When Los Angeles City Leader Xavier Clarke was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2009, he took with him a very unique passion. A passion that he has since transformed into his own small business, Yosa Matcha. Yosa, meaning great quality and goodness, is the result of Xavier’s time stationed in Japan combined with some business prowess taken from his military background.
It was during his time stationed in Okinawa that he became fascinated with the health benefits and history surrounding matcha. Originally given to samurais before battle as a way to help cultivate focus and calmness, Xavier found himself identifying with the idea of becoming a mindful warrior. He began to use matcha as a way to help himself remain calm, energized and laser-focused during grueling workouts or long missions. It wasn’t until he returned home that he noticed the absence of high-quality, Japanese matcha available to American consumers.
Recognizing this opportunity, Xavier called on his military background to help him launch Yosa. He began with learning objectives — through research he could discover support systems that would help him grow his veteran-owned business. Then he looked at enabling objectives — which programs did he quality for and what did the application process look like. Finally, he tackled his executable items and launched Yosa.
One specific resource that Xavier found during his research was the We Work Veterans in Residence program powered Bunker Labs. Xavier points to the ambitious network of other veteran entrepreneurs as well as the access to WeWork locations across the region as key to helping him support Yosa. He has also been able to sample his newest product, nitro cold brew matcha, with key demographics by placing it in multiple WeWork locations around Los Angeles.
That isn’t to say that everything from the Marines has translated perfectly into the entrepreneurial world. One major difference Xavier noticed is the contrast between the very regimented and structured environment of the military to the free-for-all of the consumer marketplace. Navigating that transition was a soul-searching period not just for Xavier, but for Yosa. It was during that time he began to define the culture of his company, one that has been built on selling the highest quality matcha in the world.