Most people do not keep in touch with their Kindergarten best friends, but that is not the case for Elaina Downey and Cherylea Browne, whose incredible friendship have them on the verge of sparking a tea revolution in Australia. Downey and Browne met in Kindergarten way back in 1991 and have been friends ever since.

After two decades of friendship, the pair became business partners in 2014 when they founded The Husk Mill, an online tea business popularising the Peruvian cacao husk tea throughout Australia. Cacao husk tea, sometimes referred to as ‘chocolate tea’, is high in antioxidants and vitamins. It’s entirely free of sugar, gluten and caffeine. Not only that, it’s silky, chocolatey taste will leave you craving more. It’s no wonder The Husk Mill’s products are in such high demand, and regularly sold out on their online store. With Downey handling the marketing side of the business, and Browne taking care of social media, The Husk Mill is going from strength to strength. “We live far away from each other but we speak every day. We have a very long history which is the glue that binds us together when things get challenging,” Browne said.

Downey and Browne got the idea for The Husk Mill following some personal tragedies that struck the two best friends five years ago. Browne was diagnosed with a neurological condition and Downey was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. They suddenly found themselves unable to buy many off-the-shelf products at the supermarket due to the excessive amount of additives in everyday foods. “We had tried cacao tea in Peru and Singapore on our travels and it was over a cup of this amazing tea one night we realised we had found the answer! The next day we literally picked up the phone and started calling cacao growers in Australia,” Browne said.

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