RICHMOND, Va. -- In 2017, Richmond entrepreneur Fred Bryant stumbled upon a story on ESPN about how members of the New England Patriots football team were drinking kava as a pain reliever and social lubricant.
The drink, made from ground up leaves of a certain pepper plant, is traditionally served like tea and has been consumed in its native lands of Polynesia for thousands of years, providing users with feelings of relaxation and mild euphoria.
Intrigued, Bryant bought some kava powder and made himself a glass. “Well, it’s good enough for Tom Brady,” he recalls thinking ahead of taking a sip.
His first impression left a bad taste.
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