PeKANT Tea Co.

Mud in their eye at i-hamptons’ “Riptide III”

By GREGORY ZELLER // A sunscreen with an ecological nature and an unmistakable Long Island ID took top honors at the third-annual “Riptide: $ink or $wim” business competition. The Montauk Mud Co., a 2019 LLC founded by Islanders Collin Kavanaugh and Elias Van Sickle, won the i-hamptons-hosted pitch-a-thon, collecting $20,000 in business-development grants and goodies, including radio ads with Long Island Broadcasting and gratis membership in The Spur, the part co-working space/part members-only “entrepreneur’s club”…


Thirsty, tick-ed off and ready for battle in Riptide III

By GREGORY ZELLER // The people have spoken, and Rip Tide III is about to raise someone’s boat, big-time. The annual “Shark Tank” for East End entrepreneurs, a function of Southampton-based professional networking community i-Hamptons, has whittled down a field of 46 entries – with the help of an in-house selection committee and online public vote – and will put five finalists through their paces in a big final round, scheduled for Saturday at the…


No. 318: On Helen Keller, Ross Perot, J.J. Abrams and Captain Video (and yes, that iced tea IS very spicy)

Welcome, welcome: It’s the midpoint of another exciting week of socioeconomic innovation, dear readers, with just seven days to go before the nation’s 242nd birthday. Mathematically, that must mean it’s June 27 out there, a.k.a. Multicultural Day in Canada and Mixed Race Day in Brazil. In the States, we have to settle for the 125th anniversary of the Great Stock Crash of 1893, which set off a four-year depression. Wire to wire: Marking the first…


In the iced tea business, some like it hot

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the When You’re Hot, You’re Hot file comes the PeKANT Tea Co., a sort of Nestea plunge for the hot-pepper set. Cofounders Michael Circosta and Michael Romano, both longtime regional sales reps for Massachusetts-based medical-device titan Boston Scientific, are now about three years into their spicy entrepreneurial adventure, which crosses its teas with molten-hot habaneros – adding a tongue-numbing, surprisingly refreshing kick to the traditional sweet tea. It sounds counterintuitive…