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Our Story

ZenDia was born from the intense passion for helping others feel healthy and powerful, better than they have ever felt before. If you're feeling melancholy, drink some matcha, you'll feel better. Want to have a sharper mind with improved concentration and memory? Drink some matcha, it will make you smarter.  Have you struggled to find ways to improve your energy and performance without sacrificing goodness?  Drink some matcha, it will give you the boost you seek.   Matcha is an amazing raw, wholesome food that brings incredible benefits to our lives.  How do we know this to be true?  We drink our daily bowl, or two, or three!  

We have partnered with some of the most mindful artisan farmers and masterful tea makers in Japan, which we feel is an imperative to offering you the finest organic matcha. We strongly believe everyone is entitled to the opportunity to feel enriched by the goodness of matcha, to thrive everyday, and to feel as healthy, happy, and as powerful as you can feel.

Where Did This Intense Passion Come From?

The answer to this question is at times, awfully intense, or is that intensely awful! Either way, this is how it all shakes out.  

I became what one might call a "gym rat" early on at the age of 15 when I started to really involve myself in getting fit, strong and powerful.  I enjoyed heading to the gym with my friends each afternoon to see how much weight I could lift.  Not only did we encourage our bodies to grow in size and strength by lifting progressively heavier weight, we also ran and biked to ensure our cardiovascular fitness was top notch.  Each day I seemed to get stronger and fitter.  Part of the reason we worked so hard was to improve our game.  We played on the high school football team.  But another driving force behind our diligent body work was merely for the sake of vanity.  I had a beautiful girlfriend.  Life was good.  I would continue to be a "rat" for the next 11 years.

I continued my "gym rat" ways during my college years.  I was fit, strong, and healthy.  I had given up on the idea of continuing my football career and would instead focus whole-heartedly on my education.  I studied psychology and fully intended to work toward a graduate degree in counseling.  I wanted to be a therapist.  Or did I?!  As it turns out, being a therapist was not in the cards.  I decided not to attend graduate school after I finished my undergraduate education.  I'd had enough of psychology but would hold a human service positions on and off for years to come.  Sadly, working in a residential setting is just about the best job you can get without a graduate degree. Bummer!  

I had been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur since I was quite young and being a shrink didn't seem to fulfill my needs.  Nuts, I still hadn't found a way to making that dream a reality.  I wouldn't make a real attempt at realizing my entrepreneurial dream til much later in life.  Deep down, one thing I knew for certain was that I still really wanted to help people, I just didn't know how I was going to do that.  I had too many things to learn and accomplish before I could be strong enough to make that happen.

My high school girlfriend and I intended to stay together throughout our college years and marry afterward.  She studied at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, while I chose to study at Ithaca College and stay close to home.  We had grown up near Ithaca.   Needless to say, this put quite a strain on our relationship and we became estranged as the years passed by.   Due to this estrangement and other pressures, I began to slide down an emotional slippery slope.  I was in college, studying psychology, asking myself, "there's got to be more, right?",  or "what the hell happened to me?".  I was fit and strong and young.  I had the world by the balls, but there still seemed to be this nearly constant, pervasive, underlying feeling of melancholy.  To avoid sliding too far and recognizing a need for developing a strong sense of self that I could rely on,  I started walking a path toward enlightenment and self-improvement.   I turned to the internet, which was still a fledgling at that time much like myself, to seek out ways to improve my plight.  I began studying buddhist philosophy and taught myself to meditate.  What a difference this made in my life!  

During this same period, I continued to focus on my physical health as well as improving my mental health.  I began exploring different avenues of developing healthful eating habits.  Sometimes I ate to much of a good thing or not at all.  Sometimes I wouldn't eat much of anything for days even though I continued to exercise constantly.  I tried many different diets, adding or subtracting this or that food, to make this or that change to my body.  In the end, I found that I liked to eat what I liked to eat, so I went with that.  I realized it didn't really matter what I ate, cause my body remained the same throughout all these years, up until very recently at least.   I really didn't know how much better I may have felt if I had been eating the right foods.  I wouldn't figure that out until I was nearly 40 years old!

So...I had no idea what I planned to do after I graduated college.  I looked into the Air Force.  Being a pilot would be tons of fun, right?  Plus, I was in great shape.  I could do it, no problem!  After speaking with a recruiter, I realized the Air Force was not going to be a good fit for me.  I am much too autonomous.  I thought maybe I could apprentice to become a tradesman of some kind, but I was just finishing up a four year degree in psychology which I gave a great deal of time and energy for, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars I spent.  I met a guy shortly before graduation and we became quick friends.  He had moved to Boston and he suggested I move there too.  I did.

What a fantastic experience!  While living in Boston I met an Au Pair from Austria and we fell head over heels for each other.  She was gorgeous and loving.   Before the year was over I found myself living with her, in Austria.  I was excited to live in a foreign country and learn their language and customs.   I spent eight glorious months there.  Another fantastic experience.  I had learned to speak German within five months, but sadly, I couldn't speak well enough to get a job.  I found myself getting more stressed each day, and missing the good 'ole USA more and more.  Back to Massachusetts.  Austria was fun and all, but I had to come home.  Of course, she and I fell apart.  I became a certified personal trainer when I returned home, but, like many failed attempts, this would not be quite the right fit for me either.  

