Nikki’s Ginger Tea was created 21 years ago by Islandview resident and entrepreneur Monique Sasser.
Her super-strong tea, originally created as a health drink, caught on with her friends and she began selling it to local stores and restaurants.
Growth was slow, expansion plans were made but backing never materialized, so ginger tea production moved to the basement kitchen at the Church of the Messiah.
In recent years, Sasser’s daughter, Andrena, started distributing the tea to more retailers. Now 50 outlets are carrying their product line that has expanded to other flavors.
Nikki’s Ginger Tea is on the verge, carried locally at Whole Foods Markets and could very soon be available at Meijer stores.
While the hip downtown/Midtown incubators have cool furniture and light fixtures, the basement of the Church of the Messiah does not.
But what they all have in common is the cultivation of an entrepreneurial culture.
At the church, other enterprises have now joined Monique and Andrena with their own product launches.
When Carla Quarm of Detroit lost her job, she followed her passion and started creating gourmet popsicles. She sold them at Eastern Market and did well enough. But now, with a business plan hatched at the Church of the Messiah and an expansion of her product line to include a ginger tea flavor, a co-branding operation is in the works.
A similar story with Beverly Bright, who loved scented candles and started making her own when she lost her job. She too is working with the Sassers.
How far with all this go? Nikki’s Ginger Tea and the candles are ready to go national on Amazon and the New Economy Initiative is lending their marketing support.
One Detroit reports the tea got started, where they’re heading, how their new collaborations came to be and how entrepreneurs can help entrepreneurs.