Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Kimberly Goodland (yes, that is her real last name — although she says she does get called “Kimberly Goleta” from time to time), who has lived in the 805 for more than 30 years, has never quite gotten used to the weather here … or surfing with a wetsuit. Fortunately, she’s figured out a most delicious — and effective — way to warm her bones: homemade chai tea, made from a recipe that she’s spent the past 20 years tweaking and perfecting and finally took to market six months ago as — what else? — Goodland Chai.
For years, friends had been telling her the tea was so good that she ought to sell it, but, Goodland said, thanks to an increasing awareness of and appreciation for slow food and organic, small-batch products, there couldn’t be a better time than right now to bring her brew to the masses. And, with sweater season upon us and crispy leaves underfoot, what could possibly sound better than a warm mug of chai, awash in the spices that call to mind harvest, the holidays, a houseful of family, and a bellyful of food, all that’s wonderful and cozy about this wonderful and cozy time of year?
Oh, it’s kept her up at night on more than one occasion — most notably, perhaps, the first time she made it, with a friend for a Christmas Eve party, when it turned out so well she couldn’t stop drinking it — but the hurdles of launching a business are no match for the glowing reviews her chai regularly receives. Isabella Gourmet Foods, Isla Vista Food Co-op, Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, and Goodland Kitchen have already picked up the organic mix (and it’s now the house chai at Goodland Kitchen), so you can take some home and brew up a big pot for yourself. But, Goodland said, “The best compliment of my life was at the SOL Food Festival, when four women in saris approached me, tried it, and said, ‘Thanks for keeping it authentic!’”
For info, visit goodlandchaico.com.