I'm going to fast forward to the age of 26.  I was still "ratting" it up in the gym, eating better than ever, and feeling great.  I still suffered from feelings of melancholy, but since I had been working on that for quite a number of years by then, those feelings had definitely subsided a lot. One sad day, however, I got into a mountain biking accident and separated my shoulder.  The doctor said it was a third degree separation, the worst kind!  All the ligaments that hold the shoulder and collar bone together were torn in half. This caused a complete paradigm shift for me.  It could have been worse, cause my head hit a rock when I came off the bike.  It left a dent the size of a softball in the helmet. Ruined it.  Even so, I was changed.  

The accident left me in a state where I was physically unable to work out. Recovering from the injury took the better part of a year.  Mentally, my pride took a massive blow. Here I was, capable, in the prime of my life, and I went flying over the handle bars when I got hung up on a log I tried to "bunny hop" and missed.  Stupid!  As a consequence, I stopped working out all together, and lost the desire to maintain my physical and mental health like I had been.  I began smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Pretty late in life, I know.  I started drinking a fair amount of alcohol.  All very unhealthy. The feelings of melancholy returned with a vengeance.  I met a woman.  She would wind up being one of the greatest challenges of my life.  She would also be one of the best things that ever happened to me because of the personal growth she set in motion.  I would only come to this understanding years later.   She and I fought nearly everyday for eight long years. I never imagined I could do or say the things I did or said when fighting with her.  I was a calm, thoughtful man, who was well practiced in mindfulness and loving friendliness.  It's truly amazing what circumstances can do to a person.  Turns out there was a strong emotional connection between this person I chose to be intimately tied to and my upbringing.  It's funny to think how easily I fell prey to this situation, especially considering I was trained in psychology, buddhist philosophy, meditation, and mindfulness.  I still fell for it!

Let's fast forward again.  Eight years have passed, in the blink of an eye I might add.  I guess that can happen when you're mired neck deep.  I'm 34 years old.  Holy crap, where did that time go!  I decided I'd finally had enough of the challenge I had been facing.  I broke things off with my girlfriend after one final excruciating fight with her that included my family as well.  I decided I had better spend some time recuperating from the years of angst and pain.  My spirit had totally run out.  So, I spent 15 months by myself.  Living alone, being alone.  It was wonderful.  Empowering and truly life changing.  I slowly came round to my own reality again and decided to move back to my home town of Ithaca, NY from Massachusetts.  I had lived in Massachusetts for 12 years total.  My parents, three siblings, a couple of aunts, and a couple of nieces, remained in New York and I wanted to rekindle a relationship with them again.  I pined over giving up the habits that were so detrimental to my health.  Nonetheless, as many of us know, bad habits can be awfully difficult to overcome, so I continued to smoke and drink larger quantities of alcohol than I should have been drinking for the next few years.

In addition, during this "down time", my mom, who has been an aerobics instructor for as long as I can remember and had always eaten pretty healthily, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 61.  Surprise!  She was crushed!  All the work she had put into being a healthy person and yet she was still forced to endure two months of aggressive chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation treatments.  She decided to make some adjustments to her diet which would help her body fight harder.  She started consuming multiple cups of green tea a day as she had heard it was loaded with bioactive compounds that would enrich her life and help her body fight.  

The cancer has been in remission for long enough that she can now say she beat the disease.  She is 67 years old.  She is retired and back to her aerobics.  She truly believes the green tea helped her survive the fight.  She has started consuming matcha instead of steeped green tea because one serving of matcha contains as many bioactive compounds as 10 servings of steeped green tea.  Plus she loves the taste and the way it makes her feel.   She only drinks ZenDia matcha, of course!  Wink, wink.

This leads me to the newest developments in my own life.  Having seen my mother suffer with breast cancer and knowing how unhealthy drinking to excess and smoking can be to your health, I made a decision to quit smoking all together and to significantly cut back on the alcohol.  I switched from drinking coffee to matcha because the energy matcha provides it much smoother, longer lasting, and doesn't drop you off the edge of a cliff like coffee does.  No jitters either.  It also helps that there is half the caffeine in a bowl of matcha as opposed to that found in a cup of coffee.  

I met a woman whom I enjoy calling my own personal wonder woman.  She and I got married and are planning to start a family together.  I am approaching 40 years old and have decided that I am going to become the healthiest, strongest, highest performing person I have ever been.  I have given up smoking and cut way back on alcohol, merely a few drinks a week now.  My wife and I have started eating an incredibly healthy diet. It is based on the "Always Hungry Solution" outlined in the book entitled "Always Hungry?" by Dr. David Ludwig.  It is amazing!  I gained about 40 pounds over the last year, going from 185 to 225.  I have been taking it right back off again, with the help of matcha and the "Always Hungry Solution".  I love matcha and would not give it up for anything.  It does great things for my level of energy, my focus, and my performance.

I can imagine you are thinking, what does all this have to do with matcha or creating a business selling matcha?  Well, as I mentioned earlier, I have dreamt of being an entrepreneur and running my own company since I was very young.  I feel great passion for matcha, for health, and living a good life.  I want to share matcha and these wonderful feelings with others who want to share with me.  I have finally reached a point where I feel I have the strength of character to make it happen and to make sound decisions.  I feel confident in my own abilities to focus appropriately and articulate my needs to myself or others.  I have suffered enough to empathize, whether that suffering was caused by myself or others.  I have learned how people interact with the world and can step back to view it objectively.   I have made a decision to be the best I can possibly be. I truly hope you will join me on this journey.  I hope you decide to be the best person you can be.  

I am extremely excited about the decision I have made to create yet another, different life for myself.  One steeped in healthy living, happiness, and love.  I practice yoga and meditate regularly and am working on creating the best workout routine for me.  I am also very excited about bringing matcha to as many people as I can because it is so awesome and has helped me so much.  I hope you enjoy our matcha as much as I do!