Like the seed of the mate tree, Guayakí started small on California’s Central Coast in 1996 by two university buddies. Alex Pryor (from Argentina) first introduced yerba mate to David Karr (from California) while attending Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. Fast friends and ultimately soul brothers, Alex and David set out to share yerba mate with the world, recognizing that people were in need of a nourishing source of energy and a healthy dose of optimism.
As good fortune would have it, co-founders Alex and David were swiftly joined by three other pioneering partners to round out the original founding group: Don Miguel, Steven Karr and Chris Mann. From two with a vision to five friends on a mission, they channeled their activist mentality to pioneer a revolutionary market-driven regeneration business model that empowers customers to drive tangible change with every purchase.
They first sprouted roots in the fertile grounds of San Luis Obispo, California, nestled comfortably between Santa Barbara and Big Sur. This coastline, riddled with good surf breaks and mountains, provided the perfect backdrop for many extended mate gourd sessions while looking for surf or mountain biking the scenic landscapes. As passionate lifestylers, they were intimately committed to holistic living and a business practice that was philosophically aligned with their love for nature and adventure.
With a blend of West Coast pioneer spirit and Argentine hospitality, the inspired group took to the road to share mate with all those who would listen. Traveling in a mix of VW vans, pickups and RVs, they took the wheel in one hand and the mate gourd in the other to the four corners of the United States. With a strong brew of yerba mate, good tunes, flowers and genuine hospitality, they encouraged keen samplers to develop a relationship with the yerba mate plant.
Now headquartered in Sebastopol, California (a leading hub of craft food and beverage) with a team of cebadores, Guayakí is serving up yerba mate culture and connecting with communities worldwide.