In their four years travelling the globe, Vincent Conti and Mario Minichilli discovered authentic masala tea throughout the subcontinent. Upon returning to Australia they opened a café in St Kilda and began developing a chai blend inspired by those they’d fallen in love with in India. As they perfected their recipe, customers grew to love their chai and fate brought about a friendship with Koray Gencel. The three of them founded Prana Chai and the rest, as they say, is history!

My obsession

Obsessions? I am not really obsessed over anything.. Let me think..

Oh yeah I am obsessed over my kids my wife and my little family… hmm and a 66 convertible GT mustang oh and my Harley Davidson. haha just a few..

What / who inspires me?

My kids and my beautiful wife inspire me to do better when I see their beautiful smiley faces and when I am greeted at the door when I get home. The big hugs and “Hi daddy” gives me the energy to get back out into the world the next day to improve myself and my business.

My parents inspire me for different reasons. My dad worked tirelessly to give myself and my brother whatever we wanted. He sacrificed a lot so that we could go to the best schools and do whatever sports we wanted without any problems. My mum because she was my mum and my dad really, as dad was working a lot, she raised us 2 boys pretty much single handedly.

- Favourite way to enjoy Prana Chai

I don’t really drink chai anymore. Haha I am pretty sick of it after 10 years of drinking and smelling and mixing it. Joking. My favourite way to use Prana Chai at the moment is cold brewing over some ice and add some vodka. I find nut based milk suits better with our chai.

- Strange things about me

Everything is strange about me. Nothing is normal. Hmm, if I don’t keep my eyebrows in check and trim, they grow so long they poke in my eyes.

Also, I like to have fun and make a lot of strange noises throughout the day I just entertain myself. Some people might find that quite weird.

- My wildest vision / dream

We are working towards setting up some sort of organisation in india that gives back to the less privileged communities in india, so I’m really looking forward to that, to giving back because I find that Prana Chai is all about sharing. As we started our business by sharing with other cafe owners. If we come to the point where we share the success of the business with the part of the continent that started it all for us, that would be a full circle. I don’t think it is too far away.

- What I am grateful for Team Prana chai:

I am grateful for all the staff in the business that they take on board and understand that they are part of the global family and part of prana chai a special product that is made by hand everyday. I am grateful for the passion and drive of my 2 business partners Koray and Mario, our heated conversations which come from the desire to improve ourselves and our product to the next level. I would love to see Prana Chai impacting people’s lives, one tea leaf and a spice at a time.  

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