Sunday, August 23, 2009

Right Livelihood in the USA: Tipu's Chai

Tipu’s Tiger was a much-loved Indian Restaurant in the small mid-Western town of Missoula, Montana - and the FWBO’s first Right Livelihood business in the States. Sadly the business closed as a Buddhist Right Livelihood some years ago - but the vision lives on and is just taking off in the form of a new business - Tipu’s Tiger Chai .

Buddhapalita, the business’ founder, says - “Our chai first came to life in our vegetarian café in Montana, where it grew in popularity until it was known throughout the region. Tipu’s Tiger Chai is a complex blend of sweet spices, complemented with a strong, organic, Indian black tea with a satisfying spicy finish. This is how real chai tastes! Made with non-radiated fresh spices, fresh ginger root, Montana-grown beet sugar and waters from the Mission Mountains”. And he concludes - “We are sure it will please your customers as much as it does ours!”

It’s not easy starting a business these days, but things look good - They’ve won two gold awards already at the 2008 World Tea Championships.

Buddhapalita, founder of Tipu’s Tiger and the driving force behind their new Chai range, was recently interviewed on Montana Public Radio, and you can listen to him here - . Scroll forwards to the 11-minute mark (unless you want to hear about Montana's recent problems with grizzly bears!)

And the spirit of Right Livelihood and dana (generosity) lives on - Tipu's Chai have already started to donate some of their profits. Their first choice, interestingly, was not an FWBO Buddhist Centre but to a mine detector program operating in Darfur. Somewhere in Darfur, they say, is a mine detector with our name on! The donation was made through a company called Schonstedt that Thiradhamma, another US Order Member, works for. Tipu’s have received letters of thanks from the State Dept and UN as well as Schonstedt.

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