We are a two-person-and-puppy Canadian business, and are grateful for the opportunity to live, love and learn on the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, also known as Vancouver, BC.
Aalia (she/her) was born and raised (mostly) in Vancouver, Canada. She spent her elementary school years in Uganda (East Africa), the homeland her Dad’s family was forced to emigrate from in the 1970’s. Time in Uganda first exposed Aalia to global gaps in access and quality of health care, catapulting her towards a career in global public health (and eventually back to the African continent). Personal health struggles inspired her own wellness journey, including exploring ways to calm the nervous system – this led her to fill her cup (literally) with caffeine-free, all natural, organic teas and (figuratively) with mindfulness practice. Grounded in her own experiences, Aalia created the Red Tea Co. to invite others to join her in exploring ways to fill their internal cups… and just BE.
Vimal (he/him) was born in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He grew up experiencing a diversity of tastes as a result of the various cultural influences in his life: Gujarati Indian flavours from his (grand)motherland, alongside traditional South African flavours, intermixed with the colonial influences of the Dutch, French and British. This exposure cultivated Vimal’s passion for discovering, understanding and experiencing the world of flavour. This led him to a career in marketing for global beverage companies, working across ten countries (and even more discovery!). His love for South Africa and Rooibos’ unique flavour fueled his desire to create the Red Tea Co, to offer a taste of his first home.
Lala is a first-generation labradoodle with scraggly black hair, short legs, and the biggest heart (and stomach). She loves being surrounded by people, saying hi to every dog she meets, running through open fields, and finding sticks. She constantly inspires others to stop and smell the roses (literally), let their inner child play, and love with a whole heart. She is the BEST cup-filler we have ever known which is why she was brought on as our CFO (Cup-Filling-Officer).
Where it all comes together - A decade ago, all the stars aligned and our careers led us to meet in Tanzania, East Africa. Our love story involved spending all our free time and savings exploring new places; collecting and gifting tea souvenirs to family and friends; and sharing stories and laughs with loved ones over a cup of tea (from our cupboard-bursting collection). Frequent travels to South Africa to visit Vimal’s family and friends soon made it Aalia’s second home. Rooibos (red-bush) tea – grown only in the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape of South Africa – became our favourite daily drinking tea because of its unique flavour, caffeine-free nature and the growing discovery of its health benefits.
When planning our Vancouver wedding ceremony, we wished our loved ones could experience the beauty and magic of South Africa… so we decided to bring a ‘taste’ of one home to another by serving organic Rooibos loose leaf teas at our bruncheon, and sending everyone home with jars of tea too. We were blown away by how much our guests (and their families) enjoyed our offering and to this day, have been asked about refills.
Well friends, wait no longer! We’re excited to “make the circle bigger” and invite you to experience the beauty of our South African Rooibos blends.
With love and positivitea,
Aalia,Vimal & Lala
Ps. In case you’re wondering, why the penguin emblem? – because South African beach penguins warm our hearts, and our dream of sharing the magic of Red Tea began on a road trip visiting these charming creatures.