So much has happened since my last blog post. The biggest & most exciting news has been getting the permit for the cart. Finally The Chai Cart® (the company) has a fully permitted chai cart. We operate the cart seven days a week, and only take a break when it’s raining. The two chaiwallas I’ve hired, Will and Dennis, manage the cart so I get to do other stuff , like write this blog.
I am happy to say that the cart is doing pretty well. Everyday we see regular customers and new customers. Some even walk a few long blocks to get chai. We offer free samples so that customers can choose between the various flavours of chai we have at the cart- Masala , Rose,Mint, and Ginger. For those who cant digest milk, we offer a Masala chai made with soy milk. Even though we use whole milk (Clover Farms Organic Whole Milk), a cup of our chai has less calories and way less sugar than a non-fat Starbucks Chai Latte or similar drink at any coffee shop. We post nutrition information at the cart for people who care to know.
One of the main reason, I opted for a cart and not a food truck was the openness of the cart. Since the day i started with the bicycle trailer, my favorite part has been the interactions I had with customers. I love listening to stories about travels to India and people's first encounter with chai. I am glad that people find us approachable and we still get to hear many stories from our customers. Some folks stop by to ask us for directions too (no, we don’t make them buy chai). We double up as an information booth, and its fun.
There have been tea carts and Indian food trucks, but this is the first real chai cart in the US. I, too, am a little surprised that something this simple took this long to happen. I hear so many customers say, “finally a chai cart!”. Yup, its here and its here to stay.