Vinny is one of three founders of Prana Chai and we scooped out what he has been up to.1. How has been 2019 so far for you and for Prana Chai? Any milestones?
2019 has started off with a bang! We hosted our first-ever sales conference, with all of our amazing staff across the globe coming to Melbourne. Creating a closer community amongst our team has grown our business positively and it has been great to see everyone connecting regularly on a personal and professional level.
2. What are the most important factors when you source your spices and tea blend?
It’s important to source the best quality tea and spices regularly across the globe. It can be quite tricky sometimes due to crop yield and availability, but I'm fortunate to work with great suppliers.
3. Tell us about an interesting experience or encounter you had recently?
I recently had a lovely customer from Perth, WA, who loves Prana Chai, call me to let me know how our Chai has helped her get through a difficult period in life due to illness. She drinks Prana Chai everyday and is a strong believer that it has helped with their recovery due to the amazing healing spices and tea.
4. What was the last gift you gave someone and why did you choose it?
I sent the aforementioned customer a couple of kilos of chai on behalf of Prana. It felt good to know that our product has helped someone through such a hard time, and it was lovely to know that we could make her day a little brighter by sending her some of the "good stuff"
5. You've run cafe businesses before Prana Chai... what was the best thing about them and what was the best take away from the experience? Do you have any tips for people who are running cafes?
I was born for hospitality. I love food and wine, and also the rush of a busy cafe when everything runs seamlessly and you have a great service. Your staff are your most important asset. If you train them well and look after them, they will take care of your business, especially when you are not there. Serving someone is a great skill, but to do it with grace and wanting nothing in return is a true gift and I love it when I see the joy and happiness in my customers after receiving a great experience.
It's the simple things like good old-fashioned customer service that keeps people coming back ... something as simple as remembering a customer’s name shows them they are important and keeps them returning.
6. What is your wildest dream, outside of your business?
To build a school in India for the not-so-fortunate children, from the proceeds from our company. To give back the joy and happiness which has been provided to me through years of running Prana Chai with my business partners Mario and Koray.