Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Madani.
Sam, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In spring 2018, Kai, Amin, and I were living the same fast-paced lives that many modern consumers do. We were working countless hours at our jobs, taking time to enjoy our hobbies, and spending as much time with our friends and family as we could.
Trying to find energy after long weeks, we’d enjoy our alcohol with coffee or other caffeinated chasers. We realized a lot of our friends did the same, and that’s when we decided that consumers deserve something better than high-calorie espresso martinis or shots chased with laboratory-made synthetic energy drinks. Something that was healthier, more convenient, and delicious.
Our vision was to create alcohol-infused cold brew coffee – the first beverage of its kind. In dedicating countless hours to this creation, we found our purpose. BOMANI’s purpose is to empower individuals who challenge the status quo. Challenging the status quo is not supposed to be easy, but BOMANI believes that people deserve to be able to work toward their purpose without sacrificing their social life or their physical health.
We officially launched BOMANI in February 2020. In the past four months, we have launched in 33 states (8 on-shelves and 31 online DTC), and couldn’t be more thankful. Even in the face of the pandemic, BOMANI has grown rapidly – earning shelf space in hundreds of retailers across eight states in less than four months. Because we prioritize our consumers, we adapted to the new normal by launching a direct-to-consumer platform, which is nearly unheard of in the alcohol industry.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has certainly not been a smooth road, and I could not be more thankful for our incredibly talented team for working together to navigate these uncharted waters. From the start, our team had to clear a number of obstacles – not only were we creating a new product during the onset of a pandemic, but we were innovating an entirely new category!
We made it clear that our high standards had to be met: the cold brew had to be made of ethically sourced 100% Arabica beans and the alcohol had to be clean enough as to not destroy the integrity of the cold brew. We insisted that the nutrition label didn’t exceed 110 calories at 5.7% ABV and the product had zero sugar and zero carbs. As if that weren’t enough, we were aiming for a beverage that was gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
Many of the small brewers we first met with shut us down, they told us “no,” they criticized our idea, and some even belittled us for having the audacity to approach them. I’m proud of how resilient we proved to be: we refused to let these smaller manufacturers slow us down, and through a combination of strategic networking & hard work, we ended up earning a contract with one of the largest manufacturers and flavorists in the world. This was a counter-intuitive experience: we assumed that the lower-level teams would be the ones most willing to take a risk on a new company, but we found the exact opposite. This was a lesson in innovation – to succeed to the top level, you must innovate every single day, never allowing yourself to fall into being content with what you have.
On top of that, the global pandemic struck within weeks of our launch in February of this year! Again, I could not be more thankful to be surrounded by dedicated, creative, hardworking people – we pivoted our strategy to adapt to today’s climate and we are grateful for all of our success to date. Even as we strived to succeed, we are proud to say that we’ve donated 5.7% of our net proceeds to the Bartenders Emergency Assistance Program.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about BOMANI Cold Buzz – what should we know?
We make alcohol-infused cold brew coffee – the first of its kind. At 5.7% ABV, BOMANI is only 110 calories, 0g sugar, 0g carbs, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, vegan, and Kosher. We use only 100% ethically sourced Arabica beans from Southern Mexico, Peru, and Nicaragua to create the cold brew coffee.
BOMANI is the perfect beverage for a long list of occasions, including brunches, after work drinks, poolside cocktails, a solid game of golf, and so much more. People love the beautiful simplicity of alcohol-infused cold brew coffee!
Finally, people strongly resonate with the fact that our founding team isn’t some fancy mega-corporation. We’re just a couple people who wanted to enjoy our lives outside of work and felt that we deserved a healthier, tastier, more convenient alternative to alcohol + caffeine.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Oh man – I could go on and on! I would say at the core is our founding team and our investor. Kai and Amin, my co-founders, are wildly talented, dedicated, trustworthy, innovative, intelligent, and hard working. Most importantly, we make each other better – both personally and professionally. All of us could not be more thankful for our investor (who happens to be my mother). We are extremely thankful that my mom, Shirin Behzadi, had the capital and the entrepreneurial experience to provide us with the angel investment. This wasn’t just a “friends & family” investment – this was a vote of confidence from an experienced entrepreneur and a seasoned investor.
Since we started BOMANI, our BOMANI Cold Buzz Family has grown to include a handful of intensely self-driven, creative, intelligent, and personable individuals, such as Nick Gagliardi, our Corporate Strategy Director who joined BOMANI shortly after we started. Nick is BOMANI’s “Dr. Dre” – he’s a perfect example of how a genuinely good, caring, and talented person can be a game-changer. Dustin, our VP Finance & Operations, has revolutionized the financial side of BOMANI’s business by combining his natural ability to zero in on details with a stellar work ethic. Jack, our Field Sales Manager in Southern CA, is gifted with the rare ability to take new concepts and package them in a digestible manner – this made him the perfect person to introduce alcohol-infused cold brew coffee in the incredibly important Southern CA market. Joe, our Field Sales Manager in NY, has one of the best attitudes of anyone I’ve ever met – he lights up a room when he walks in. He’s ridiculously hard-working and experienced – but the aspect that makes him a natural fit for the BOMANI vision is his willingness and passion for thinking differently.
In addition to our internal team, we are proud to have the best partner companies that we could ask for, including our manufacturers, supply chain experts, marketing teams, legal professionals, and more.
I also want to specifically thank our friends and family who have believed in us and shown us endless love and support from the beginning. It means a lot every time that someone tells their friends about BOMANI, posts about BOMANI on social media, and just simply enjoy our alcohol-infused cold brew coffee.
- BOMANI Cold Buzz is available in 33 states for $13.99 per 4-pack, which is a “value cold brew, premium alcohol.”
- Website: www.bomanicoldbuzz.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @bomani.cold.buzz