DNA Tea Opens 1st Retail Space

DNA Tea at West Edmonton Mall. Photo: IQ Interactive Inc.

DNA Tea at West Edmonton Mall. Photo: IQ Interactive Inc.

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By Mario Toneguzzi

After opening its first location in West Edmonton Mall several days ago, DNA Tea is looking forward with plans to aggressively grow the brand across numerous North American locations.

“We are not selling tea as a beverage. What we’re selling is more of something that impacts your health and has a tea form,” says Dr. Rahul Kushwah, founder of DNA Tea.

“If someone cares about their health and they want something which tastes good, is aromatic, is completely natural and has the clinical basis behind it, then that’s when they come to DNA Tea. That’s what we’re selling. It’s more a health store where the product has a tea form.”

The store opened in West Edmonton Mall in just over 1,000 square feet.

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“We really want to roll it out all over North America,” says Kushwah. “Our aim in Canada we are talking about all the major metropolitan cities and the U.S. the same thing. We are envisioning maybe up to 200 locations all over North America.”

He says the company is learning from the retail experience at West Edmonton Mall and tweaking some things regarding its operation. From there, expansion into other markets could begin early 2018.

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The company logo has a strand of DNA in the middle which symbolizes the health benefits and the scientific basis of its tea.

Kushwah says each of the store’s tea blends has extremely high content of anti-oxidants and if people are consuming many anti-oxidants that’s DNA protective.

The Edmonton store is selling 28 different kinds of teas. It has divided teas based on their health impact and have nine categories: Pure Leaf Teas; Women’s Health; Men’s Health; Relax/Comfort; Digestive Health; Detox; Yoga; Energy; and Feel Better.

“Over 90 per cent of those blends are purely organic and none of them have any chemicals. They’re completely natural,” says Kushwah, adding it took about one-and-a-half years of research and development to come up with the blends.

All the teas are blended in Toronto.

Kushwah’s background includes being a federal government scientist with the National Research Council. He also held a faculty appointment with the University of Ottawa’s School of Medicine.

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When he was a professor, he had a very severe adverse reaction to an antibiotic. He lost a lot of weight, had no energy and had to undergo many blood transfusions. From there, he travelled all over Asia, talking to health practitioners and by using clinical research he came up with formulas using certain herbs combined with teas to develop different blends for medicinal and health purposes.

Kushwah says the company is working with Robert Luciano a former executive with Starbucks Canada and now head of consultancy decisionSMART, to help DNA Tea expand into the Ontario market.

“We are looking for franchisees in Ontario at the moment,” says Kushwah.

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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Mario Toneguzzi

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com.