Incredible journeys that shape the present & future of food & beverage industry

Written by Hema Reddy / September 29th, 2016

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”  -Hunter S. Thompson

He took an adventure against doctor’s orders and it changed his life.

Back to another Ohio startup (what up LeBron!), Inca Tea does not disappoint. As you’ll learn today, Ryan Florio is a contrarian thinker. He does not take things at face value, which gives him an advantage in business and life.

The story of Inca Tea began when Ryan and his friends hiked a treacherous Peruvian mountain trail with the help of their Sherpa Edgar.

Edgar introduced them to an amazing Ancient Tea recipe combining boiling water, freshly cut apples and Purple Corn, which Peruvians consider a super food that fights against a host of medical conditions.

Upon Ryan’s return home to the U.S., he quit his job, cashed in his 401K, took a second mortgage out on his home and started a company called Inca Tea, the first U.S. company to use the ingredient Purple Corn.

In addition to winning several awards throughout the state of Ohio, Inca Tea’s sales continue to climb at big-brand stores around the country (like Bed Bath and Beyond) and online orders continue to come in from all over the world.

We share Ryan’s journey and offer tips for food startup founders who want to do things their way:

  • How his childhood shaped his values and outlook on life
  • Ryan’s previous entrepreneurial adventures
  • What Ryan has learned from sourcing
  • The healing properties of Purple Corn
  • Going “all-in”, the mindset and stress management
  • Food marketing on a shoe-string budget
  • Starting a kiosk at Cleveland airport
  • The importance of building relationships and saying thank you
  • Taking online sales from $1900 to $30000 over 42 states and 7 countries
  • How he develops flavors
  • On attracting and retaining cusomers
  • A day in the life of Ryan Florio
  • When to sell your company
  • How to ignore the haters and do your thing
  • Future plans for Inca Tea