While traveling throughout Japan, Thayer alum Ryan Crane '04 became fascinated by the cultural significance and health benefits of green tea. With brewed, canned, and bottled green teas available in every corner of every town and city, he returned to the United States with bags of green tea to brew before work. While he was away from home he became frustrated by the ready-to-drink options, finding them too sugary or full of chemicals. He also found many teas were bottled in plastic which clogs landfills and pollutes the natural world. So with no options in sight, he hatched an idea for a bottled tea company that was flavorful and sustainability-focused.
Crane, who graduated from Princeton in 2008 with a BS in Neuroscience and the University of Chicago Booth School with an MBA in entrepreneurship in 2015, began developing the concept and ultimately contacted his longtime friend and fellow TA classmate Austin Gallagher '04, who had forged a successful young career in conservation science and non-profit leadership, with an opportunity to work together. "It is exciting to be able to develop a business with a trusted friend," said Crane.
"When Ryan presented the idea, I was hooked," added Gallagher.
After a year of formulation and brand development, this month the two are officially launching Tempo, a line of organic sparkling teas featuring bold flavors with zero calories, zero sugar, and no added sweeteners.
"The food and beverage space has been going through a revolution in the last couple years, moving away from sugary products to those that are clean and good for you," said Crane. "The average consumer has become increasingly health-savvy and cares about what they are putting into their bodies more than ever before."
Tempo's two launch flavors, an herbal green tea with ginger and turmeric, and a black tea featuring grapefruit and ginseng, can be found in a number of grocers, cafe, and bars in the Chicago area. In the future, they hope to expand to the Boston area.