Roji Tea Brings Manufacturing to OCC’s START-UP NY

Roji Tea owner Christian Van Luven in his new manufacturing facility at 1153 West Fayette Street.

Christian Van Luven, an owner of Roji Tea Lounge, is excited the continued growth and success his partnership with Onondaga Community College and the START-UP NY program will bring to his business. “This is a great opportunity,” said Van Luven. “We think it will helps us expand into new areas.”

The Roji Tea Lounge is located at 108 East Washington Street in Syracuse. The Roji Tea Company operates out of the Cosmopolitan Building at 1153 West Fayette Street. The site is within OCC’s expanded footprint in the START-UP NY program which provides participants with New York State tax benefits and a partnership with the College which includes student internship opportunities and access to the Small Business Development Center.

Roji Tea’s Christian Van Luven speaks with OCC Business majors in Whitney Commons.

The staple of Roji Tea is their outstanding variety of teas which are sourced from China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The space at the Cosmopolitan Building is the headquarters for Roji Tea’s manufacturing. The kitchen located on the first floor of the building is where extra tea and locally sourced ingredients are turned into tea cookies or other sweets and foods found on the Roji Tea Lounge menu. Van Luven is also using the space as the headquarters for their online sales, marketing and wholesale manufacturing operations. They eventually plan to bottle and can teas there. “This is a new endeavor for us. It’s a great opportunity to reevaluate everything we do as we start this new business.”

It’s also a great opportunity for OCC students. Van Luven has come to campus and spoken with students in the Business Club and hosted students in the Cosmopolitan Building. He’s also set up an internship program for OCC students interested in helping with social media and manufacturing. “If you’re a graphic designer or you are interested in social media, you’ll be getting a head start in the business.

We’re looking for students who have the passion to do this and want to settle down in Syracuse and find something meaningful in our company. We want to have something we can all build off of.”

Students can learn more about opportunities with the Roji Tea Company through Purple Briefcase, OCC’s online career portal and job board. You can also contact Van Luven via email at christian@rojitealounge.com.

If you are a business looking for more information on START-UP NY, contact OCC’s Russ Corbin at corbinr@sunyocc.edu.

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