Bella Hughes and Harrison Rice set out to build a Hawaiian company that fed a local economy and honored Hughes’ home islands. They turned to mamaki, a native Hawaiian nettle species known to offer a caffeine-free energy boost. And in 2016 Shaka Tea was born.
“We really believe what’s good for 'aina,' the land—and that’s true, sustainable agriculture that restores native ecosystems—is good for our communities,” Hughes said. “You’re growing something in a healthy way that’s healthy. So it’s good for our bodies, and our customers, and it's good for our economy.”
Along the way to a breakout 2020, including raising $4.1 million in its recent growth round, they have learned a few things about building a local economy, introducing an unknown ingredient to a wider audience and balancing a business on a mission with growing a food business (especially during fundraising).
We explore these topics and more in this episode of the Fodder podcast featuring Bella Hughes of Shaka Tea.