head of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. "Boulder as a business community thrives because at the core we have a foundation of values—it's about the environment, social equity, products that are good for society and for advancing better humankind. Organic India has those same values."