Cherry Hill native giving back through tea business

Joe Scola’s tea company, Wise Ape, donates 10 percent of its profits to three charitable organizations.

Cherry Hill native and Marlton resident Joe Scola, CEO and founder of independent tea company Wise Ape, has partnered his company with three nonprofits where 10 percent of all profits are donated to the organizations. PHOTO CREDIT: Sweetpeashots Photography

About four years ago, Cherry Hill native and current Marlton resident Joe Scola was living in North Jersey working in the technology field on a video technology app where viewers of a video could purchase the products they saw on screen.

Everything was going well for Scola until he received terrible news from home. His father, Vince Scola, had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer.

“To me, I didn’t really have an option,” Scola said. “I was coming home to take care of my dad.”

As Scola took care of his dad, he spent time researching ways he could help him, from alternative medicine to teas and herbs. Through his research, Scola was inspired to help others through tea blends created with adaptogenic herbs.

Today, Scola is the founder and CEO of Wise Ape, an independent tea company selling three types of health-conscious tea blends.

What separates Wise Ape from other companies is its mission. The company has established partnerships with three nonprofit organizations and donates 10 percent of the profits of every sale it makes to one of its partners.

“It’s a huge core of our business,” Scola said. “It started with a single partnership, but now it’s expanded to three, which is fantastic.”

Scola credits his father with giving them inspiration behind Wise Ape. Scola said his relationship with Vince was extremely close.

“He was the first guy who taught me how to work out,” Scola said about his father. “He was the first guy to start teaching me about health and wellness. It’s interesting how life brought me full circle back to, not only caring for him, but invigorating my spirit for learning more about the health and wellness world.”

While taking care of his dad, Scola and his family were raising money for the National Brain Tumor Society. As the idea for Wise Ape came together, Scola realized there was an opportunity to help the organization through his new business.

“We could partner with these guys and make sure a percentage of our (profits) goes back to them with every can sold,” Scola said. “That’s what we proceeded to do with each of our tea blends, create a different partnership with a different charity and give back to these impactful causes.”

Wise Ape’s first tea blend, Chocolate Hustle, launched in February 2017, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the National Brain Tumor Society. Earlier this year, Wise Ape unveiled two new tea blends, Orange Dreamsicle and Coconut Warrior. With the two new blends came two new partnerships. Wise Ape donates 10 percent of its profits from Orange Dreamsicle to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Ten percent of Wise Ape’s profits of Coconut Warriors are donated to Warrior Angels Foundation, an organization supporting military members who suffer from traumatic brain injury.

In addition, Scola said each of the tea blends promotes different health benefits. Chocolate Hustle includes a number of brain-boosting herbs, Coconut Warrior can help fight inflammation, and Orange Dreamsicle helps support relaxation and sleep.

Moving forward, Wise Ape is planning to continue adding products. Scola said the company is looking to add a green tea matcha blend as well as some dry tea blends. As the company adds more blends, Scola said they would also add more partnerships with nonprofit organizations.

“It’s super important for businesses, in this day and age, to find new ways to give back,” he said. “This happens to be ours. I would love for us to get more involved with these partnerships, to work with them in advance, to sponsor them in events.”

For more information on Wise Ape, including a list of local retailers, visit www.wiseapetea.com.