Running a Tea Business in the United States as Immigrants

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Nishchal, Pratik, and Amigo, our three co-founders, all saw their future in the United States. After finishing their high school in Nepal, they found their way to the land of freedom. Nishchal and Amigo, the childhood buddies, went to Colby-Sawyer College on scholarships, and Pratik found his intellectual home in St. Cloud State University, also supported by generous financial aid.

Post-graduation, Pratik and Amigo were the new duo who entered the tall buildings of New York. There they explored what the financial world had to offer, albeit the cookie-cutter lifestyle of the financial world was something they later realized was not where their passion lied. Nishchal, on the other hand, came back to Nepal after his graduation and started his own boutique tea shop - a first of its kind in town.

After Nishchal realized that the Nepali tea market was still in its early stages in Nepal, he decided that the major problem was that Nepali tea did not have an identity in the global market. If Nepali teas were to be known everywhere in the world, it would be easy for Nepali entrepreneurs to nurture the Nepali tea market and grow with it. That’s why Nishchal decided to move back to the States in 2016 to start what we today know as Nepal Tea Collective.

The United States, for different people, means different things. Especially during the current political climate, there is a strong argument to be made that the US needs to find its own soul and rethink what its future means, for itself and for its people.

However, the United States, for our three founders, has been a place where they found their home. For Pratik and Nishchal who live there, the home is much more literal. Nishchal had once told our team, “There are very few countries in the world where people from a different country can immigrate and find their own identity and meaning of life within the borders of that country. The United States is one of them.”

We are grateful to be based in the United States. We are grateful to get an opportunity to carve an identity for Nepali teas starting in the United States. We are grateful to the people in the United States who have now become loving family and friends. We are grateful to what the United States has to offer, the good and the bad; to be able to rejoice the good and to learn from the bad.

Happy 4th of July. We hope that this day allows for a strong reflection on the history, the contemporary moment, and the future of the country. And perhaps, for that, a good cup of Nepali tea would be a good reminder of the hope that we all have for the country to become truly multicultural, pluralistic, and inclusive of diverse thoughts and experiences.

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  • Ann Floyd

    Such a wonderful tale, and to think that Colby-Sawyer College have the honor of having two of you as students. Onward and upward! I raise a cup of tea in salute!

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