NEW YORK—Cold brew coffee infused with alcohol is here. A New York City start-up is disrupting this caffeinated category with a unique, yet healthy jolt for hotels.
Bomani was created by co-founders Sam Madani, Kai Drewry, and Amin Anjedani, who are known by their friends and family as the “Bomani Brothers,” with a goal to provide a new beverage option that intentionally avoids high-calorie, high-sugar, dairy-filled and synthetic ingredients.
“We got this idea around the beginning of last summer,” said Madani. “I was working in investment banking and so was Amin. Working these high-intensity jobs, we tried to stay active and fit. At the end of the week, we didn’t want to sacrifice our social lives. We saw people in our social group mixing synthetic energy drinks and ordering espresso martinis—they’re pretty bad for you, and it doesn’t feel good on the stomach. Convenience is also a huge issue. The three of us sat down and decided consumers deserve a better product that is healthier, tastier and more convenient.”
Bomani means purpose in Farsi, a language the trio’s families spoke during their childhood, and it resonated with the founders. Their goal is to provide a drink with a specific purpose.
“All three of us worked corporate jobs, and we really lacked a purpose in the job,” said Drewry. “There was no meaning to it, and it’s through creating this product and working together to define this beverage that we have found our purpose. We want to empower individuals who, like us, challenge the status quo.”
The coffee brand is positioned as “sleek and sexy,” and the founders see their product in hotels, ranging from midscale to luxury. “A lot of the people we surveyed said they see themselves enjoying Bomani while on vacation. It’s a way to enjoy every bit of the vacation with a drink that keeps you alert and active,” said Madani.
Drewry added, “Our product is perfectly situated for hotels, whether it’s in bars, nightclubs or an in-room offering. In every hotel room, there’s a mini fridge and a coffeemaker on the counter. It’s the perfect product for getting ready for a night out on the town or getting ready for the day.”
What makes Bomani stand out from other cold brew beverages is that it’s low calorie, low carbs, low sugar and gluten-free—all with approximately 6% alcohol by volume.
“We did research to create this product,” said Madani. “The way we describe it, others have tried to hit the dartboard and missed. We hit the bull’s-eye. We don’t use the same type of alcohol other products may use, and it tastes delicious.”
Drewry added, “We wanted to have as wide a range as possible. It’s effervescent and doesn’t make you burp or feel bloated. Our product has none of those features. It kicks you up.”
The caffeine found in Bomani is equivalent to half a cup of traditional coffee, noted Madani.
To garner buzz for this new beverage on the market, the Bomani Brothers created the Bomani Collective, a selective community of entrepreneurs, fitness gurus, Wall Street professionals, actors, musicians, artists, models and more. They are tapping into the synergies of this group to help extend the brand’s reach.
“Traditional influencer marketing has been done,” said Madani. “We decided we are the target market and wanted to create a community of go-getters looking to grow their brand in tandem with ours and we reward them. There’s a ton of opportunity for cross-branding with adjacent demographics to benefit Bomani and the collective.”
The founders are also hosting parties, tasting events and promoting the brand via social media.
“We’ve noticed some brands have missed out on getting in touch with music,” said Madani. “Anytime you’re drinking, you’re listening to music. We did a pre-game party playlist. There’s all types of music—Reggaeton, EDM, R&B—and we’ve received so much positive feedback. The music makes you feel amped up. We’re in the target market and have the opportunity to resonate with our core demographic.”
Bomani is set to launch in select retailers in late spring on the East Coast, with sights set on spreading its reach to the Hamptons, Jersey Shore, music festivals, and then globally in 2020.
“We left our jobs to do this fully. We got to a point where we were too busy with Bomani and it was all we thought about,” said Madani.
“The tipping point was when we tasted the final formula,” said Drewry. “We put in our two weeks notice.”