February 16, 2024

Rviita Energy Tea: Canada's First Clean Energy Beverage From Calgary

HatchUp Editorial Team

Rviita energy tea is about better ingredients, its about better packaging, its about making people feel revitalized. Rviita Energy Tea is a company with a big purpose, and a really big why. 

The origins of Rviita date back to when Mitch, founder, was out with a good friend and a great night quickly turned into a nightmare. After a few drinks and fun night out, Mitch found himself standing over his best friend calling for help as his friend temporarily stopped breathing and clutched his left side. They rushed him to the emergency room hoping he would be okay.

Karly, Mitch, and Rob (Rviita Co-Founders)

After several tests and many tense minutes, a doctor walked in to proclaim Mitch’s friend had suffered a minor heart attack, one that was attributed in part to the energy drinks they had been drinking that night. He was only in his early twenties at the time and fortunately made a full recovery, but the experience had a lasting impact on Mitch, and proved to be the great lightbulb moment behind Rviita. 

Disturbed by the events of that evening, Mitch began looking for a healthy alternative to the chemical filled energy drinks on the market. He wanted something with clean, simple ingredients, and a brand that he could resonate with and fit into a professional and healthy lifestyle. To his dismay, nothing on the market came even close to meeting these needs. Perhaps this was a problem that could be solved? 

Mitch brought the idea to his best friend, Rob, and his sister, Karly, who were working as a geophysicist and nurse at the time. They put their heads and decided, despite having no experience in the industry, that this was a problem worth solving and could really make a difference in people’s lives. They had no idea what a wild ride they were in for! 

The early days of their business journey began with long sessions of mixing all sorts of different ingredients together in a home kitchen, trying all different kinds of caffeine sources and natural ingredients. One interesting observation they began to make in these early days of testing was how they always felt after drinking natural caffeine from tea, as opposed to caffeine from coffee or energy drinks. After doing some research, they found studies showing the power of the amino acids and tannins naturally found in tea, and how it can prolong the effects of the caffeine. This research was what ultimately lead them to create a line of natural energy teas. 

The next big challenge was finding the perfect packaging for their delicious blend of energy teas. Something very important to Karly, Rob, and Mitch is looking after the environment and being a great steward of the planet, so they began their search for the best possible packaging to meet this goal. 

Mitch had experience as a water sustainability engineer and learned the power of examining the full lifecycle of a product to determine its environmental impact. He originally planned for Rviita to be in a glass bottle, but after doing a deep dive into the data, he was shocked to find how much water, greenhouse gases, and fossil fuel usage can be associated with glass bottles and aluminum cans. One packaging type rarely used in the beverage industry was flexible packaging. These packages had amazing environmental stats but were not widely used in north America for beverages.

By welding freezer paper together with a curling iron, and after hundreds of iterations, the team went on to design a first of its kind flexible beverage pouch that now has an industrial design patent pending in Canada and the USA. It’s unique design and durable drinking experience has helped Rviita really differentiate the brand in stores all across Canada. 

Once packaging was sorted out, Rviita went to production and officially launched to market in October of 2019. Working out of Mitch’s garage, the three founders quit their jobs shortly after and went door to door getting Rviita into stores all over Calgary. Their first big win was a partnership with Calgary Co-op in March of 2020, launching into all 23 stores at the height of the pandemic. 

Two years later, Rviita Energy Tea is now carried in almost 750 stores across Canada, including retail partners such as Safeway, Sobeys, Save On Foods, Blush Lane, Whole Foods, and many more. The team has moved out of Mitch’s garage and now has a beautiful 6200sqft warehouse in Calgary. They have expanded to 5 full time employees and plans to bring several more full time careers to Calgary in 2022.

The future plans for Rviita are to continue their Canadian expansion, helping as many people as they can across the country and finding more community initiatives to give back. Rviita is on a mission to change the way Canadians fuel their productivity, and give busy consumers a healthier alternative to the chemical-filled conventional energy drinks so many reach for every day. They credit their early successes to the incredible support they have received from their local community and are so grateful to everyone that has helped them on their journey. 

Keep an eye out for Rviita in a local grocery store near you!



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