Success Story

Featured

Blue Lotus Chai

Industry

Food & Beverage

Location

Eugene, OR

Date Founded

2010

Number of Employees

16

Background

Blue Lotus Chai, founded in 2010 by Barbara Cameron, emerged from her profound connection to India and its authentic masala chai. Inspired by her spiritual journey and longing for the warmth and comfort of Indian chai, Barbara crafted a blend of quality ingredients to create the perfect Traditional Masala Chai. Over the past decade, Blue Lotus Chai has expanded to offer seven varieties, maintaining its commitment to authenticity and quality.

Learn more about Blue Lotus Chai >>

30 PERCENT

INCREASE IN SALES

95 PERCENT

CAPACITY UTLIZATION

25 PERCENT

INCREASE IN RETAIL PARTNER NETWORK
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The Situation

OMEP’s engagement started with comprehensive value stream mapping for Blue Lotus Chai. This process unearthed over 25 improvement projects spanning capacity, on-time delivery, and sales/marketing strategies.

Thanks to the size of the company, and working in a less busy season, we were able to work with the entire 16-person team. Involving all the employees in the mapping process meant we were able to take not just a business approach, but also a cultural one.

The Solution

One significant pivot was the transition from a make-to-order model to a make-to-stock strategy. Blue Lotus’ new plan was creating a small buffer of available product and backstock of containers. With this model, retailers and consumers receive fresh, high-quality chai when they need it.

Over 12 years of building a company based on quality product, sustainability, and commitment to the community, Blue Lotus Chai hadn’t yet had the time to create a strategic sales and marketing plan. During OMEP’s engagement, we saw this opportunity and helped create a plan that points the business toward continuous growth.

Working on manufacturing efficiencies allowed Blue Lotus to reach close to 95% capacity utilization. To support ongoing growth, we recommended new equipment and facility upgrades — an investment of about $75,000.

“Our mission is to change the way the world drinks chai, 1/4 teaspoon at a time,” said James Mattravers, General Manager of Blue Lotus Chai. “John Valachovic and OMEP were instrumental in helping us gain the efficiencies and capacity that are enabling us to expand to international distribution beginning with Canada. We couldn’t do that without the improvements and strategy for continuous growth.”

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The Results

The tangible outcomes of this partnership were evident. Blue Lotus Chai not only achieved a 20-30% increase in sales but also expanded its retail partner network by 25%. Their success is thanks to strategic planning, operational efficiency, and market expansion. And they have big plans for the future, too, including expanding distribution internationally starting with Canada.

You can hear more about Blue Lotus Chai and the opportunities for Canadian exporting in this recorded webinar.

John Valachovic and OMEP were instrumental in helping us gain the efficiencies and capacity that are enabling us to expand to international distribution beginning with Canada. We couldn’t do that without the improvements and strategy for continuous growth.

James Mattravers

General Manager