Business development / Food and drink / Startups

Venture for America startup Zest Tea leaves for Baltimore

The former NextFab controller wants to be closer to his professional and personal networks in Baltimore.

James Fayal, former NextFab controller and Venture for America fellow, in his former shared office space within Biomeme. (Photo by Juliana Reyes)

After two years in Philly, James Fayal is heading back to Baltimore, near where he went to college, and taking his company with him.
Fayal came to Philadelphia as part of a Venture for America fellowship. He spent a year as the controller for makerspace NextFab before leaving to work on his caffeinated tea business, Zest Tea, full time. He was previously sharing space with Old City’s Biomeme.
He returned to Baltimore because of his personal and professional networks, he told our sister site Baltimore, and also because of the proximity to consumer giants like Under Armour. (He also told us, last year, that he was mulling a move back to Baltimore.)
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During Fayal’s time in Philly, he even got reporter Nick Vadala to utter this Zest Tea testimonial: “It definitely hits you harder, but I didn’t get jittery or anything.”

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